DALLAS — Dallas' sports landscape never ceases to make headlines, and the same was true in 2022.
From Texas high school football, to the Cowboys, Mavericks, Stars, Rangers, FC Dallas, pro golfers with Texas ties, there's plenty that happened worth highlighting.
Here are the biggest storylines, games and sports moments in DFW from 2022:
AT&T Stadium rumored to be replacement Super Bowl venue (didn't happen)
This was our most-visited sports article of the year. It had more than double the amount of visits than the second highest.
At the time, COVID-19 restrictions in California stirred up a conversation of possible replacement venues for the Super Bowl. Dallas' AT&T Stadium was among the rumored replacements.
Ultimately, the Super Bowl was still played in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, where the hometown Rams, led by DFW native Matthew Stafford, beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20.
Duncanville boys basketball team stripped of state title, girls team banned from playoffs this season
This was our second-most clicked on sports article of the year.
On Oct. 31, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced that the nation's top-ranked boy's basketball team, Duncanville High School, would have its 2022 state championship stripped. The UIL also said that the girls team was banned from this season's playoffs. These sanctions were sent due to recruiting and eligibility violations, according to the UIL.
Both coaches additionally received three years of probation, and they each were reprimanded by the executive committee. For more information, visit our article here.
A few weeks later, in mid-November, the Duncanville boys team opted out of postseason play, but said they would still play their regular season schedule.
Dallas Cowboys clinch playoff spot in 2022
The Cowboys started 2022 as the NFC East champ in the playoffs, but lost to No. 6 seed San Francisco 49ers, 23-17, in the Wild Card round.
Fast forward to this season, and the Cowboys are set for another playoff push, clinching a spot in the playoffs not because of a win of their own, but a Giants win over the Commanders.
We'll see how the playoffs shape out for the Cowboys in the beginning of 2023.
Jerry Jones... just Jerry Jones
Speaking of the Cowboys, there will always be stories surrounding Jerry Jones.
Whether it be updates to the paternity lawsuit Jones faces, or a car crash on Harry Hines Boulevard, the Cowboys owner and general manager remains in the Dallas headlines year after year.
Let's also not forget reports that have leaked from NFL owners meetings, such as the ESPN report about his "fiery exchange" with New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft.
Jones' weekly radio hits on Audacy's 105.3 The Fan keep Cowboys fans' ears peeled, too. In early December, Jones spoke on a congressional report that scrutinizes the Washington Commanders' handling of alleged workplace harassment and sexual misconduct incidents.
North Texas High School football dominance
There are 12 state championship games in the UIL from 1A to 6A. DFW-area schools claimed five of the 12 state titles.
Enough said. Domination from Dallas.
Dallas Mavericks playoff run to Western Conference Finals
The Dallas Mavericks outperformed expectations in the 2021-22 season on its playoff run to the Western Conference Finals. Perhaps the most entertaining playoff series of the entire league included Dallas' seven-game series against the Phoenix Suns, sparking a rivalry between Luka Doncic and Devin Booker.
After beating the Suns, the Mavericks ended up falling to the eventual NBA champion, Golden State Warriors, in five games.
Luka Doncic records 1st 60-point, 20-rebound triple double in NBA history
Doncic finished the 2021-22 season hot and brought that momentum right into the 2022-23 season.
In fact, Doncic recorded the NBA's first-ever 60-point, 20-rebound triple-double. Not even Wilt Chamberlain has done that. The all-time performance came in a remarkable comeback overtime win against the New York Knicks.
Dirk Nowitzki honored with statue on Christmas Day
On Christmas Day, before the Mavs took on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, Dirk Nowitzki was honored with a statue outside of the American Airlines Center.
The statue depicts Dirk making his famed one-legged fadeaway shot. The bottom of the statue reads: "Loyalty never fades away." That message has 21 letters, which represents Nowitzki's 21 years with the Mavs.
TCU becomes 1st Texas team to make College Football Playoff
TCU was not supposed to win the Big 12, let alone qualify for the College Football Playoff.
