Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Dallas Cowboys: An Introduction

Let’s talk about something I know very little about but now that I’m an official Dallas resident, I obviously can. The Dallas Cowboys.

I should start this out by saying I didn’t grow up watching, following, or even being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. So there’s that (*as I write a blog post about them*).

I grew up in Austin in a family that lived, ate, breathed, and died for the University of Texas so my “pro team” was the Longhorns and the Longhorns only (this has since changed). In fact, I grew up with virtually zero interest in pro-football at all. However, growing up in Texas, the Cowboys were a constant presence and I was very aware and fascinated by their shininess and glamour.

When I was six, I had three crushes: Aladdin, Luke Skywalker, and Troy Aikman. Of course, this was 90’s Troy Aikman before he was promoting Rent-A-Center and his face was only in the beginning stages of its melting process.

I was of course extremely aware of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. CMT’s Making the Team has become a family tradition with my sister and my mom. (I’d call it a guilty pleasure, but let’s be honest. We’re not that guilty about it.)

I also knew that they hadn’t won in a really long time, but we’ll get to that later.
[Enter this classic joke: “What do you call 52 millionaires sitting around a TV watching the Super Bowl?” “The Dallas Cowboys.”]

Despite all this, a couple things held true (up ‘til now). I’d never been to Cowboy Stadium and I had never actually watched a Cowboys game before.

Since moving to Dallas, I’ve taken advantage of living in a town with pro-teams of anything. (FUN FACT: Austin is the largest city in the U.S. without any pro-sport team whatsoever.) Maybe it’s a subconscious desire for the community and identity that comes with it. The kind that’s passed down through generations—this is really the key difference between pro and college ball. With pro football, it doesn’t matter what school you attended or where your parents went. At the end of the  day, it’s for the love of the whole city. In fact, at the end of the day, it defines that whole city. It IS that city.
Through my curiosity about being a Dallas Cowboys fan and living in this great city, I’ve observed a number of things.

(DISCLAIMER: Absolutely none of these observations are new. In fact, these are observations made by someone approximately twenty years late to the party.)

1. You’re either a Dallas Cowboys fan…or you’re really, really, really NOT a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Apparently there is little to no grey area here. This became even more apparent to me when I told my dad that  I had been rooting for the Cowboys this season and he was not thrilled out this at all—you know, as a full-blooded-born-and-raised Canadian hockey fan. My dad doesn’t even watch the NFL and even he has this stigma against the Cowboys.  He even texted me later saying, and I quote, “I can tolerate you being a Cowboys fan but you cannot be a Stars fan.” (Spoken like a true Canadian with priorities). Why is that? Why do people hate the Cowboys so much? Which leads me to number 2…

2. Is it really so much a stigma against the Dallas Cowboys or is it more a stigma against Dallas?

Dallas has never had a reputation as blue-collar or working class. When you think about the other cities with pro-teams (Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit, to name a few), they’re practically famous for their grit. Dallas is famous for its snobbery and its lack of hesitation to show it off.  Perhaps this the cause for the distaste for the Cowboys—no one really wants to root for the Ewings, struggling along as they are.

3. Cowboy Stadium/AT&T Stadium/Jerryworld/
technicallynolongerJerryworldbuteveryonestillcallsitJerryworld....is nothing until you’re actually face to face with it.  

I’m embarrassed to say I had never been to Cowboy Stadium before in my life until this past weekend for the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Baylor Show.  And holy moly. It’s a lot like this:

And this:

And speaking of Jerryworld...

 4. Everyone pretty much hates Jerry Jones. 


Again, I’m very embarrassed to admit I don’t know much about Jerry Jones (and AGAIN, for all my baffled DFW/North Texas friends, I did not grow up with any interest or alliance to Dallas or the Dallas Cowboys). Nevertheless, here’s my seemingly Martian impression of him, as influenced by my friends:

He’s a very toothy, fair-haired man of incredible wealth who did not just buy the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, but also unofficially named them the Jerry JerryBoys to play in Jerryworld on Jerryturf with Jerryballs, watching said Jerryboys from the highest tower of Jerryworld, stretching his arms wide open his Jerry realm every week from his glass-encased Jerry throne room and exclaiming, “Everywhere the light touches is my kingdom!”

Did I get that correct? Is that why my seat at the Tech-Baylor game typically runs for about $500 on a regular Cowboys game day? Is he the reason the Cowboys haven’t seen true Cowboys glory in twenty years?


5. People seem to blame a lot of different people for the Cowboys not winning.

Now, I’ve watched quite a few Cowboys games this season—and honestly, this is my first season to watch the NFL at all. There has been some devastating losses, but… it’s not like they’re terrible. I understand. “A win is a win” and no matter how good a game is, if you lose, you’re still the loser. Now granted, I have not watched previous seasons before so maybe I should stop talking about things I know nothing about. But when the Cowboys lose, it’s always because of someone. Like, literally one person.  Tony Romo (But that comes with the job). Jerry Jones for being Jerry Jones. Jessica Simpson back when she was dating Tony Romo and God forbid, coming to see games.

Perhaps we should blame the lack of Cowboys success on more reasonable things. Like the $10 Miller Lite. Or Crest for the number of Whitestrips the cheerleaders go through weekly, Jerry Jones' retainer…

In fact, just for fun, I say we just start blaming random ass objects.

“UGH, THE COWBOYS LOST? SO TYPICAL. DAMN YOU...STUPID COLLAGE PICTURE FRAME I BOUGHT THURSDAY WITH THAT 50% OFF COUPON FROM HOBBY LOBBY. I knew I shouldn’t have signed up for their email list. Because of this stupid collage frame, Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry when I was three years old and I now have a perfect place to showcase my wonderful memories, this is BULLSHIT.”

…….So on that note, keep up the good work, Cowboys! I hope I get let into your club now? #NoDisrepectBenAffleck

Dud out,



  2. If it makes you feel better, I know NOTHING about the Cowboys, and I've lived in DFW for the last 5 years. Literally nothing.

  3. Caroline--I loved your impression of the Beloved Cowboys!! Yes, I've known about the Cowboys long before King Jerry fired Landry and have feigned excitement more years than you've been alive but now that I live without "a man" in my life, I don't have to pretend! Keep on writin' girl!!