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The Truth Hurts, But I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way

Sometimes in life there are people who do really well and have all the luck, the looks and the money and barely lift a finger. Then there are average everyday people who work their asses off and live day to day, paycheck to paycheck and feel as if they are going nowhere.

Some of you may relate to one or the other, or even both. Or, maybe you are in the third division – lazy, poor, no-good-for-nothing… you get the idea. I’d like to think the majority of people are in the middle, like myself. Good, honest people who work hard for a living, and are always hoping for a better day, a better way.

To some football is just a game, for others its everything. Its a lot like life.

While I know and believe the Cowboys can do better, I also want to believe they work their tails off every practice and every game. But you know when you work your hands to the bone, putting in overtime and taking work home just to stay above water, yet you still fall short? All you can really do is keep fighting and praying to the Lord to give you the strength to keep fighting another day.

This season has been a rough ride so far. Six weeks into the season and I still don’t know who this team really is. With a couple of exceptions, the team has been very unstable. I’m all for a new hero and/or leader every week but when you go into the game unsure of who you can count on, it’s not a good thing.

Being a loyal fan to this team hasn’t been an easy job either this season. Dreading going into work because you don’t want to talk football around the water cooler has become all too familiar. Defending a team that can’t seem to finish the job can get extremely exhausting quick.

In each loss there was a chance to come back, but that right there is the one thing that makes a good team, a championship team. You have to be able to capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes and make the impossible happen.

There is nothing in this world that could ever change my allegiance to this team. I honestly believe its in my genes and running through my blood. Being a Dallas Cowboys fan is the only thing I have in common with the majority of my family, especially my father. I could never let it go, no matter what.

We’ve been through good times and bad. Although it seems lately all we hear about is the bad. But we are strong. We got through times with Terrell Owens, and Pacman Jones for heaven’s sake. We can take anything!

I have to admit, I thank God that Jerry Jones didn’t go for Michael Vick (but that’s another story, another time).

So while it may seem like I’ve been quiet, I’ve just been sitting back trying to get to know my team. I’m too optimistic, and more often than not, it ends up breaking my heart. But that’s who I am.

I get pumped up before every Cowboys game, and in my heart and soul I believe MY team is going to win every game. From the moment the game kicks off until the last whistle blows I don’t give up hope. I have never been able to turn off a game while its in progress and I don’t believe I’ve ever said the words, “My team sucks!” And, I never will.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to be critical of your team, or to be truthful when the truth hurts. I’m just saying that’s not me. To each their own, we all have our own way to celebrate or mourn, and I love all my Rowdy friends!

Cowboys – Steelers: Good vs. Evil

As regular readers of LonestarStruck.com surely expect, this is where I’d usually post some random news and/or talk a little smack about our upcoming opponents. Considering this week’s game is against longtime rival the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m sure many of you thought I’d unveil a masterpiece along the lines of “29 Reasons Dallas is better than Pittsburgh” or “Top Ten motorcycles that have thrown Ben Roethlisberger on his head.”

Sorry to disappoint.

I tried to do something like that but my heart wasn’t in it. Don’t misunderstand, I hate the Steelers, more than any team not from New York or Washington or a team that has a coach whose best wardrobe consists of cut up sweatshirts. But at the same time, I also have to respect them. When you look at the NFL, there are really two teams which stand out as the crown jewel franchises. One of course is the Cowboys while the only other choice has to be the Steelers.

Whenever a team is successful, you’ll find a segment of the country jumping on the bandwagon trying to feel like winners. This allegiance is always short-lived, ending as soon as said team stops winning Super Bowls. In the late 80s, 49er gear was all over the place. Has anybody bought red and gold merchandise in over a decade? When Green Bay and Denver had their brief moments in the spotlight, they garnered a smattering of nationwide support but most of that was pity and none of it was sustained over the years. As for the most dominant team of the 00s, nobody outside of New England cares one iota about the Pats except to hate them.

The only two truly national franchises are the Cowboys and the Steelers. People say that since the Cowboys call themselves “America’s Team“, that is typical of a an arrogant organization, it is also true you’re just as likely to find a Cowboy fan in Bangor, Maine or Butte, Montana as in Dallas, Texas. Likewise, “the Steeler Nation” extends far and wide as is evidenced by the waves of Black and Gold which invade road stadiums in numbers like no other.

