Dallas Cowboys Tidbits: Indelible Swagger Or Rooting For Lost Causes?

This picture helped make the Dallas Cowboys worth $1.8 billion. Well, the content of the picture and the people who filled it did at least.

We enter the home stretch of the holiday season today, the last day to run out and purchase those holiday gifts for your loved ones and the people you have to pretend to like (cough, office parties, in-laws, cough).

In Cowboys news, Jerry Jones is probably standing triumphant, with stories circulating that detail the Cowboys dominance in monetary battles. Starting off 1-7, firing a coach midseason... none of it made a dent in the Cowboys attendance or ratings marks that put the Cowboys as King of The Hill. Adam Boedeker of nbcdw.com states:

...they are still the most valuable franchise in the nation's most profitable sport, worth a cool $1.8 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.

The $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, which opened last year, is a big reason why. It shot the Cowboys' attendance mark through the roof, and has made the team the only team in the NFL this year to play in front of a sellout every week this season -- home or road.

The Associated Press relates how they sit atop the ratings game as well.

"I don't know of any other team that would've gone through what they went through and provided the ratings punch the Cowboys did," said Fred Gaudelli, producer of "Sunday Night Football" on NBC.

"Dallas is way on top of the mountain."

Living in the DC area, I know first hand how massive the Cowboys fan base really is. I also know, however, how many people that proudly claim to be Cowboys haters that will not miss a chance to watch our team as well. They love to see us lose and I imagine there were many people tuning in to witness the train wreck that was our first half.

So which do you give credit for Jerry's cash bonanza this season? The large contingent of supporters, or the folks that like to witness mayhem?

Maybe one of the reasons that fans keep tuning in is the effort that the Cowboys have displayed, even after appearing to give up on disposed head coach Wade Phillips. One player that never did that was Bradie James. James' ability is a favorite topic of discussion here at BTB. There's a large contingent that continues to want us to search for his replacement, and another that points to the fact that this man has lead the team in tackles for 5 straight years and is on pace for his sixth. Turns out he's been playing with a knee injury all season. Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express writes:

The eighth-year linebacker suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Week 4, an injury that's lingered for three months and forced him to miss several practices — but no games.

Two of his teammates, Felix Jones and Roy Williams, have missed games during their careers with the same injury.

Obviously the reference to two teammates doesn't take into account the severity of each players injury, but the point is well made. Bradie James is a tough son of a gun. Six straight years? Incredible feat.

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Speaking of our defensive captain, he mans the middle spot of a unit that, although is still giving up points like a mortgage lender in a buyer's market, has created an amazing amount of turnovers recently. Gerry Fraley of dmn.com gives credit to newly installed D Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.

Pasqualoni has handled the Cowboys' defense for six games since the in-season firing of coach and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. The Cowboys have a league-high 16 takeaways in that span.

Pasqualoni said Thursday that he has not made a significant change in philosophy or approach. What did not work with the Dolphins is working with the Cowboys.

"As a staff, we've tried to create a heightened awareness of the turnover," Pasqualoni said. "Clearly, the turnover is the biggest factor in this game for determining winning and losing. We're trying to make the guys aware that we'd like to go after the ball."

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It's easy to forget, with all the holiday cheer in the air, that the Dallas Cowboys are playing the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow night.  Dave provides all the juicy series background here. Scouring the web, it appears that Arizona may be without their big play return man for this game. Gerry Fraley also reports:

Arizona kick returner LaRod Stephens-Howling missed his second consecutive practice on Thursday becasue of a strained hamstring and is unlikely to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas night.

Stephens-Howling has been able to create favorable field position for the Cardinals' offense, which needs all the help it can get. He has averaged 27.2 yards per try, fourth-best in the league among those with at least 25 kickoff returns. Stephens-Howling has also returned two kickoffs for scores.

At SBNation Cardinals Blog, Revenge of the Birds, JoeCB1991 collects for you the latest in Cardinals news with his post Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings.

Kten.com relays this Associated Press piece that seems to think the Cardinals will be shopping for just as many goodies this offseason as the Cowboys, if not more.

You name it, Arizona needs it - quarterback, pass rusher, offensive lineman, wide receiver, inside linebacker. The Cardinals, in their worst season in at least four years, are looking to upgrade at nearly every position, while at the same time deciding whether to try to re-sign wide receiver Steve Breaston and right guard Deuce Lutui. Both become free agents after the season ends over the New Year's weekend.

That brings to mind this question. We all love being Dallas Cowboys fans, and would never trade it in for any other fandom. However, have we reached the point where we are disappointed to the same level as the fans in Arizona, Cleveland and Oakland? Have we fallen that hard?

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