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Cowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys

Sports guys Mike Doocy, Matt Barrie, Dale Hansen, Babe Laufenberg

Recurring budget-slashing and downsizing at D-FW's four major TV news providers of course hasn't curtailed the gang coverage of the Dallas Cowboys training camp in San Antonio. They'd pay the freight to Timbuktu if need be.

All of the primary sports anchors are on-site in San Antone, even though NBC5's Newy Scruggs wasn't a part of his station's Thursday, 10 p.m. chronicle. Instead Matt Barrie carried the ball from the Fort Worth studio.

Watching all four of 'em left this overall impression. CBS11's Babe Laufenberg helmed the meatiest presentation, WFAA8's Dale Hansen again covered himself almost as much as the Cowboys and Fox4's Mike Doocy made it clear that both he and some viewers miss what used to be the nightly "Doocy's Doozy."

Let's look 'em over:

More than his rivals, Doocy highlighted the "hazing ritual" that requires rookies to sustain godawful haircuts administered by Cowboys veterans. Guard Greg Isdaner clearly came out the worst, looking like a cross between Larry of The Three Stooges and Terry Bradshaw.

"Guys being good sports about it, but then again they don't have any choice," Doocy opined before being convulsed by something or other while he slap happily introduced his taped interview with Cowboys receiver Patrick Crayton.

Crayton, who has aspirations to be a broadcaster, interviewed Doocy and told him, "I miss 'Doocy's Doozies.' Maybe we'll have 'Crayton's Crazies' or something like that."

Doocy then wound up his segment by telling the news anchors back home, " 'Doocy's Doozies.' They ask me about it wherever I go."

He's clearly not happy about not being able to do them anymore. But is anyone in management listening?

Scruggs had a live segment from San Antonio on the 6 p.m. newscast, but didn't stick around for the 10. So the always hyperkinetic Barrie did the deed during his station's typically truncated, two-part sports smidgen, the one with the big bloc of commercials in the middle.

Barrie noted that Cowboys QB Tony Romo pleasantly answered a few questions about his reported breakup with Jessica Simpson. Without really saying much, of course.

Romo understands the interest, but "I just prefer to keep certain things private and try to continue to live a semblance of a normal life off the field," he told a gaggle of reporters.

"Well, geez, I'm glad we got all that settled. Aren't you?" Barrie asked from afar before segueing to footage of those bad rookie haircuts.

"I didn't enjoy myself too much," said first-year hopeful Andre Douglas.

"They're gonna get cut anyway," Barrie then told news anchor Brian Curtis. The dude's got 'tude.

Hansen apparently had a bad experience with the local cuisine, prompting weathercaster Pete Delkus to jab, "How's the barbecue been, buddy? Is it treatin' you right?"

Live from San Antonio, Hansen emitted a horse laugh before vowing, "I'm never eating the barbecue in San Antonio again."

Wearing one of his more subdued Hawaiian shirts, Hansen then teased, "Today (Cowboys coach) Wade Phillips tells a funny story and makes me laugh. I believe this is what we call a Channel 8 exclusive. Wade Phillips makes ya laugh, next in sports."

First, though, came Hansen's taped interview with former Cowboys head coach Dave Campo, who led the team to three losing seasons and now is the secondary coach. He's "always been one of my favorite guys," Hansen first informed viewers. Well, good for him.

The nightly "One-Minute Drill" found sports reporter/anchor Joe Trahan not getting all that much of interest out of defensive back Ken Hamlin. But we did learn that former Denver Bronco Steve Atwater was his favorite player as a kid, and that his childhood nickname was "Mudbone."

Finally came the Phillips funny business after Hansen noted that the slow-talking coach "has actually made me laugh twice. He's not a funny man. I think most people will tell you that. That doesn't make him a bad guy, but he's not a funny guy."

All right, all ready. Tell the damned story.

Phillips, on tape, then told Hansen that a guy had approached him in a store and said, "Hey, I know who you are." This prompted Phillips to reply, "OK, who am I?" To which the guy supposedly said, "Dale Hansen."

Well, they're both corpulent and snowy haired. But Hansen noted that he's at least three inches taller than Phillips.

Delkus then put a bow on it, telling news anchor John McCaa, "Three inches taller -- not necessarily in height."

And there you have it, WFAA8's Cowboys/Hansen coverage. Not necessarily in that order.

Laufenberg, admittedly horrible as a Cowboys backup quarterback, is far better as his station's chronicler of all things Cowboys.

He began Thursday with a Romo segment that made no mention of Simpson. The Cowboys' late season collapses instead were Topic A, with Romo contending that "this team has recognized before the pitfalls of thinking of December and January and things of that nature."

"And things of that nature?" Was Romo also perfecting his Arnold Schwarzenegger impression?

Laufenberg then touched on the rookie haircuts before sports reporter/anchor Gina Miller had a thorough report on Bob Hayes, the late Cowboys receiver who at last will be inducted into the national pro football Hall of Fame this weekend.

It was a good mix of archival footage from Hayes' playing days and fresh interviews with Roger Staubach (who will induct him), former Dallas Morning News sports reporter Frank Luksa and current DMN pro football expert Rick Gosselin. Good stuff, and easily the most interesting and informative Cowboys reporting of the night.

So on our scorecard, it's:

Laufenberg/Miller -- A-minus
Doocy -- C
Hansen/Trahan -- C-minus
Barrie -- Incomplete. (But then NBC5's 10 p.m. sportscasts always are.)