Good afternoon Cowboy fans,
I was going to write about the upcoming matchup this week between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, but after further thinking I decided that I needed to get something off my chest. I decided to write an article regarding all the Dallas Cowboy “haters” and the beliefs they have.
Many, Many Dallas Cowboy fans like me grew up calling the Cowboys “America’s Team” but some fans say that calling your-self something does not make it so. I heard a fan compare the Cowboys to an old Smith-Barney commercial in which John Houseman said, “We make money the old-fashioned way…we earn it”? Then he followed that up by saying that the Cowboys need to earn that title and wear it with the respect and dignity it rightfully deserves.
Some people say that being a professional football is something very special. Hall of Fame guard, Jerry Kramer, of the Green Bay Packers was quoted as saying in 1958 when I first began playing, a lot of players in the league chewed tobacco and, to tell you the truth, they were not very professional, either in appearance or attitude. As a matter of fact, professional football was not really all that professional then, either”.
There is a perception that is drawn by many NFL fans that the Dallas Cowboys of the last 20 years have lost that professionalism and gave way to the glitz and glitter of big business and the “show-time persona”. It has been said that the ideals of Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi that were taught on the fields of Texas Stadium and Lambeau Field no longer exist. Those two famous coaches believed that you had to bring a degree of class and a degree of professionalism to the game. They would hold America’s great corporations-IBM, General Motors, etc.-up as example to their respective teams, telling their players they had to perform like them. So much so those, in the end, the great corporations were holding them up as an example – in preparation, commitment, and discipline.
The Cowboy players of yesteryear – the Tom Landry Cowboy’s of Don Meredith, Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, Roger Staubach and etc., were a wonderful group, one possessing quality and dignity. And as such, they represented the true virtues of the cowboy in our culture, the ones we became familiar with every time we saw John Wayne up there on the silver screen portraying one with his quiet strength, honesty, integrity, pride, selflessness and all the other attributes of the hardworking cowboy.
Many people hate the Cowboys of today because they say they put off an image on the field of acting like fools and reinforcing the image so many of the earlier players has tried so hard to change. All those years of working hard to re-make an image they say is being destroyed in a few taunting seconds. And every time they are seen dancing and prancing around, and conducting themselves in that manner, they are an embarrassment to themselves and to what a professional football player should represent.
Well, as much as I loved the Tom Landry days and all the famous players that carved the Cowboy franchise, I have to now stand up and say “ALL THAT TALK IS A BUNCH OF CRAP”!!
This is big business and to a large extent it is entertainment. If T.O. wants to fly like and Eagle after scoring a touchdown so be it. It fills the grandstands week after week and if I am not mistaken, the Cowboys-Eagles game last Monday night was the highest rated Monday night game in NFL history with an astounding 18.5 million viewers.
Yes, we are “America’s Team” and damn proud of it!!
So, I say to all the Cowboy “haters”, don’t judge us because we slam dunk a football over the goal post after scoring a touchdown or pull a sharpie out of our sock in the end zone and sign an autograph. Judge us because the Cowboys are the most successful franchise in all of professional sports history. So what if we have some “me-ism” on our team? We also have Jason Whit that is very involved in youth activities and the United Way. We also have a great owner, Jerry Jones that brings Hispanic youth to Valley Ranch to celebrate their culture, not to mention the 100’s of charities he is involved in, or a Roy Williams that builds playgrounds all over the Dallas metro-plex for kids to enjoy.
Hell, we have a 68 million dollar QB that stops in the middle of the night to help total strangers fix a flat tire and still finds time to hold football camps for kids that want to learn the game!! I could sit here and write all day of the great things this era of Cowboy players do off the field in their communities to help others. Unfortunately, to a lot of people all they see is what the Cowboys do on the field and that is just unfair.
The professional football player of today is not even close in comparison to the players of the Tom Landry era. It is big business now and fans have to change with the times. So Sunday night when the Cowboys and Packers take the field, don’t judge a Packer player if he does the “Lambeau leap” into a waiting fan’s arms and don’t judge the Cowboys because of who we are.
Just remember this, “We are “America’s Team” and Yes, we have that “swagger” and Yes, we have that success”!!!