I live in San Antonio, so when Tim Duncan announced his retirement on Monday it was the end of a fun chapter in my life as a Spurs fan. I took to Twitter, like most people, to see the fallout from one of the greatest to ever do it calling it a career.
I had one prevailing thought in the middle of the fanfare. Names like Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron all stand alone in the pantheon of basketball. Uttering those singular names implies a level of greatness that is universally understood. "Timmy" is without a doubt a member, if not a cornerstone, of such a list.
Here lie two words that, in every language, convey one single and indisputable truth - The Dallas Cowboys.
Nicknames aren't transferrable. There is not, and never will be, a new America's Team. For every day that the sun rises, gravity is 9.8 meters per second squared, and human beings need oxygen... The Dallas Cowboys are America's Team.
What does this mean, exactly? If you ask Bob Ryan of NFL Films, who coined the term in 1978, it means that Cowboys fans are everywhere.
Dr. Mike Lewis of Emory University conducts an interesting experiment every summer where he evaluates the strength of NFL fan bases. This year, his results showed that the New England Patriots have the best fans in the NFL.
There is some legit math and analysis that goes into this, so don't dismiss it right away. Dr. Lewis uses a measure called "Dynamic Fan Equity" where he combines Fan Equity (how much a team is willing to spend in dollars) and Social Equity (which captures fan support in terms of things like Twitter). His contention is that the Patriots are the best.
How Much Do Cowboys Fans Spend On Their Team?
The Dallas Cowboys are literally the only professional sports franchise in America that has a fleet of Pro Shops scattered across their home state. Sure, you can buy Denver Broncos stuff at places like Dick's or Sports Authority in that market, but there are Dallas Cowboys Pro Shops throughout the Lone Star State (and New Mexico, mind you).
DCPS has stores that singlehandedly bring in over one million dollars on their own. Obviously not all of them do, but the point stands that Silver & Blue loyalists show up to get their gear. The proof is in the pudding considering that of the Top 12 selling jerseys from last year, 3 are Dallas Cowboys (Dez, Witten, Romo). Only 2 are Patriots (Brady and Gronk).
Dr. Lewis' basis for "Fan Equity" is a lengthy read, you can view it here if you like, but it's important to consider that the Cowboys bring in a significant amount of revenue in terms of merchandise throughout Texas, a significantly larger state than Massachusetts.
How Much Money Do The Cowboys Even Make? What Are They Worth?
Forbes announced on Wednesday that the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports team in the world. Yes, the world.
Valued at $4 Billion, the Cowboys represent both the NFL and the United States as the top dog on this list. You need to understand how incredible this is.
I've said many a time whether on Twitter or the RJOShow that the NFL is king of America. Indisputably. That is not up for debate.
Equally factual is that soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It transcends multiple nations and is played/watched by a far larger population of the big blue marble. Nevertheless, the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team in it.
|2016 Forbes Most Valuable Teams||Team||Value|
|1||Dallas Cowboys||$4 Billion|
|2||Real Madrid||$3.65 Billion|
|4||New York Yankees||$3.4 Billion|
|5||Manchester United||$3.32 Billion|
If "Fan Equity" is a measurement of a consumer's "willingness" to spend, well then don't ya think that the most valuable sports franchise in the whole wide world would be number one?
How Popular Are Cowboys Fans From The Social Side?
The "Social Equity" element to this analysis is the most interesting to me.
In so many ways, it's incredibly subjective. There are die-hard fans of every team that choose not to participate in any avenue of social media, but for what it's worth I do understand it's relevance.
So how popular are the Dallas Cowboys? Let's see.
[table id=37 /]
The Emory study only mentions Twitter (no pun intended) as something that they valued when it comes to the "social" side of fandom. While Twitter is great, and is actually my personal favorite social media platform, they're all relevant. I decided to look at Facebook and Instagram as well.
Some simple math tells us that altogether (the three outlets combined) the New England Patriots have 10,978,721 total followers.
The Dallas Cowboys? 11,746,466.
I'm not a mathematician or anything, but I think 11,746,466 is greater than 10,978,721.
As I said up top, there is a legitimate amount of data that went into Dr. Lewis' study, I just don't necessarily agree with it. The thing about it is... most of the evidence that we've pulled doesn't agree with Emory's study either.
We can toss out net value, social media followers, or the number of critters each team has caught on Pokemon Go. The fact remains that there is now and forevermore one underlying truth here.
The Dallas Cowboys are America's Team.
Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?
Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.
It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.
Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.
Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.
This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.
Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.
Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."
Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.
It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.
Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.
Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC
2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.
Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.
The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.
Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.
The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.
For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.
Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.
For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.
Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?
Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival
Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.
Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.
Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.
T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.
Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.
Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.
Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.
Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.
Lo más importante de este partido...
Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.
Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.
Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Why is Jerry Jones “keeping a very close eye” on the Kareem Hunt Case?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
David Irving’s Return Could Make Cowboys’ Defense Even Scarier
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Randy Gregory Is Looking Like We Always Thought He Could
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Wide Receiver Michael Gallup Making a Huge Impact for Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Tavon Austin’s Return Should Make Cowboys Offense More Dangerous
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Can Rod Smith Help Lighten Ezekiel Elliott’s Heavy Workload?
Star Blog6 days ago
Time to see What Darius Jackson can do as Zeke’s Backup?
Star Blog2 weeks ago
It’s Time To Give DL Tyrone Crawford His Credit