Outspoken Dallas sports anchor Dale Hansen announces retirement with parting jab at Cowboys

·3-min read

After 38 years of speaking his mind on the Dallas airwaves, Dale Hansen is calling it quits.

The 72-year-old WFAA sports anchor and commentator announced on Tuesday that he's retiring in September. He did so with a jab at a frequent subject of his criticism — the Dallas Cowboys. 

“There's an old proverb that says all good things must come to an end, and it's true, all good things do,” Hansen said, per WFAA. “I've been waiting 25 years for the Cowboys to win another Super Bowl, and I can't wait anymore.”

Hansen covered the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers and Stars after joining WFAA in 1983. He also worked as a color analyst on Cowboys radio broadcasts during their early 1990s run of three Super Bowl wins. But he's best known nationally for his stark commentary on sometimes difficult subject matter.

Hansen frequently challenged Jerry Jones

In 2018, he took on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over his hard-line stance prohibiting Cowboys players from protesting during the national anthem. 

"Our policy is that you stand for the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones famously said amid the height of NFL's national anthem controversy.

When Hansen witnessed Jones wearing his hat in breach of anthem protocol during a rendition of the national anthem at Cowboys practice after making that statement, he had this to say:

“Jones loves and respects the national anthem so much, that when it was being played before the start of practice Saturday, he left his cap on. And when he was told about the mistake he was making, he still left his cap on.

"He who makes the rules, apparently doesn’t have to follow them.”

Hansen never hesitated to challenge Jones, frequently criticizing him for topics ranging from on-field Cowboys failures to the team's 2015 decision to sign Greg Hardy in the wake of violent domestic abuse charges. 

"Hardy’s jersey is being sold in the Cowboys’ online pro shop now," Hansen said in a 2015 video essay. "You can get one for your sister or daughter and then explain to her that Hardy beats up women, but we’re cheering him now. Because he’s really good on gameday."

Hansen credited with breaking one of college sports' biggest scandals

On Tuesday, WFAA celebrated Hansen's strong takes on other subjects like gun control, the COVID-19 pandemic and former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, whose courage Hansen lauded after he came out as gay prior to the 2014 NFL draft. 

Before gaining recognition for his commentary, Hansen won a Peabody Award for Distinguished Journalism for his 1986 reporting on the SMU football recruiting scandal. SMU suffered the only instance of the NCAA "death penalty" in football when the program was barred from competition during the 1987 season. 

Loved or hated in the frequently heated Dallas intersection of sports, politics and social issues, Hansen's voice is one that will be certainly be missed.

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