Cover Story – Jane Slater

Cover Story – Jane Slater

When AVIDGOLFER last checked in with Jane Slater, the year was 2004. Jane was a fresh-faced reporter for CBS 11 here in Dallas and was working hard to cover local sports and other major events like the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA postseason and local golf tournaments such as the Byron Nelson and Colonial. Now, a decade later, Slater has stayed the course, worked her way up and now covers the Dallas Cowboys for the NFL Network. Slater is a regular on the network, breaking Cowboys’ news during the regular season and the offseason, bringing Boys’ fans up to date on the latest draft targets, game stories and contract negotiations. You won’t fire up the NFL Network during the regular season and go a day without seeing Jane on the tube talking everything Cowboys. 

AVIDGOLFER Magazine took some time to hit the course, appropriately at Dallas Cowboys Golf Club, to talk to Slater about her journey to the big stage covering the Cowboys, her love for golf and her daily grind as an NFL insider. 

AVIDGOLFER: Were you always a sports junkie?

Jane Slater: I loved football. Every Sunday I watched the pregame shows with my dad. Not sure if I loved the game or just spending time with my dad, but that’s where it began. 

AG: Did you play any sports in high school?

JS: I “played” golf on the B team my senior year to get out of computer literacy. Needed the computer literacy more, but to be honest, I probably should have taken golf more seriously and I would be better than I currently am. 

AG: You have spent time at the news desk, on radio, and now covering the Cowboys nationally. You have worn a lot of different hats. How proud are you to be so well-rounded as a reporter and broadcaster?

JS: I was actually reflecting on this the other day because this is now my 20th year in media. There were so many times I thought I was at the end of the road or had gone as far as I could go. I just kept an open mind, saw every opportunity as an opportunity to grow, and I think it has really helped me be discerning in my news gathering and source building. I like to say: “A delay isn’t a denial.”

AG: Which of your previous career stops would you say best prepared you for your current role?

JS: My years as a local news reporter. You have to turn news quick, get to the heart of the story, and each day was a different story. 

AG: Have you always been comfortable in front of a camera?

JS: If I’m being honest, I was awful when I started. I sent 50 VHS tapes around the country and markets like Bangor, Maine, didn’t even want me. I’m grateful to have gotten my start behind the camera because I think I have a deeper appreciation of how to tell a story and how to advance one. 

AG: You are covering the Cowboys and the NFL now. Do you like just covering the NFL exclusively, or did you enjoy covering a wide variety of sports?

JS: I absolutely love covering the NFL. I love the relationships. I love seeing a rookie become a veteran. I love getting to really dig in and build trust. It’s hard to do that covering multiple sports. In fact, I’m pretty myopic these days. I couldn’t tell you one thing about the NBA or MLB. but Brad Alberts and the Stars have gotten me to buy in these days.

AG: When you have down time do you get to go to other sporting events locally?

JS: Been going to a lot more Stars games. I think Brad Alberts has done a dynamic job with their branding and in-game entertainment. He and his wife are so passionate about the game, and I’ve been lucky enough to get to attend a few with them these past two years.

AG: You are a local product. How much fun has it been to be able to cover the team you grew up watching?

JS: Ten-year-old Jane could never have imagined this. I remember going to the Super Bowl parades as a kid and watching my friends at CBS11, NBC5, FOX4 and WFAA covering them. To be able to call Tony Casillas a friend, do events with Troy Aikman, have Darren Woodson and DeMarcus Ware pick up when I call, and to know Jerry Jones is honestly surreal and I never take it for granted. I really consider it a privilege and consider it a responsibility to get the stories right and ask the questions the fans want.  

AG: Before we get to the Cowboys, how do you think your Longhorns will fare moving to the SEC?

JS: Top-five offense and defense …”In Sark I trust” Let’s go!

AG: Who are some of the broadcasters you look up to? 

