Tony Dorsett Jersey

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Pro Football Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Joe DeLamielleure, and former NFL All-Pro Leonard Marshall have been diagnosed as having signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition many scientists say is caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia, doctors have told “Outside the Lines.”

The three former stars underwent brain scans and clinical evaluations during the past three months at UCLA, as did an unidentified ex-player whose test results are not yet available. Last year, UCLA tested five other former players and diagnosed all five as having signs of CTE, marking the first time doctors found signs of the crippling disease in living former players.

CTE is indicated by a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions. Autopsies of more than 50 ex-NFL players, including Hall of Famer Mike Webster and perennial All-Pro Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, found such tau concentrations.

Apr 8, 2017

William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Pro Football Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Joe DeLamielleure, and former NFL All-Pro Leonard Marshall have been diagnosed as having signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition many scientists say is caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia, doctors have told “Outside the Lines.”

The three former stars underwent brain scans and clinical evaluations during the past three months at UCLA, as did an unidentified ex-player whose test results are not yet available. Last year, UCLA tested five other former players and diagnosed all five as having signs of CTE, marking the first time doctors found signs of the crippling disease in living former players.

CTE is indicated by a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions. Autopsies of more than 50 ex-NFL players, including Hall of Famer Mike Webster and perennial All-Pro Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, found such tau concentrations.
Tony Dorsett, who rushed for more than 12,000 yards with the Dallas Cowboys, was told Monday that he’s been diagnosed with signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. AP Photo/Martha Irvine

Researchers told “Outside the Lines” that they notified Dorsett by phone Monday that they had diagnosed him as having signs of the neurological disease. Dorsett, in an appearance Wednesday afternoon on ESPN’s “Dan LeBatard Is Highly Questionable” show, acknowledged he had been tested at UCLA and received results: “I’m not going to say too much more about it … I’m trying to be proactive rather than reactive.”

Two weeks ago, upon arriving in California for his evaluation and brain scan at UCLA, Dorsett described to “Outside the Lines” the symptoms that compelled him to seek testing: memory loss, depression and thoughts of suicide.

The former Cowboys running back, now 59, said that when he took his Oct. 21 flight from Dallas to Los Angeles for testing, he repeatedly struggled to remember why he was aboard the plane and where he was going. Such episodes, he said, are commonplace when he travels.

Dorsett said he also gets lost when he drives his two youngest daughters, ages 15 and 10, to their soccer and volleyball games.

“I’ve got to take them to places that I’ve been going to for many, many, many years, and then I don’t know how to get there,” he said.

The 1976 Heisman Trophy winner and eighth all-time leading NFL rusher said he has trouble controlling his emotions and is prone to outbursts at his wife and daughters.

“It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me.” After a long pause, he tearfully reiterated, “It’s painful.”

Dorsett said doctors have told him he is clinically depressed.

“I’ve thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, ‘Why do I need to continue going through this?'” he said. “I’m too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it’s crossed my mind.”

CTE is a disease with no known cure, but Dorsett said he was seeking answers to explain his cognitive and emotional difficulties.

“I want to know if this is something that has come about because of playing football,” he said.

Dorsett’s 12-year playing career ended a quarter-century ago. He said he doesn’t know how many concussions he suffered, but that they were numerous and he believes their consequences are, too.

“My quality of living has changed drastically and it deteriorates every day,” he said.

Researchers involved in the UCLA testing say their brain scan uses a radioactive marker to identify the signs of CTE in the living, as was done with the eight former players. The research team, in affiliation with a company named TauMark, includes: forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who discovered CTE in football players; UCLA psychiatrist Gary Small and pharmacologist Jorge Barrio; and neurosurgeon Julian Bailes, co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Ill.

Bailes acknowledged that the sample size is small and the testing is in its “very early” stages, but said, “Our preliminary data seems very strong that the areas of the brain and density of the tau signals correlates exactly with what we have found at autopsy.”

DeLamielleure, 62, said he never received a concussion diagnosis during his 13-year career as an offensive lineman for Buffalo and Cleveland, but that during games and practices he endured tens of thousands of blows to his head and believes he had at least 100 concussions.

On the day he received the news that he has signs of CTE, DeLamielleure told OTL, “I can guarantee you my CTE, my tau, came from hits, came from blows to the head.” He said he suffers from anxiety and chronic insomnia, and, like Dorsett, he recounted mood swings and suicidal thoughts.

“When I sit still for any length of time, I get depressed for no reason,” DeLamielleure said. “I have CTE. Let’s see what the heck we can do about it.”

Marshall, 52, told “Outside the Lines” that when he received his diagnosis Sunday it was “very emotional.”

