The Great Debate Of Cowboys 14-13 Win Over Eagles: Fandom Divide Not A Bad Thing

With the fifth, err the sixth... Wait a minute, they beat the Eagles? With the 10th, oh wait, strength of schedule... With the ninth pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cowboys are on the clock.

The BTB community is diverse. You have fans that have played the game sharing intelligent banter with those that have never even picked up a game of Madden. You have optimistic posters  that hope and believe every season can end with a Lombardi trophy, pessimists that will always be right up until we hoist the trophy and thousands in between. We embrace our differences and are a stronger community because of it. I have to wonder though, what exactly goes through the minds of fans that rooted for us to lose yesterday?

The game threads bubbled over with fans cursing out the team and Garrett for winning this game against the Eagles... what?  There were even enough comments to coerce me to reply, and I try to present the voice of mediation in most cases. The logic was, that in this miserable season- at least the Cowboys can get the best possible draft slot to improve this team.  As Requiem's FanPost outlined here (and has been confirmed by virtually every media outlet) the loss dropped the Cowboys from the sixth choice in each round down to the ninth. Dave has opened the draft discussion here. Those little things called the facts have probably calmed down some of the commotion, as the common mentality was that a loss would've slotted the Boys' fifth and a win would drop them to 10th to 12th depending on who was posting.

While logic can never rule an emotional state, and fandom is 100% emotion, it makes little sense to root for your team to lose in football. Please indulge and follow my train of thought. There are a limited amount of opportunities to cheer for your team each season. 16 regular season games plus the playoffs is all you get (for now).  For that reason, I want my team to win every snap, every quarter, every game. Every game.  One win over the Eagles' junior varsity team does not come close to making up for the debacle that was the 2010 season. However, it stings a lot less than LOSING to the Eagles JV team.

With the constant turnaround that is the NFL (according to ESPN's Mike and Mike: for 14 straight years, at least 5 teams have made the playoffs that didn't make it the year prior), one season's misfortune does not equal next year's misery. I am squarely on record in believing that Jason Garrett has the ‘IT' factor it will take to reform this team as early as 2011.

Yes, the 6th pick in the draft gives a larger talent pool to pick your player from. However, that doesn't take into account the quality of those making the draft decisions, or the sheer luck that plays into whether a player's potential ever pans out.  There are fans out there that do not believe in the psychological factor of winning games. The only things that matter are player talent and game plan. Emphatically no. This isn't fantasy football where the best collection of potential wins a Super Bowl. Yes, in a vacuum, a better draft position equals better talent. Football doesn't exist in a Hoover. I could inundate you with scenarios that could be just as likely;  player availability/position of need, salary savings that allow the team to sign a better free agent at another position of need to name a few.

The argument also takes for granted a key point that cannot be overlooked. What long term impact does the victory have on the culture of the Cowboys moving forward? There is no way that I, nor anyone on this side of the argument, can provide tangible proof of this. The results are a few months out, at a minimum.  For this side of the argument to stand up, you merely have to have a reasonable belief that it COULD have a positive effect.

Wins matter. Wins make everyone feel better. Wins validate all the preparation that goes into the week. A young coach with no head coaching experience needs every single win he can put his hands on, for his own confidence, and those of the troops he leads. A winning taste may reinvigorate the vets that might be passing their prime. It might inspire the young players already on the roster to work harder this offseason.  A season ending win... Jason Garrett being able to say I'm 5-3 with the 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks and all three losses were heart-breakers, is big.  If I'm a player in that locker room, I go into couch mode believing he can take us to the promise land with his off-season regiment. If Dallas lost to Philly when the Eagles are playing all backups? I probably go into the off-season thinking totally different than this. Maybe the returning players do. Maybe Free Agent X does too. Maybe Jerry Jones does as well and goes out to hire Retread Coach Bravo Charlie.  All of these things have enough potential to come true to make the argument moot.

I'm not sanctimonious, I don't believe my way is the only right way to cheer for this team. I understand every one has their own fandom methodology; but I will never root for them to lose a game, especially for the sole reason that the Cowboys will have different options in one single draft. I know how many factors other than draft position go into winning championships.

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