Growing up in San Antonio, I have been more-or-less conditioned into being a Cowboys fan. It wasn’t something I chose per say, it was something that was bestowed upon me. As great as that has been at times, recently I have found myself in situations like the one I faced the other day when a friend asked:
“Why are you a Cowboys fan? The Texans are better and Houston is closer to San Antonio than Dallas is. The Cowboys can’t even make the playoffs.”
It wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but as the salt dissolved into the fresh and gaping wound that was Tony Romo’s 4th quarter interception against the Redskins in week 17, I decided to take a stand. I looked the man right in the eyes and I told him…
“I’m going to write an article about this.”
And I did write it. This is it. My attempt to defend my stance as a Cowboys fan. A desperate overture to those of you who may, like myself, be staring longingly over the fence that separates the barren wasteland known as Cowboys fandom from the lush tropical Eden where Texans fans go to watch the game on Sunday.
The truth is, my friend had a point. For the past two years, the Texans have drastically outperformed the Cowboys. Arian Foster has become one of the most dominant backs in the league, and the Schaub-Johnson connection is still going strong. They’re a great team with a ton of potential, and they’re using it to battle the Patriots for a shot at the AFC Championship.
The Cowboys have the potential, but when it comes to using it they fall flat on their faces.
“Come on, Andrew.” you’ll say, “You should be happy that the Cowboys are competing for a playoff spot each year!”
You know, that may be acceptable in your hometown of Glendale, Arizona, friend. Things are different here. With six Heisman trophy winners, six college national championships, three AFL titles, five Super Bowl wins and 24 pro Hall of Famers, it goes without saying that Texas is the authority when it comes to this particular sport. We take it very seriously.
So seriously, in fact, that the average attendance of a Cowboys home game is 88,531 - highest in the NFL, and about 8,000 more than the next highest average, 80,495 for the New York Giants.
Fan loyalty like that doesn’t come cheap. For more than 50 years, the Cowboys have been doing it right. They have been to the Super Bowl eight times, which is tied for most in league history. They’ve won the Super Bowl 5 times, which is the second most in league history. Troy Aikman. Larry Allen. Tony Dorsett. Michael Irvin. Don Meredith. Emmitt Smith. Roger Staubach. All Cowboys.
Now let’s shift our focus to the Texans. Super Bowl wins: zero. Super Bowl appearances: zero. Playoff appearances: two. Not impressed.
The Texans may be making a bit of a run, Tony Romo may be the league leader in choking, and Houston may be closer to San Antonio than Dallas is, but a couple of good years and some exciting players doesn’t trump half a century of NFL greatness. The Cowboys are right up there with the Packers, the Giants, the Bears and any other top team in NFL history.
From where I’m standing, hopping the fence into Reliant Stadium’s paradise looks tempting, but my loyalty is with America’s Team.
Andrew heads up the data, analytics and editorial content for SeatCrunch. You can follow him on twitter @AndrewPomo or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.