It should be little surprise in these parts that the most read story locally in 2016 by the Star-Telegram’s digital readers was about the Dallas Cowboys, aka “America’s Team,” and its owner, Jerry Jones.
Dallas Cowboys beat writer Clarence E. Hill Jr.’s column on Jones and the team’s quarterbacks — “Attention, Jerry Jones: Dak Prescott needs your love now, not Romo” — rose to the top of the charts on the analytics site Omniture this year.
The column decried Jones’ leaving the door open to Tony Romo as a starter after upstart Prescott’s poor performance against the New York Giants on Dec. 11. A sampling:
“Rather than offer unequivocal public confidence for his precocious rookie that the organization entrusted with the keys to the kingdom, Jones continued his lovefest for Romo on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday.”
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The column edged out another local story that attracted widespread attention: “State investigating allegations of voter fraud in Tarrant,” by Anna M. Tinsley.
The story was posted less than a month before the Nov. 8 election, raising concerns about voter turnout. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump declared voter fraud in Texas to be rampant. Local officials said at the time that workers with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office had spent time in Tarrant County gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses.
Coming in at No. 3 was the story earlier this month about the exodus of cops from the Dallas Police Department and the department’s feverish recruitment efforts. The department reportedly had a rising crime rate, troubled pension funds and low salaries compared to other cities.
At No. 4 was the story in August about champion calf ropers Tuf Cooper and Timber Moore being accused of rigging a lucrative rodeo at AT&T Stadium last year to guarantee themselves a cut of a possible $1 million prize.
The fifth most read story was about whether Texans would stand by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in his re-election bid in November after his non-endorsement of Donald Trump for president.
And that’s the way it was.