I used to say my blood runs Cowboy Blue, as in the Dallas Cowboys’ famous star. I have since undergone a transfusion of sorts. I didn’t replace Cowboy Blue with Packer Green as one of my daughters would have me do; I’ve simply switched to Passionless Red. In other words, the professional football passion has gone out of me.
It’s not just that the Cowboys are losing, it’s why they are losing. They are losing because they have become the Dallas Jerry Joneses. They are an extension of a man who has the potential to be a great owner but who is driven by ego and image to the point that there is no place for team and substance.
I started following the Cowboys before they were winners back in the early 1960s. They became America’s Team over the years not just because they won but because of how they won. They were an organization, not a one-man show. There was the invisible Clint Murchison as owner, the marketer Tex Schramm as general manager, the chess master Tom Landry at coach and the find-players-under-a-rock Gil Brandt at player personnel director. And those top people put top players on the field and prepared them to play. Winning followed. The play on the field was exciting, but it was the work behind the scenes that made it possible.
Jerry Jones got lucky in his first few years because he was teamed with Jimmy Johnson and because the Minnesota Vikings were idiots in trading their future for one Cowboy. It’s been mostly a debacle ever since.
I really like many of the current Cowboys players, but they deserve a better organization. Jerry Jones, for all of his talk, cannot give it to them; rather, he will not give it to them. Murchison-Schramm-Landry-Brandt would make the current players Super Bowl champions.
Peter King wrote earlier this year that the Cowboys have always mattered. They really don’t matter any longer. The Patriots are the Cowboys of today because they have organized themselves for success, and they just keep executing it.
I will probably continue to watch Cowboys games, but they just don’t matter much to me anymore. My wife can remember the days when a Cowboys loss would ruin my day. No more. I just don’t want a rich egomaniac to have that kind of power over my life.
So who do I pull for now? There are the nearby Houston Texans. There are the well-coached Tennessee Titans. There are the Colt McCoy-led Cleveland Browns. There is the people’s team, the Green Bay Packers. But I just can’t go with that last one; I still remember the Ice Bowl.