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Cowboys fan gets prize of a lifetime (w/video)

Jan. 30, 2014 at 12:01 a.m.
Updated Jan. 29, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Mark Tamez is all smiles in his Cowboy Party Room after learning that he won the Dallas Cowboy "Draft Day" Package from a lottery scratch-off ticket.

DALLAS COWBOYS 'DRAFT PARTY' PACKAGE

• The opportunity to go inside the War Room on Draft Day for an inside look at the Dallas Cowboys draft player evaluation and strategies by Jerry Jones.

• Transportation on the Dallas Cowboys Luxury Bus to the official Dallas Cowboys Draft Party.

• Two VIP passes to the Dallas Cowboys Draft Party.

• Airfare travel for winners/guests outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area (from the nearest major international airport) for two or ground transportation for winners/guests within the Dallas/Forth Worth area for two.

• Hotel accommodations for two for one night.

• Meet and greet with a Cowboys legend (former player).

• Breakfast and Draft review with Dallas Cowboys media personality.

Source: dallascowboys.com

Quite a few fans would love to give Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones some advice.

Mark Tamez will get the opportunity to do just that.

The 52-year-old Victoria resident and his wife, Denise, will be in the Cowboys' "War Room" with Jones and other team personnel on the first day of the NFL Draft on May 8.

Tamez won the NFL Draft Party package worth more than $66,000 in the Texas Lottery Cowboys' scratch-off second-chance drawing.

"I wanted to win the wild weekend or the draft day party," Tamez said. "To win the draft day party - I'm like, 'Come on man, you can't buy that."'

Tamez is the owner of Bail Bonds Hotline of South Texas and a self-confessed Cowboys fanatic.

He has a media room in his home decorated with Cowboys memorabilia that features three TVs and two levels of couches, one of which is where he and his 5-year-old daughter, Ciara, sit to watch the games.

The room includes Fatheads, framed autographed photos, and signed jerseys of Emmitt Smith and DeMarcus Ware, who is Ciara's favorite player.

Denise and Mark attend one Cowboys game a year at AT&T Stadium. They sit a few rows under Jones' box so Mark can high-five the owner when the Cowboys score.

"We love the stadium," Tamez said. "When I go, I wear a Roger Staubach jersey. I'm old school Cowboys."

Tamez is on the road for business and will buy Cowboys lottery tickets when he stops to get gas or refreshments.

He bought the winning ticket in Columbus and got the good news the day before Christmas.

"My wife got the letter," he said. "Ciara and I were sitting here watching a movie. She comes in and she's screaming. I asked her what was the matter and she said, 'I think you won the lottery.'"

Winning the grand prize did not come without some anxious moments.

The Tamezs went to Houston the day after Christmas and checked online and saw he had won an autographed Dez Bryant jersey, but somebody else had won the draft day prize.

Tamez may have been one of the few people to be upset about winning an autographed Cowboys jersey, until he called the lottery commission.

"As it turns out I had won the grand prize in the last drawing," he said. "I was actually the first runner-up. You have 30 days after you win to claim the prize. The other guy didn't claim the prize. So I won the grand prize and an autographed jersey."

Tamez and his wife will fly to Dallas on Wednesday, May 7 to attend a pre-draft VIP party with former Cowboys.

They will start draft day - Thursday, May 8 - by attending the media breakfast before going into the team's "War Room" where the pick is made.

"I went online and looked at last year's winner," Tamez said. "He was taking pictures with Jerry Jones' Super Bowl ring. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it. I'm ready to go."

Tamez has received all kinds of advice about who the Cowboys should select with the 17th pick in the first round.

"There's not one person who has said anything about offense," Tamez said. "Every single suggestion from every one of my relatives, friends and everyone is 'Tell Jerry we need defensive linemen and a safety.'"

Tamez has his own suggestion for the owner in mind, but it's not likely to get a good reception.

"There's a few things I would like to tell Jerry Jones," Tamez said. "Can I be your general manager? I've coached for a long time. I coached in the CYFL and I coach the Victoria Kings select baseball team. He needs to hire a general manager."

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at advosports.com

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