The Dallas Cowboys Are Losers

Update 12.30.13: Written in September…still true today….EF

“Sitting back trying to recapture,
a little of the glory of,
well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister
but boring stories of…glory days”
— Bruce Springsteen

The Dallas Cowboys are losers.

I don’t mean that pejoratively. I mean it statistically.

Many of us grew up with the Cowboys of the 70s. On my elementary school playground, we debated Morton vs. Staubach. We knew the players. They went to the playoffs every year, or so it seemed. They won two Super Bowls.

They did it again in the 1990s. “The Triplets.” Three more Super Bowls. A whole new generation of kids who grew up with the Dallas Cowboys as “winners.”

But like the Springsteen song, that’s just “glory days” now. The boring tales of another generation.

What about now?

Let me offer you a statistic that blew my mind when I realized it…

My daughter Maria is just about to be sixteen. (In a few weeks…)

During her lifetime, the Dallas Cowboys have won one playoff game.
They’ve only played seven during those sixteen years of her lifetime.

For comparison’s sake, in the sixteen years prior to her birth, the Cowboys played 25 playoff games, and won three Super Bowls.

My point is this: If you are a sixteen-year-old girl or boy –or any kid in the middle of your high school years here in the Metroplex– you have never known a “winning” Dallas Cowboys team.

You have seen the Texas Rangers go to two World Series’ and many playoff games.
You have watched Dirk and the Mavericks sing “We Are the Champions.”
Heck, you’ve even seen the Dallas Stars go to 25 playoff games and win a Stanley Cup.

The only local major sport franchise to not play in their sport’s championship event during your lifetime is the Dallas Cowboys.

This is what I mean when I say “The Dallas Cowboys are losers.”

Again, it’s not a value-judgment. It’s factual.

I can’t remember the last time I watched an entire Cowboys game.

I’m not entirely certain Maria ever has.

I remember watching religiously as a kid. As a kid, I recall hanging on ever play.

Now? The terrible truth is that I’m well beyond caring. I don’t hate the Cowboys. I really don’t. I can’t even despise Jerry Jones.

He is what he is. They are who they are. And it’s pretty clear that they are statistical losers. So why get upset about it? I didn’t break it. I can’t fix it…why worry?

Year after year, the Jones family goes for sexy position players, and neglects basic things like an offensive line. And so, year after year, the Cowboys end up losers.

“It is what it is.” Why let it upset you?

If I was Jerry Jones and his family, this would upset me. Because when people are angry, at least their still engaged. Anger’s not the opposite of love….apathy is. And, at this point, I’m apathetic about the Cowboys. If I was the Joneses, this would worry me very much.

But! If I was them, I’d be worried about so much more…

You see, when I look at the kids at my daughter’s school?

They’re wearing Rangers jerseys.
Red ones.
All over the place.
Boys and girls.

The kids I see? They wear Darvish and Dirk way more than Dez.

For example, when the Rangers signed Yu, my daughter wanted to rush out and get a Darvish jersey that day. It was to go along with the Kinsler jersey she already had at home. She’s crazy about Kinsler.*

All through summer, she looks at updates on the game scores on her phone, and will say things like “Dad, we’re up 2-1 in the eighth…”

She has never, ever updated me on a Dallas Cowboys score. As I said, I’m not sure she’s ever watched a complete Dallas Cowboys game.

I’m not sure, beyond Tony Romo, that she could name another Cowboy who might even have his name on a jersey. I know she’s never considered wearing one.

My point is that I have not failed as a parent. What’s happening is a very predictable shift away from the Cowboys among kids my daughter’s age. They will grow up remembering Dirk, Jet, Kinsler and Elvis. The average high school kid today has no idea who Miles Austin is.

It seems to me, were the Jones family, this would terrify me even more. I mean, sure, their franchise is still the most valuable out there. Sure, they are still selling a lot of a jerseys to…I don’t know…somebody…I’m not sure who.

But over these last sixteen years, they’ve lost the hearts and minds of an entire new generation.

So I won’t watch because it’s just all so boring and predictable. I’ve got better things to do with my Sundays now than watch an entire Cowboys game. I’ll check the highlights afterwards, and be totally unsurprised.

And all those high school kids won’t be watching either, because they never have. And I am starting to wonder whether they ever will.

Were I the Jones family, this final point would terrify me.

Way more than thousands of angry middle-aged white guys like me ranting about the “Glory Days.”

But what do I know?

*originally written in September of 2013.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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