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NFL’s Jennings edges Ross in ‘Dancing’ finale

NFL running back Rashad Jennings and partner Emma Slater won the "Dancing with the Stars" finale on Tuesday, beating out former Cubs catcher and ESPN analyst David Ross and Lindsay Arnold.

Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei and pro dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy finished third in the wrap-up of the show's 24th season.

The 32-year-old Jennings, a free agent, spent the previous three seasons with the New York Giants.

The winner was chosen based on viewer votes and judges' points from last week and Monday, combined with judges' points from Tuesday night's 24-hour challenge.

Jennings follows in the footsteps of previous DWTS winners who played in the NFL: Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Driver. Jerry Rice finished second and Lawrence Taylor seventh.

At Wrigley Field on Tuesday, not long after the Cubs' victory, players gathered around clubhouse TVs waiting for the DWTS winner to be announced.

Ross has taken some ribbing for participating, and as the final commercials aired, the locker-rook mindset had changed little, if at all. Even his close friend Jon Lester — who just pitched a complete game — couldn't help himself.

"I'm surprised he's made it this far," Lester quipped. "I told him to take a fall in the first couple (weeks) and pull a hammy."

But like all his former teammates Lester was pulling for him. Slugger Kyle Schwarber even took a break from a postgame interview session to hear the winning couple.

After Ross survived the third-place announcement these Cubs were sure he would be named the winner. But unlike his final game of his career last November, Ross finished in second place.

Ross, the first baseball player to appear on the show, was seen as a longshot to get to the finals, but he was a favorite with the fans, and even won over the judges with his hard work and positive attitude.

On Monday, he said "Just being in the finals, one, is way more than I ever expected and the fact that I've got support from so many great people, and that they look up to me and watch this show and support me, just … I don't even have the words, just a lot of thanks."

Information from ESPN's Jesse Rogers was used in this report.


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