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.
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…
They’re wearing Rangers jerseys.
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.
- Kyle Orton Pulls a Romo to Eliminate the Cowboys From the Playoffs (GIF) (complex.com)
- Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Had a Bad Night (tsj101.com)
- Hatred of the Dallas Cowboys: How It All Happened (3dphillysports.com)