So why do I hate them? Why can’t I establish mutual respect and leave it at that? Why does Batman hate the Joker? Why does Superman enjoy punching Lex Luthor in the mouth?

Why?

I think it might be because we are the same, but opposite. One is summer while the other is the winter. One is light while the other is dark. One is good while the other is evil. I think you can figure out which is which.

The Cowboys have always been “prime time and flash” filled with red carpet superstars. In fact we have been known to have players named “Primetime and Hollywood”. The Steelers on the other hand have always symbolized blue collar, hardworking, get your hands dirty type of team.

 Now I know the Cowboys have always been known as “one player is the franchise” or “one player is the centerpiece of our team” as most say was evident in Tony Romo this year or Terrell Owens last year going down and sent the team into a tailspin. Well, I will admit that in the 1990’s Jerry Jones put all his eggs basically in one basket when he created “the triplets”, but all they did was win 3 Super bowls in 4 years! The Steelers on the other hand have always been known as a franchise that prided themselves on one of the lowest salaried organizations and still produced great teams. They have always been about the whole being more than the sum of the parts. We may be a team known as a culture of individualism, but in the end we have as many pieces of hardware as the Steelers!

Many believe that Jerry Jones is the most arrogant irritating jackass of any owner in the NFL and you know there might be some truth to that. Jerry will admit that he and his Cowboys love living on Broadway. What is so wrong about having a team, a business, or anything that is the best it can be. The Cowboys are known worldwide in every walk of life. If you get TV or media print, you know the Dallas Cowboys!!

The Steelers say they rid themselves of evil before it tries to embed it self into their locker room or franchise. That is why the troubled Plaxico Burress is now the Giant’s problem. The Cowboys on the other hand seem to surround themselves with the “Tank” Johnsons. the “Pacman” Jones and others to just name a few. I like to think Jerry gives a great football player a second chance. Does it always work out? No not all the time but more times than not they have come to Dallas, had successful careers and ended up in Canton.

So Steeler fans, you can talk about your pure franchise, your subtle business-like owner with his “spend no money” style. I will not sit here and “knock” your team and say it is not one of most storied NFL franchises’ in the history of Pro Football. I would be crazy to think such thoughts. Just don’t knock ours because we were built on oil and not steel mills. We love Broadway and you love Pea Nut Butter sandwiches. 

Look, the moral of this story is just this. Sometimes good wins but occasionally evil is triumphant. In Super Bowl XXX  Michael Irvin and his band of madmen (as Steeler fans want to call us) handed the Steelers their lone Super Bowl defeat when as legend tells us Christian gentlemen/future astro turf salesman Neil O’Donnell was paid off by Jerry Jones threw two badly timed interceptions. Steeler fans want to believe that we are still paying for that win as we’ve never won another. That’s all fine, but after this weekend when we go into the house that steel built and beat the Steelers up; Good will then be expressed as Great and Evil will be known as “I wish I played for the Cowboys!

GO Cowboys!!  31-20

Veteran Star, Rookie Pro Bowler

Prior to this past season Greg Ellis never finished a season with more than nine sacks. Despite coming off a big injury in 2006, Ellis had an astonishing performance finishing with 12 1/2 sacks in 2007. He was awarded NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year for his amazing year that didn’t even begin until week 4.

During the off season last year, a lot of people wondered about Ellis’ allegiance to the Cowboys. He complained openly about wanting a contract renegotiation. Initially, he did not get his wish but right before his debut since his injury, $2 million was added to Ellis’ contract.

In his ten years with the Cowboys Ellis has had some bumps along the way, but in the end he has always come through as a dedicated player. He is known as a mentor and a role model on the field and in the locker room.

You’ve got to give credit to a veteran who can come off an injury like he did and have his best season as a professional football player. Ellis was honored to be finally be selected to play in Hawaii.

"It’s a great feeling to be honored, to be going to the Pro Bowl," Ellis said. "You can’t put too much on it. A lot of guys like myself that have never been and they should’ve gone, in my opinion. But when you’re number is called to go, it’s a tremendous honor."

Once again, congratulations to Greg Ellis, its been a long time coming!

*****

Check out this video clip of Ellis and Williams, the 12th and 13th Cowboys selected to this year’s Pro Bowl.

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80696539

NFL Network talks with Cowboys LB Greg Ellis and S Roy Williams