But alas, here we are, and the Horned Frogs are the No. 3 team in the country, set to take on the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines. Led by Heisman finalist Max Duggan, the Horned Frogs became the first Texas team to qualify for the College Football Playoff.
WFAA's Jonah Javad caught up with Duggan just days before the CFP semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl. You can watch that conversation here.
And then there was the rise of the Hypnotoad.
Aaron Judge breaks home run record in Arlington
It was a record that was on watch for a week: Aaron Judge hitting the 62nd homerun of the season, breaking Roger Maris' American League record for home runs in a season (61).
Fate would have that iconic sports moment happen in Arlington, just days before the end of the regular season. Yankees fans donated to the Rangers Baseball Foundation "for being a great team and actually pitching to Judge this series and allowing him a chance to break the record unlike other teams."
The ball, caught by Dallas native Cory Youmans, sold at a New York auction for $1.5 million.
Texas Rangers re-tool with Bochy, DeGrom signing, others in offseason
Speaking of the Rangers, their 2022 season did not play out the way fans would have hoped – 68-94 to finish 4th place in the AL West division – but the future seems to be bright.
A positive turn started for the Rangers after announcing that three-time World Series winning manager Bruce Bochy would take over the club. The Rangers and Bochy agreed to a three-year contract in October. Bochy led the San Francisco Giants to World Series titles in 2010 (over the Rangers), 2012 and 2014. Bochy replaced Chris Woodward, who was fired this season after three-plus losing seasons with Texas.
Then, the Rangers continued to open up its checkbook. Last offseason, the Rangers spent over half-a-billion dollars to bring in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Kole Calhoun and Jon Gray.
The spending did not stop: top pitching free agent Jacob DeGrom signed with the Rangers for five years worth $185 million. Texas continued to add to its pitching with the additions of Andrew Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi.
Dallas announced as World Cup 2026 venue, 2022 World Cup Texas ties
This fall, the world's eyes were on Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. The U.S. Men's National Team (USMNT) was littered with Texas ties, including multiple players who either grew up in North Texas or were part of the FC Dallas program at some point in their careers.
The USMNT were eliminated from the World Cup in the Round of 16 by the Netherlands, which then shifted everyone's attention to the next World Cup in 2026.
The United States, Canada and Mexico will collectively host the 2026 World Cup, and DFW is one of the host venues selected. AT&T Stadium in Arlington was named one of the US venues, and has been rumored to be the World Cup Final site. FIFA is not expected to make an official announcement of the World Cup Final site until 2023.
Magical sports moments in Uvalde after school shooting
As the Uvalde community continued to mourn the 21 lives lost in the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary, sports – once again – gave people an escape from reality and something to cheer for... even if it was for only a few hours of a game.
The first athletic event since the shooting was a volleyball match against Lytle High School. Before the match, Lytle held a moment of silence for the 21 victims of the shooting and presented Uvalde with 21 roses to honor the 19 children and two teachers who were killed.
Then, in the school's first home football game, the Lobos won in dramatic fashion, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with only 12 seconds left. This home game victory came after Uvalde had won their first game of the season on the road against Carrizo Springs scoring... 21 points.
Texas dominates Red River Showdown
The Red River Showdown never disappoints, and while the game was a blowout this year, it still made history.
The Longhorns shut out the Sooners, 49-0, for the first time since 1965 – nearly 60 years! Texas was led by former Southlake Carroll star, Quinn Ewers, who threw for 289 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
FC Dallas returns to MLS Cup Playoffs
FC Dallas returned to the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2022 in the first year under head coach Nico Estevez, and the club notched a dramatic penalty shootout win over Minnesota United FC in the first round.
Alan Velasco stepped up to the spot and showed he had massive cajones scoring with what's called a "panenka."
