Heading into the month of February, it was completely fair to say...
“America’s Team” appear to be the real deal….for now.
Growing up in Los Angeles, you usually ended up becoming a Raiders or Rams fan, or to a certain extent, a 49ers fan. Mind you, I came up in the mid-80’s and early 90’s, and it was around 1991 or so when I first discovered what we all have come to know as jumping on the bandwagon. You saw it with the rise of Michael Jordan in the NBA, the late 90’s New York Yankees, and you witnessed it when the Dallas Cowboys re-asserted themselves as “America’s Team”. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and the crew would go on to lead Dallas to three Super Bowl championships between 1992 and 1996. There was a lot to like if you were a Cowboys fan.
I brought this up because around the time Dallas won their last championship (1995 season), just about everyone I went to high school with were so-called Cowboys fans, and they never let up on letting me know how great in every way “their” team was. Couple this with the fact that I was maybe one of five kids in my school that was a die-hard Green Bay fan (and still am to this day), so the ridicule was relentless. Also, these same Cowboy fans were also Chicago Bulls fans, so it was easy to put 2 and 2 together. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I developed an intense hatred for Cowboy Nation (and the Chicago Bulls), from the team to the coaches, and most of all, their fanbase. So once Dallas started on their decline, I wasted no time in rubbing the insufferable fans’ noses in it.
Still, a lot can change in two decades since those impressionable years; kids grow up and branch out, and sports teams fluctuate between success and mediocrity. Looking at the 2016 Cowboys, I can’t help but be impressed by what I’ve seen thus far. The last few years it looked like the team from “the Big D” have been knocking on the door of sorts, but couldn’t quite answer the bell when the games really mattered. There’s no way anyone would’ve guessed that a pair of rookies in QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott would turn Dallas into potential Super Bowl contenders. Backed by arguably the best offensive line in the league, dem ‘Boys are the runaway train that dare I say might be hard to stop.
Thanks to said O-line, Prescott has been able to throw for 2,640 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only 2 picks. More impressive is Elliott, who’s already eclipsed over 1000 yards (1,102 to be exact) and 9 TD’s. Now with a healthy Dez Bryant back in the mix, we could be looking at the three-headed monster that we witnessed back in the 90’s. It’s no small thing to win ten straight games, and it would take and implosion of the century to keep Dallas from losing the NFC East, maybe even lose the #1 seed in the playoffs. The sky’s definitely the limit for Cowboy Nation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not jumping on the bandwagon, but I’m not going to deny that Dallas looks legit. That could be a problem though if they get too full of their success. Its going to be interesting to see how well they fare once the playoffs begin, and that in itself is a different season, so the regular season records and statistics won’t matter once you’re in. Could they actual make the Super Bowl and dare I say win the chip? Maybe, but for now, “America’s Team” appear to be back in stride, and the present and future looks mighty bright. “How about dem Cowboys”?