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Y’all outta pocket!: This Cowboys team does not owe fans a Super Bowl win

If you're reading this, you probably fall into one of three categories:

  1.  A Cowboys fan who read the title and felt relieved to know you're not the only one who feels that way.
  2. A Cowboys fan already outraged at the title for challenging a belief that sits at the core of your fandom.
  3. Neither 1 nor 2 but someone who is skimming through this in anticipation of what you expect to be an entertaining comments section. 

Regardless, all I ask is that you hear me out. Thanks in advance. 

“It's been 26 years. It's time.”

On January 28, 1996 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe Arizona, the defeated the with a score of 27-17 to win their third in four seasons. On that day, was right at 30 months old. was just over six months old. was just finishing a season as a at the University of Pittsburgh, and had yet to bless the Earth with his presence. 

I mention those facts as the basis of my befuddlement by a statement I hear from a lot of . The statement is usually something along the lines of, “It's been 26 years. It's time for another championship.”

The people I mentioned above were obviously not associated with the Dallas Cowboys at the time, and they were probably several years away from even imagining that they'd be a part of the organization. 

Yet, fans say, “It's time,” and “It's been too long,” as though Dak Prescott himself has spent the past 26 years taking snaps from without anything to show for it. 

I know I'm relatively new here, but isn't it a bit much to place the weight of 26 years of unfulfilled desires on a who has only been around since 2016 and a coach who took over just before an unprecedented global crisis? And that's not to mention the facts that:

  • No matter how good a team is, there can only be one champion at the end of the season.
  • Of all quarterbacks who started in and/ or won a Super Bowl, a significant number of them were older than Dak Prescott is now. 
  • Most NFL players never experience a Super Bowl anyway. 

“I lived through the Super Bowl wins of the 90s, so I may be spoiled, but…”

I already had the idea for this post in the back of my mind when a Twitter follower responded to one of my tweets with the above statement. It wasn't the first time I'd heard it. I tried to be respectful in my response, and I still mean absolutely no harm or disrespect when I say this, but yes, a lot of fans were spoiled by that run. Not only that run of championships but also the superordinate position the Cowboys claimed in the world of sports at that time.  

Now, the '92, '93, and '95 seasons should definitely be sources of pride and joyful memories for anyone who was an active fan then. One of the most fascinating aspects of fan psychology is the ability to feel like part of a team without even stepping foot inside their stadium. However, the thing that makes some fans spoiled is the inability to appreciate all the success that's happening now because it doesn't measure up to a historically unmatched time period in the of the franchise. 

Knowing that only one team can ultimately win the Super Bowl for any given season, knowing that there are so many fans of other teams who wish they could celebrate the accomplishments and milestones that Cowboys fans are able to celebrate, knowing that every NFL win is hard fought and hard to come by, how is it even possible to enjoy being a fan if the only thing that matters is Super Bowls? It just doesn't make sense. 

If that is the standard, how can one even call themselves a supportive fan if they view their team as a failure regardless of wins earned, records broken, or accolades collected? 

A complete game

Something else I've heard a few times this season from fans is that the only time this year that the team played a complete game, performing well on both sides of the ball, was against the . Yes, the most dominant road win in franchise history. That was the only time. 

If the only time you think your team plays well is when they accomplish something historic, it's only going to become harder and harder to view your team as a good team. At some point, you're going to have to recalibrate to a more realistic standard.

So, yes. If you have ever said, regarding your status as a Cowboys fan, “I may be spoiled, but…” there's no need for the “but.” You are spoiled. 

“Lombardi or bust!”

I also hear this phrase often, and it reflects the “spoiled Cowboys fan” mindset. The definition of “bust,” in this usage, is “a worthless thing.” By contrast, a “fan” is “a person who has a strong admiration for a particular person or thing.”

I heard people say “Lombardi or bust,” or “Super Bowl or bust” towards the end of last season as well as this season. This means, for those people, everything the team has done for the past two seasons means nothing. How can a person claim to be an admirer, yet at the same time view the thing that they admire as worthless? 

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a fan's strongest desire being for their team to win another championship, but among Cowboys fans, that desire seems to manifest itself as a lack of appreciation for a team that is actually very, very good. 

I feel the need to clarify that I'm speaking very generally here. There are fans and content creators who acknowledge the strengths and wins as well as the failures and shortcomings of the current team. To me, that is not the same thing as having a “Lombardi or bust” perspective.

Don't denigrate the good in pursuit of the perfect

This current Cowboys team has achieved, for the first time in 25 years, consecutive double-digit win seasons. The regular season will end without the team experiencing two losses in a row. This team's led the team to four wins out of five games without their starting quarterback. That starting quarterback, by the way, currently holds 20 franchise records.