“I knew there was something going on,” he added. “I’ve had short-term memory loss, erratic behavior where the least little thing would set me off, and I’ve experienced fogginess and even been in a daze at times.

“It’s been a rough road and hopefully now there’ll be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Said Bailes: “Until we had the ability to see it in a living, breathing person, we had no chance of helping them, we had no chance of really understanding what happens to the disease. It gives us the ability to track it, to see if it gets worse, or hopefully, maybe it gets better with medication, with intervention, with new discoveries.

“There’s a lot more scientific investigation and rigor and publication and peer review that needs to be done on this, but initially, we’re optimistic and excited about the potential of the test.”

Other researchers also are developing tests to diagnose CTE in the living. Among them is Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuropathologist.

No one has examined more brains of deceased NFL players than McKee, who found CTE in 47 of the 48 brains she has studied. McKee is also developing a test for the living, and said it is not yet clear if currently available scans are actually showing signs of CTE or if they are indicative of other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Omalu, also a neuropathologist, said that it is the combination of symptoms, clinical evaluations and brain scan findings that led to his group’s diagnoses of CTE indicators in the former players and that there is a “reasonable degree of certainty that this is CTE until proven otherwise.” He said that in posthumous examinations, as well, a history of cognitive impairment and emotional problems is an important factor in diagnosing CTE.

Bailes, a former team physician for the Steelers, said he looks forward to more testing and considers his group’s scan a “game-changer.” The first tests, published in a medical journal in February, concluded that Fred McNeill, a 59-year-old former Vikings linebacker; Wayne Clark, a 64-year-old former quarterback for three teams; and three unidentified ex-players: a 73-year-old former guard; a 50-year-old former defensive lineman; and a 45-year-old former center, had CTE indicators.

The NFL, which declined to comment, has repeatedly asserted that there is not enough evidence to draw a conclusion that playing football causes CTE or other brain damage. After denying the severity of concussions for years, and disputing the research of doctors like Omalu and Bailes, the league reversed its position in 2009 and acknowledged a scientific connection between football and long-term brain damage — but has not made a similar statement since.

Dorsett, Marshall and DeLamielleure are among the 4,500-plus plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed against the NFL that is in the midst of being settled for $765 million. The plaintiffs argued that for years the NFL had concealed a link between playing football and brain damage. As part of the settlement reached in August, the NFL did not admit to wrongdoing.

In January, Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, a Seattle neurosurgeon who serves as co-chair of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, told Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru of “Outside the Lines” that the UCLA CTE study was “promising work,” adding the researchers were “honest about the limitations as well as being excited about the findings.”

“This is the holy grail if it works. This is what we’ve been waiting for, but it looks like it’s probably preliminary to say they’ve got it,” Dr. Robert Cantu, a senior adviser to the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee and co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, told ESPN in January. “But if they do have it, this is exactly what we need.”

Omalu said diagnosing CTE in the living is a promising step.

“I think we can develop a treatment for this,” he said. “Everybody should come to the table.”

His advice to the diagnosed ex-players: “Use the power of positive thinking, don’t let the disease overwhelm, this is not a diagnosis of death.”

Prior to his test, Dorsett said he drew hope from its potential benefits.

“I’m trying to slow this down or cut it off,” Dorsett said. “I’m going to be 60 years old here next year, so I’m hoping that I’ve got another good 30 years or so.”

Emmitt Smith Jersey

Emmitt Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher and a Cowboys legend. You probably feel like you know him pretty well, but there’s a few more things you can learn.

Here are 10 things you might not know about Emmitt Smith.

  1. Playing career

In Smith’s 15-year career (13 with the Cowboys, two with the Cardinals) he amassed a number of records. He is the career leader in rushing attempts (4,409) yards (18,355) and rushing touchdowns (164). His 81.2 yards per game average ranks 15th all-time. His also has eight Pro Bowls and four first-team All-Pro awards.

  1. The extra ‘t’

Smith is actually the third of his name, but he spells his first name differently than his namesakes: he has two ‘t’s in his name. He told The Dallas Morning News in 1993 that he simply added the extra ‘t’ a long time ago on his own. His father, Emmit Smith Jr., said his son began spelling it that way when sports writers added the ‘t’ without bothering to ask the proper spelling.

  1. Dancing champion

Smith appeared in Season 3 of Dancing with the Stars. He and partner Cheryl Burke went on to win the competition, beating Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff. Smith was the first athlete to win the competition. He averaged 26.8 points out of 30 and received perfect scores from the judges on the Cha-cha, the Mambo, and the Samba. Smith returned to Dancing with the Stars for the Season 15 “All-Stars” edition, but lost in the semifinals.

