The Dallas Cowboys.
People either love them or loathe them.
I first saw the Dallas Cowboys on television one summer holidays when I was eight years old. We were holidaying at Portarlington and it was at the end of a hot summer’s day spent at the beach and later, seemingly endless games of cricket in the caravan park’s grounds as the heat of the day subsided and the evening breeze off the bay cooled everyone down. The air was filled with that distinct mix of sea air, after-sun lotion and BBQ’d meat. It was late in the evening, and I sat transfixed to the telly watching my first taste of NFL. I still can’t explain why, but from that moment on, I was hooked. Hooked on both the code – giants charging at each other with helmets and pads on – and the Dallas Cowboys.
My love affair with Dallas coincided with the reign of Tom Landry and the famed “Doomsday Defence”. I probably saddled up my NFL allegiance with the Cowboys when Doomsday II, and Landry’s genius had peaked, so it was hardly like I was jumping on a winning combination. By the mid 80s Dallas were whipping boys. Along with the Pittsburg Steelers post-Terry Bradshaw, there was a good deal of schadenfreude at seeing what had become of ‘America’s Team’. The AFC was mostly a battle between John Elway and the Denver Broncos versus Jim Kelly and Buffalo, while in the NFC, Joe Montana and his brutal 49ers outfit taking on Phil Simms’ New York Giants was must-see NFL. Dallas only rated a passing mention. What information I could glean about ‘America’s Team’ had me fascinated and their rivalry with the Steelers during the sixties and seventies was the stuff of legend.
Like Collingwood in the AFL and Liverpool in the EPL, the constant pronouncements of being ‘the greatest’ ring hollow when you’re not winning premierships/title/superbowls. And that’s exactly where the Cowboys find themselves at the moment. The current crop of players have managed to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at too many crunch-moments in the last decade or so, with the team perennially playing catch-up football in the hope of snaring an elusive wild card berth in the play-offs. And don’t opposition boosters let Cowboys fans know it!
Perhaps though, a fair bit of the sporting enmity directed at the Dallas Cowboys is likely linked to their owner, Jerral Wayne Jones Sr.
Having bought the Cowboys for $151million in 1989, he and one time partner Jimmy Johnson set about building one of the most formidable teams in NFL history that would go on to win three superbowl titles. When that relationship soured in the mid 90s, the Cowboys began another slide. Since then, while the dollars have poured in, the wins haven’t. But as the owner of a team now worth around $3 billion and an unerring belief in what he can achieve, and the man who’s fired six head coaches, you’re hardly likely to fire yourself, are you?
On the eve of the 2015 NFL season getting underway I came across this #longread over the weekend and felt it definitely worth sharing.
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, this is a great insight into how a successful mind operates. And while the ‘Boys may be the NFL’s most overrated franchises in terms of hype vs. performance, with a personal fortune in the billions of dollars Jerry Jones is a successful businessman no matter which way you shake it down.
After today’s disappointing loss to the 49ers at AT&T Stadium, its just another one of those moments where Cowboy fans sigh and remind themselves, we’ll always have these guys…
Enjoy this article in the meantime and giddy up you ‘Boys!
This article is not my work, it is the work of Don Van Natta Jr. I do not claim any copyright or ownership. I just think it’s a bloody good read.