JS: The list is long. In news, Diane Sawyer, Lesley Stahl, Christiane Amanpour, Larry King, Lara Logan. In sports, Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd, who have both been amazing advocates. Melissa Stark has also become a close friend.

AG: We are seeing more and more women making their way into the broadcast booth over the last several years. Women like Doris Burke, Jessica Mendoza, Jenny Cavnar and Leah Hextall. How satisfying is it to see more women taking on predominant broadcasting roles, and what advice would you give to a young lady who would like to eventually get to where you are at?

JS: It’s incredible. When I started there weren’t many opportunities and a lot of misogyny, quite frankly. Charean Williams was and has always been incredible to me locally. On the way up, not many women were, and I think it’s because there weren’t a lot of seats at the table. Best advice? Be prepared to hear “no,” don’t take rejection for a job or in a locker room during questioning personally and be fearless.

AG: What is the grind of covering an NFL team like?

JS: It’s 24/7 from July 23rd to mid-February, but I love it. 

AG: All that travel, do you work, watch Netflix or listen to music while on the plane?

JS: I am a Netflix queen.

AG: What’s the best part of being at Training Camp with the team?

JS: Really getting to know the players and their families. I also love all my colleagues. I always joke it’s like summer camp for us. I can’t wait to get back to Rudder Room. I may or may not owe the owner a beach chair after tackling Zack Wolchuk from the Fan on the beach after a few Coronas.

AG: You love to play golf. Is that something that you have always enjoyed? Or is that more recent?

JS: I love golf. I’m not great at it, but as I’ve gotten older and played more, I realize not a lot of people are. Four years ago, I had a great coach and called it my “Summer of Golf.” I need to re-dedicate myself and find the time.

AG: What are some of your favorite courses to play here locally? 

JS: Need a guest for your member/guest tournament? I’m your girl. Always a treat to mooch off friends and play TPC Four Seasons and Lakewood. Recently played out at the Retreat in Cleburne, and it felt like I was playing on a nature reserve in Austin. I also love me some of the local municipals like Tenison Park. 

AG: What is your best score so far in your golf career? 

JS: I am going to plead the Fifth. 

AG: Are you taking the sticks with you to California for training camp?

JS: I wish. 

AG: Who is your current favorite professional golfer?

JS: I used to love Adam Scott. Now, obviously, I am a big Scottie Scheffler fan. He wins the Masters and then goes to Inwood Tavern. He’s one of us. Charley Hull is a baddie, too. 

AG: Do you make it to the Nelson or Colonial when the PGA TOUR guys are in town?

JS: I, unfortunately, didn’t make it this year, but I go to the Nelson regularly. 

AG: It’s early, but how about an official prediction for the Cowboys this season?

JS: Hard to say … but maybe the year no one expects them to be special, they will. 

AG: Best food in an NFL stadium?

JS: Jerry’s World, not even close. The Mac and Cheese is elite. 

AG: Most hated Cowboys rival? 

JS: I can’t answer that as a reporter, but I would imagine most fans these days would say the 49ers.

AG: Mountains or beach?

JS: Beach, for sure. 

AG: Dogs or cats?

JS: I am a dog person

AG: X or Instagram?

JS: X.

AG: Are you into the beer, wine or the hard stuff?

JS: Beer, always.

AG: Most famous person you have ever interviewed?

JS: That’s a good question. Not to humble brag, but there have been a lot. Matthew McConaughey was pretty cool. I also really enjoyed talking to Terrell Owens on a podcast I did awhile back. He’s fascinating to me. 

AG: TexMex or Italian?

JS: Don’t ask me to choose my favorite child.

AG: Hit a flushed drive or make a 30-foot putt?

JS: I’d be happy with a 20-foot putt. 

AG: Team PGA TOUR or Team LIV?


AG: What is one aspect of your golf game you want to improve?

JS: All of it. 

AG: Thanks for the time, and good luck with the Cowboys this season. 

JS: Thanks. I am looking forward to it.