The 50 Most Powerful Peeps in DFW Sports: Take 7

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Power is subjective. But when you see it -- when you sense it's immense influence -- you just know it.

Each summer, as I construct my list of the 50 Most Powerful People in Metroplex Sports, the criteria gets a triple-digit tweaking. This year I deemed the allure of power thusly:

If they called a press conference this afternoon, who'd most get our attention.

For the first time since I began the list in 2005 the answer isn't an owner. While Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban and Tom Hicks have played Hackey Sack with the oh-so-modest honor before, this summer belongs to, fittingly, a guy who spent his entire season breaking molds and melting stereotypes:

Dirk Nowitzki.

He's the only local pro athlete this millennium to lead his team to a title. Besides, who else possesses the power to prompt fans to tattoo a likeness of his face on their ass?

Included on the list are former Cowboys coach Tom Landry (50), chiropractor to the stars Dr. Mary Collings (41), Ticket host Norm Hitzges (38), Mavs' GM Donnie Nelson (31), Rangers' closer Neftali Feliz (25), Big 12 commish Dan Beebe (19) and Cowboys' tight end Jason Witten (13).

For the Top 10, a drum roll please ...

10. Josh Hamilton -- Blue eyes be damned, reigning MVP influences fans with his bat, glove and faith.

9. Jon Daniels -- Hard to top last year's Cliff Lee trade that led to Texas' first World Series.

8. Eddie Gossage -- The face of NASCAR in Texas has crafted year-round racin' in Fort Worth.

7. Jon Heidtke -- Wouldn't recognize him on the street, but the Fox Sports Net Southwest senior vice president makes the Mavs, Rangers and Stars decisions you recognize nightly on TV.

6. Nolan Ryan -- Stronger than ever, Big Tex is the Rangers' most recognizable face.

5. Tony Romo -- When he's out of the news for too long it somehow becomes news.

4. Jason Garrett -- Shot of intense Red Bull is just what Cowboys need in wake of lethargic, underachieving Wade Phillips.

3. Jerry Jones -- Losing season, lousy Super Bowl in his stadium and the lockout have diminished his once unmatched aura.

2. Mark Cuban -- Earned a trophy and - by keeping a low profile during playoff run - garnered mucho respect.

1. Dirk Nowitzki -- His one-man struggle to the championship peak made the view even more remarkable.

See the full list in this week's Observer or at dallasobserver.com.

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