Our WR1, CeeDee Lamb is the youngest player in to reach both 100 receptions and 1300 receiving yards in a single season. He is also nine receptions away from tying a record held by esteemed 88-Club member,

currently leads the NFL in multi-sack games. Ezekiel Elliott has the longest active streak of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown in the entire NFL. The Cowboys lead the NFL in takeaways, scoring efficiency, and . Seven players made this season's roster.

I could keep going. There is so much to celebrate and look forward to with this team. Championships matter, but if they're the only thing that matter to you, you're missing out on a lot. 

“It's not the current players. It's the Joneses.”

Whether it's because you're spoiled or because you believe the team “deserves” a championship or your real issue is with Jerry Jones – these expectations almost always manifest themselves as expectations of perfection and devaluing what is actually one of the best teams in the NFL right now. 

Saying that the current team “owes” fans a Super Bowl win is saying that all of the wins and accolades they've earned are meaningless. It means they have to make up for the the shortcomings of players in their roles before them. It suggests this team has to do something besides win games to make fans “feel better” about being fans. 

Sometimes, people say, “But they're reaping the benefits of those Super Bowl wins, so yes, they owe us something in return.” I believe that it's actually the other way around. The current value and status of the team are results of work already done and goals already accomplished. Now, could that value and status begin to decline if fans become disinterested or consistently disappointed? Yes. Of course, but that doesn't mean the disappointment is justified or that the current team is in some sort of achievement debt.

It's not as if the current team hasn't given fans anything to be proud of or celebrate. Some fans just might need to adjust their perspective a bit in order to realize the value in what the Cowboys are currently. 

In summary…

Dak Prescott is not perfect by any means. But when I hear him described as “reckless,” “erratic,” or “the weakest link,” it feels more like observers working through their own anxiety about the Cowboys' future by criticizing one the team's stars than an honest evaluation of who he is as a quarterback. I think similar things when people say the Cowboys should let go of Ezekiel Elliott or even Mike McCarthy. 

Mike McCarthy has the Cowboys on an upward trajectory unlike anything we've seen in a long time. Yet, folks are still writing up pieces on who should replace him after this season. 

And that is my main point. It's not that I don't think fans should talk about the Super Bowl or want the Cowboys to win one. My biggest issue is that fans, people who should support this team, use the past 26 years (going back to periods of time with which current players and coaches are not even associated) as their basis for devaluing, criticizing, and sometimes outright insulting current members of this team and staff. 

Jazz Monet
Jazz Monethttps://www.bitcheslovesports.com
Sports culture analyst. Sports competition enthusiast. Host of Bitches Love Sports podcast. Personal trainer. Roller derby athlete and trainer.

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Bryson T

Every teams owes their fans a Super Bowl. The point of the game isn’t for 31 teams to be and provide filler content for fans, it’s for every team to chase the championship. That’s the promise a sports franchise makes its fans on every ticket sale, every merchandise purchase — is that the team is going somewhere, come watch, show your pride.

Lawrence

Sitting here wondering why I’m still watching this Ship without a Captain which is the Dallas Cowboys with Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore. McCarthy is just a helpless mess and Moore is an ignorant Hillbilly. He puts Prescott in terrible situations with his play calling. How Jerry and Stephen Jones keeps Moore and McCarthy after we LOSE AT TAMPA is just ridiculous! The Cowboys are forever in 3rd and long because Moore insists on trying to run Elliott up the middle for NO GAIN on first down and then call some idiotic pass play on 2nd down and Prescott under the gun on 3rd and forever that will be an incomplete pass or an interception for a pick 6. Smarter people than me, must be seeing this too!

Lawrence

This team doesn’t owe fans a Super Bowl, but they could give the fans consistency and intelligence in the Coaching arena. Having the team ready to beat lesser teams instead of showing up not ready to play. That’s an indictment on McCarthy and Moore! I was sure that at some point Bret Maher would burn this team. It seems to have started today and will most likely continue at Tampa.

Lawrence

Congratulations Dallas Cowboys!!! Another young quarterback that’s never done anything in the NFL comes in and has the game of his life against you! If Washington was playing next week, Sam Howell would look like he’s never seen a football let alone have a good game. Lack of leadership from the Head Coach and his staff. FIRE MIKE MCCARTHY IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEY LOSE AT TAMPA!!!!

rcrcrcrcrc

You left out the 4th and most obvious option:

A team that so consistently wastes its talent has problems,
and those problems deserve to be discussed.

“C’mon guys..take it easy!” is a lazy argument that’s only there to make you seem above the fray (you’re the star!). You’re literally arguing against addressing ongoing problems.

In this case, the problem is lack of consistency. That could be addressed by a strong head coach. But strong head coaches will not work for Jerry Jones, because no one wants ‘dad’ constantly looking over their shoulder, meddling with everything.

But Jerry won’t stop meddling. So the best head coaches go elsewhere. So consistency suffers. So clutch moments tend to go badly.

It’s not immature to be upset at that. Just as it’s not “enlightened” to make fun of people for caring. By your logic we shouldn’t care about our teams winning.

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