REALITY CHECK: What Is It About Those Cowboys?
I am sure you all are well aware that Dallas Cowboys fans are everywhere. On Any-Given-Day, you would be hard pressed to not pass by at least one vehicle on the highway that is not emblazoned with a blue star of some sort or another. A quick walk through the mall or any sports apparel shop will reveal racks upon racks of Dallas Cowboys attire for sale regardless of the geographic location. This phenomenon makes perfect sense being that the Cowboys are currently ranked as the second most valuable professional sports franchise in the world with an approximate value of $1.81 billion and climbing according to Forbes magazine. Only England’s Manchester United at $1.86 billion exceeds the value of the “America’s Team”.
That being said, I am perplexed at times as to why the Dallas Cowboys are so valuable and popular. How is it that a team that has not won a Super Bowl since 1996 remained so admired? How is it that any team that has only won one playoff game since 1996 remained so fashionable and profitable? Why would the Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones build a $1.2 billion domed stadium for a team that hasn’t won anything for nearly two decades? Why are the Dallas Cowboys’ fans so loyal to a team that has been mediocre at best for such a long time?
Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with the Dallas Cowboys fans representing their beloved team be it on their vehicles, their clothing, or even with a flag on their front porch. My problem with some (not all) Dallas Cowboys’ fans is that they can be extremely obnoxious at times to say the least. This is ever apparent at my place of employment where the Dallas Cowboys fans pester me all of the time with their abhorrent air of superiority.
I must admit that the Dallas Cowboys were dynastic at one time but that was way back in the Jurassic era. The insufferable attitude of some Dallas Cowboys fans really amuses me at times because I cannot understand for the life of me how anyone can actually believe that the Cowboys are even remotely relevant in the NFL of 2012. HELLO! You guys have not won a Superbowl since well back into the last millennium! I’m sorry but it is time for a reality check.
I am all for a person having enthusiasm for whichever team they fancy and I applaud any individual that sticks with their team during the tough times. Trust me; I am an Atlanta Falcons fan and have been for most of my life so I know how to suffer through times of adversity with the best of them. I get very annoyed on the other hand by the band wagon fans that appear from nowhere claiming to be a lifelong fan of the current Super Bowl champion. For example, from what cave have all of these Green Bay Packers fans suddenly emerged? Where have all of the Superbowl “shuffling” Chicago Bears fans disappeared to? Don’t shoot me; I’m just the messenger being honest!
On New Years day 2012, the Dallas Cowboys’ season mercifully came to an end at the hands of division rival and long time nemesis the New York Giants. The 31-14 thrashing was led by the surprisingly Peyton-like Eli Manning who seemed to finally evolve into the elite quarterback many expected him to be when he was drafted. Eli being the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft came with some pressure to prove his worthiness. Passing for an impressive 346 yards, 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions, Eli Manning made Rob Ryan’s defense look totally inept at times. With missed tackle upon missed tackle, the Dallas Cowboy’s defense resembled the Keystone Cops more than the elite NFL defense many anticipated it to become under Ryan’s leadership.
Ostensibly, losing 4 out of their last 5 games does not speak well for the Dallas Cowboys future under head coach Jason Garrett who Jerry Jones has curiously given a complete vote of confidence. Perhaps it is time for Jerry Jones to re-evaluate HIS status as the General Manager of this once proud franchise and bring in a real football man to right the sinking ship. I believe that it is sometimes best for one to put their ego aside, admit that they are not omniscient and ask for a little help. This is especially true if you are drowning in the deep end of the pool and could use a little assistance from the well trained lifeguard that is readily available to come to your aid. Earth to Mr. Jerry Jones: Jimmy Johnson is available for the right price don’t you think?
The facts are that once again the Cowboys ended their season mired in a state of mediocrity with an 8-8 record and no playoff appearance. As it has become customary in recent decades, the Dallas Cowboys enter the off season with many questions to ponder as they go forth into 2012 and beyond. Is Jason Garrett a real NFL coach? Is the sometimes hapless Tony Romo the answer to the Cowboys quarterback needs? What if anything can be done to shore up the horrendous Dallas defense? Is Dez Bryant really worthy of wearing Michael Irvin’s number 88? Well all I can say is that it sure is mighty quiet here at work today; finally I can enjoy a Monday morning without having to suffer the aggravation of hearing “How Bout Them Cowboys”! The sound of silence is soooooo sweet and I must admit that I could really get used to this. But I know it will only be temporary.
As spring training 2012 gradually approaches and the Dallas Cowboys have faithfully licked and dressed their wounds; hope will eventually prevail. It’s as if the voice of the Reverend Jesse Jackson is perpetually whispering into the ear of each and every Dallas Cowboys fan: “Keep hope alive, Keep hope alive!” No matter how painful the memory of the previous NFL campaign was, just like a boomerang the Dallas Cowboys’ fans will be back looking to reclaim the glory long since faded into oblivion. “This could be the year!”, they will once again proclaim with loud confidence. “How Bout Them Cowboys!”, they will scream at the top of their lungs. Can’t be mad at them! But once again, I will just smile, shake my head and wonder to myself if they will ever learn. They really do need a Reality-Check!
Dean Nazaru McCray, Sports Editor
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