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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

Dallas signs Zach Thomas to One Year Deal

The Dallas Cowboys have signed veteran Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Thomas to a one year deal worth approximately 3 million dollars. It is expected that Thomas will compete with Akin Ayodele for the starting job come training camp. AKin Ayodele’s performance in the latter half of the season came into question as both his presense and tackles diminished as the season wore on. It is also no secret that Dallas coach Wade Phillips loves Zach Thomas and strongly believes he is still capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level. Thomas was offered a contract by both the Patriots and Saints before deciding to sign with Dallas this morning. Texas native Thomas also grew up a Cowboys fan. 

My Cowboys

After Sunday’s game to the Giants all I could do was sit there and cry. I wasn’t crying because they lost. I was crying because I already knew what was coming. The media would have a field day with bashing the Cowboys and Tony Romo once again. They would blame Jessica Simpson and the weekend getaway to Mexico for the loss instead of blaming the team as a whole.

Marion Barber did an awesome of job of moving the ball around to allow T.O to score the first touchdown, but we cannot forget the catch that Crayton failed to catch that would have earned the Cowboys a touchdown. Needless to say my tears were shed for the disrespect that the Cowboys will continue to endure after this disheartening loss. Once again those Cowboy haters will do nothing but talk about how Romo has been hyped up by many as being one of the best quarterbacks around the league, but he has not yet won a playoff game as his record stands at 0-2.

I moved to Michigan 7 years ago but my heart will always be in Texas and with the Dallas Cowboys. After all, I was born and raised in that beautiful state that everyone calls “the friendly state” and everything is bigger in Texas, including the fans. Ya know ya can’t mess with Cowboys fans, like ya can’t mess with Texas. After moving to Michigan, many thought that my team would change and pretty soon I would be cheering for the Detroit Lions, but that has not been the case. I have been made fun of, laughed at, and even mocked for supporting my team. Never before in my life had I come across so many Dallas Cowboys haters.

In Texas all you saw were Dallas Cowboys fans, but this wasn’t the only reason I grew up loving the Cowboys. It was because they stood for something and they were not afraid to show it. A good example is Bill Bates who joined the Dallas Cowboys as a undrafted free agent and spent his 15 NFL Pro-football career there. He was a one-time Pro Bowler in 1984 as a special teams player, a spot that was basically created for him and he was also elected All-Pro that season. While with the Cowboys, he played in Super Bowls XXVIII and XXX. Who can forget that he was injured when the Cowboys played in Super Bowl XXVII. His autobiography entitled Shoot for the Star is a very inspiring and motivating story that proves that anything is possible. He had one dream and one dream only…to play for the Dallas Cowboys. He could have chosen any other team, but he chose the Cowboys. I recommend this book to all of you. Once you start reading it you won’t want to put it down.

Needless to say, I’ve been a Cowboy fan for as long as I can remember and I will continue to be, win or lose. When you are a true fan, you stick behind your team no matter what. All the negative and disrespectful comments I hear only fuel my fire for the Cowboys even more. Are we forgetting what an incredible season they had? Apparently so, because all everyone talks about is the Cowboys losses but not their wins. I am waiting patiently for the day that the Cowboys are ready to head to the Super bowl and win. I believe things happen for a reason and I do think that the Cowboys could have made their way to the Super bowl, but they were just not ready. In due time though they will be and then only then will they regain the respect they so truly deserve. After all aren’t they the only team worthy to be called “America’s Team?”

When I saw T.O. crying in his interview I cried right along with him. He proved that a grown man can cry to stand up for what he believes in, “his team.” He not only defended Tony Romo but he also defended the team. T.O. I think you’ve found your team. No other team has had this type of impact on it’s players. There’s just something about being a Dallas Cowboy.

Many ask what can be credited to the transformation of T.O? One simple answer…he is now a Dallas Cowboy. You take everything that comes with it…the love, the hate, the pride, but most of all the fans. We are the reason that the Cowboys are who they are. No other team has fans like the Dallas Cowboys. We are an elite group of people and I am so proud to be a part of it. For all those who are not Cowboys fans, it’s a shame that they cannot experince and will never have the priviledge of being a part of such an awesome group. We are all over the world supporting our team and this makes us all a part of such a wonderful family. Even though some of us will never meet, we know what lies deep in each others hearts…..Dallas Cowboys!!!

After all the crying was done I took a few moments to look back at the accomplishments that the Cowboys had this season. I was able to witness the victory over the Lions in Detroit that proved to me that they were capable of winning a game when it came down to the last seconds and play of the game. It was a close call but the Cowboys were victorious in the end. Now why couldn’t they do that Sunday against the Giants so they could advance for the rematch against the Packers?

My heart goes out to all those Cowboys fans who felt this tremendous loss. This will only make us stronger because when you are a Cowboys fan you don’t stray away from your team just because they lost. You feel their loss and it affects you emotionally also, but you pick yourself up and continue on to the next challenge. We have plenty to be thankful for and I can say that the Boys will be back next season ready to play football once again. As for me I will be where I’ve always been…cheering for my Dallas Cowboys, loud and proud. Go Cowboys!!!!!

Contributed by Mayra Amaro