He isn’t the only Triplet to compete on the show, either. Michael Irvin appeared on it in 2009. His professional dance partner? Cheryl Burke. The duo were the ninth pair to be eliminated out of 15 contestants.

  1. Emmitt Smith Day

A lot of people have a singular day named after them. Smith has one date every year reserved for his honor in his hometown of Pensacola, Fla. The day after Smith was drafted by the Cowboys, Pensacola declared that April 23 every single year would be Emmitt Smith Day.

  1. A chance meeting

Smith has been married to his wife, Pat, since 2000. Pat is a former Miss Virginia who was Miss USA runner-up in 1994. She had previously been married to comedian Martin Lawrence. The two met when they ran into each other a music festival in Aruba. After, they began dating long-distance immediately.

  1. “Scoey”

Smith’s nickname among his family growing up was “Scoey.” Comedian Scoey Mitchell was his mother’s favorite entertainer. The name was a way to differentiate the youngest Smith from the three generations of Emmitt Smiths.

  1. Going back to college

“I promised my mom if I left school early, I’d come back and get my degree,” Smith told the University of Florida Alumni Magazine. “I wanted to get that done.”

  1. Architect dreams

Before he became a star with the Cowboys, Smith dreamed of being an architect, according to a story in The Dallas Morning News from 1993. After he retired, Smith didn’t become an architect but he came close. In 2013 he became the President and CEO of Emmitt Smith Enterprises, an umbrella company that includes Smith’s real estate firm and his construction company, which specializes in commercial construction.

He left in June 2017 and is now attempting to open a sports shop at DFW International Airport.

  1. Back on TV

Smith made fun of his Dancing with the Stars appearance during a cameo on the CBS show How I Met Your Mother. In it, a character asks him who won the Super Bowl. Smith says that once you win two or three of them you stop paying attention. He’s then asked what’s more important than football?

“Dance, my friend,” Smith said. “Dance.” You can check out the super-low quality scene below.

That wasn’t his only cameo on TV, either. He appeared on a CSI: Cyber episode in 2016.

  1. Poker contender

Smith competed in the 2011 Heads-Up Poker Championship. He beat professional poker player David Williams in the first round, then lost to gambler Andrew Robl in the second round. Robl went on to the semifinals before he lost to eventual champion Erik Seidel.

Roger Staubach Jersey

DALLAS, Texas — Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach sees some of the same leadership qualities and penchant for comebacks in current quarterback Dak Prescott that he had in his storied career.

Staubach took time at the Children’s Cancer Fund 2019 model photo shoot to answer questions about the moxie and flair for the comeback that Prescott has displayed in the 2018 season.

“This team believes in Dak Prescott,” Staubach said in an exclusive to WFAA.com. “And, so, that was important to me, and I see how important it is to Dak because he’s their leader. He’s a winner. He makes big plays when you have to make big plays.”

Prescott’s big game heroics were on full display in the Cowboys’ 24-22 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5 in the wild-card playoffs. The third-year field general from Mississippi State completed 22 passes on 33 attempts for 226 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

The enduring image of Prescott’s never-say-die attitude spirit was a draw on third-and-14 from the Seattle 17-yard line with the quarterback flipping head over heels over safety Tedric Thompson to score a touchdown. Prescott was a yard short, but the effort was part of the rehabilitation of Prescott’s image from a hesitant signal caller in the middle of the season to a confident gunslinger in the playoffs.

“I was very confident and I felt like I could win but you have to transfer that confidence to your teammates,” said Staubach, who led Dallas to two Super Bowl victories in 1971 and 1977. “And I think Dak really does that. I think I was able to do that, that they believed in me.

“If they don’t believe in you as a quarterback, you’re in trouble.

Troy Aikman, who called the wild-card game against Seattle, also sees some of the same traits in Prescott.

Said Aikman: “I think that he has shown an ability to win games late, much like [Staubach]. And that’s a quality not everybody has, and he’s shown to have that even in games where he has shown not to have played his best. I think that’s the greatest quality as it inspires teammates. It lets him know that no matter what, no matter what’s happened in the game, they can come back and win.”

The Cowboys take to the road in the divisional playoffs with a showdown against the Los Angeles Rams in the L.A. Coliseum Saturday. As a team that went 3-5 on the road this season, Prescott will have to instill that confidence in his teammates that they can get their fourth victory as the away team as they go toe to toe with Pro Bowl quarterback Jared Goff and All-Pro running back Todd Gurley.

“At the end of the day it’s a matter of your leadership and how much your teammate believes in you and we have a great quarterback in Dak Prescott,” Staubach said.

Do you share the belief along with Roger Staubach that Dak Prescott has the ability to get the job done when things are tight at the end of close games?