NFL releases full regular-season schedule
NEW YORK ó The Dallas Cowboys will open their new $1.1 billion stadium in a nationally televised Sunday night game against the New York Giants on Sept. 20.
The NFL released its complete 2009 regular-season schedule Tuesday. The Cowboys lead all teams with six scheduled nationally televised games.
Reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh meets division rival Baltimore twice in five weeks late in the season after they faced off in the AFC title game. They play Nov. 29 and Dec. 27.
The NFC champion Arizona Cardinals, who were edged by the Steelers in the Super Bowl, are scheduled for three national TV prime-time games: Sept. 27 at home against Indianapolis; Oct. 25 at home vs. the Giants; and Dec. 14 at San Francisco.
“I think it is a little bit like the Pro Bowl,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We had five guys in this year because it was a sign of respect for what we are doing. And hopefully that is an indication that people are looking at us as a team maybe of interest, which hasn’t necessarily been the case ó on a national level is what I am saying ó so that is exciting.”
On Oct. 11, the Patriots take on Denver and former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, now the Broncos’ coach. New England renews its rivalry with the Colts on Nov. 15.
The NFL had already announced the opening weekend’s prime-time games. The Steelers begin their title defense Thursday, Sept. 10 against the Titans.
The first Monday night game features the Patriots ó in what they hope is Tom Brady’s return ó against the Bills in Terrell Owens’ debut with Buffalo. Also that night, the Chargers are at Oakland as the league pays tribute to the American Football League, which would have been 50 years old in 2010. All four of those teams are original AFL franchises.
New England also plays Tampa Bay in London on Oct. 25, with the Buccaneers as the host team.
The Bears, with new quarterback Jay Cutler, are among the teams with five nationally televised games.
It was McDaniels’ pursuit of then-Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel that led to Cutler’s fallout with the Broncos. McDaniels will face Cassel when Denver plays the Chiefs on Dec. 6 and Jan. 3.
BILLINGS, Mont. ó Former NFL player Travis Henry has signed a plea deal with prosecutors in which he admits to a single cocaine conspiracy charge in exchange for two other charges being dropped.
Under a plea deal filed with the court, the 30-year-old Henry will admit to conspiracy to possess at least 11 pounds of cocaine with intent to distribute the drug.
If U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull accepts the plea, Henry faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, $4 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
RICHMOND, Va. ó Suspended NFL star Michael Vick has begun the third leg of his trip back to a federal penitentiary in Kansas.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons Web site showed Tuesday that Vick has left the federal prison in Atlanta. Vick was held in a local jail for several days after he was brought to Newport News to testify at his bankruptcy hearing earlier this month.
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