You do a panenka penalty kick when you're winning... not with the game on the line in a shootout of a playoff match. But not Velasco. He pulled out the cheeky move – invented by Czech player Antonín Panenka, who introduced it to the world in the UEFA Euro 1976 final – and sent FC Dallas fans into a frenzy.
FC Dallas lost the next week on the road to Austin FC.
Shaq buys a house in Dallas-Fort Worth
If we've learned some things this year, one of them is that y'all love Shaq. So many stories written about Shaq were among our top articles of the year, including this one where he purchased a home in DFW.
Realtor Zac Gideo confirmed to WFAA that the basketball hall of famer and NBA analyst for TNT purchased a home in Collin County.
McKinney resident wins Wimbledon girls' title, becomes 2nd American to win in 30 years
A 16-year-old Texan made her mark overseas, taking home a title in a marquee tennis event.
Liv Hovde of McKinney won the Wimbledon girls' title in July after beating Luca Udvardy of Hungary 6-3, 6-4 on No. 1 Court. With the win, Hovde became the only the second American girl to win the title at the All England Club in the last 30 years.
Grab a drink and play some interactive soccer games. Here's TOCA Social, coming to Dallas in 2023
Coming in 2023: Think Topgolf... but with soccer balls and a simulator screen.
That's the essence of TOCA Social, a new immersive soccer experience coming to Dallas in 2023.
TOCA Social is opening its first ever location in the U.S. after a successful campaign in London. TOCA Social describes itself as "the world’s first interactive football and dining experience, combining immersive gaming and world class food and drink."
In the Dallas Design District, a one-story, 36,000-square-foot office space will be renovated into a three-story, 57,000-square-foot entertainment destination. Locals will recognize the building from its Tin Man water tower, which will be retained in the design. Dallas' location will feature 34 TOCA boxes to play soccer (27 boxes on the first level and seven on the second level) and four bars for food and drinks.
North Texas HS swimmer breaks record held by legendary Olympian Michael Phelps
Swimming and Michael Phelps are synonymous.
When you think of elite swimming, how can you not think of the most-decorated Olympian of all-time? Twenty-eight Olympic medals... 23 of them gold.
Phelps has collected records throughout his career, but one of them was just beat by a North Texas high school sophomore.
Swimming for Lakeside Aquatic Club at the 2022 Winter Junior Nationals competition in Austin on Dec. 9, Keller High sophomore Maximus Williamson broke one of Phelps' records.
Williamson posted a time of 3:39.83 in the 15-16 National Age Group 400-Meter Individual Medley, breaking the 2002 record set by Phelps of 3:42.08, according to Keller ISD.
Williamson competes for the Keller High School swim team when he's not swimming for the Lakeside Aquatic Club.
WrestleMania 38 reigns supreme at AT&T Stadium with highest-attended crowd ever
Wrestlemania 38 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas was the highest-attended and highest-grossing WWE event in the company's history.
According to the WWE, 156,352 fans from every U.S. state and 53 different countries came to Dallas to attend the event. The previous record was held by WrestleMania 32, which was also held in AT&T Stadium.
Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, told WFAA that WrestleMania 38 would bring the DFW area "in tune of over $200 million in economic impact."
A North Texas pro golfer nearly died in a golf cart accident. He lived to tell his story.
Luke Kwon's livelihood is on YouTube: His journey as a pro golfer, his instructional videos, his matches with other pros, like Bryson DeChambeau.
But when Kwon settled in front of the camera in October, the subject wasn't golf. Instead, Kwon was talking about his life, and how he almost lost it.
"I almost died," the video title said. "(NOT CLICKBAIT)."
'Just mayhem': An oral history of one of the greatest Texas high school football games ever
30 years ago, two North Texas schools faced off in one of the best high school football games ever. And those who played it still remember it like it was yesterday.
North Texas native Scottie Scheffler gets first major win at Masters
Two months after Scottie Scheffler finally broke through for his first PGA Tour victory, he capped off a most incredible 56-day stretch by making his fourth win the biggest of them all, the Masters by three shots over Rory McIlroy for his first major.
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