So there I was, innocently going through the headlines, looking for something worth writing about. And it jumped out and smacked me right betwixt the eyes.
Colin Cowherd: Cowboys have sports' fourth-most delusional fan base.
Oh, what fresh torment is this? Another pointless, whiny article casting unsupported aspersions against my team, against America's Team? With righteous indignation, I clicked the link. And saw the entire list.
Here's Cowherd's Top 10:
1. Tim Tebow
2. Notre Dame football
3. Penn State football
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6. Oakland Raiders
7. Big Ten football
8. College basketball
9. New York Knicks
10. Chicago Bulls
Well, crap. I completely see the other nine fan bases on the list. I mean, how do you argue with those? You can't, literally. Try to tell a Big Ten fan that nobody cares about The Ohio State whatever, or a college basketball fan that the sport has become a bunch of mercenaries who want to be in college just long enough to get a pro contract. And I think Tim Tebow fanhood is now an acknowledged diagnosis in the DSM IV.
Could it be? Is being a Dallas Cowboys fan delusional? Am I crazy?
Uh, actually, I pretty much am. And I get the basic argument Cowherd put up.
"The owner is your general manager is sort of a running joke in the league," Cowherd said. "One playoff win in 15 years. I like Dallas more than most, but that's a delusional fanbase."
So I guess I am admitting to being delusional. And, you know, it is kind of liberating.
Join me in my freedom after the jump.
Why not accept the delusions? Things like: This year the team will finally get it together. The rookies look so good. Our core players are still in their prime. The rest of the NFC East are the spawn of Satan. I tell myself these things over and over.
We all know, of course, that nothing will ever change for the Cowboys. Except, of course, for the things that do. Like almost the entire coaching staff. Much of the personnel. Little things like that.
Admittedly, I look for positive indications about the team I love. I have seen the Cowboys have two periods of glory, the seventies under Tom Landry and the nineties under Jimmy Johnson. Can you blame me for figuring that the team is past due for another strong run? I mean, every team eventually gets to the top. Except the Eagles, of course. And there is some momentum building in Dallas. The Mavericks won a championship in 2011. The Rangers have been to two World Series. Who would believe that a couple of years ago? So now it is about time for the premiere Dallas sports franchise to get back on top.
And anyone who thinks this is the same team, being run the same way as it was in the Dark Ages (Post Jimmy Johnson, Pre Jason Garrett), just isn't really looking at the facts. The Cowboys are now in year two of a major makeover, and year one was a very strange year with the NFL lockout, or, as somebody about as bat poop crazy as I am once called it, the Great Suckitude.
I really wish no one was noticing what was going on with the Cowboys. I would like to see things come into shape and then just gobsmack the rest of the NFL. But reporters, being the nosy little sensationalists that they are, keep letting the cat out of the bag. Like this explanation of just exactly what Jason Garrett is trying to do, put up at ESPN/Dallas.
Garrett was the right kind of guy, a player with a high motor who maximized his potential, which is all you can ever ask a player to do. His love for the game showed in his passion to prepare, even though he rarely played.
He was the kind of guy coaches and teammates always view as an asset. Why do you think former teammates such as Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston have such positive things to say about a player who spent most of his career wearing a cap and carrying a clipboard?
Now, Garrett is building a team in his own image.
Oh, man! Don't tell everyone that. Next thing you know, other teams will actually start caring about whether their stars have criminal records, are likely to wound themselves with illegally carried firearms, or have the motivation to actually play after you pay them gazillions of dollars.
Everyone on an NFL roster -- even the worst player -- is supremely talented. It's intangibles, most of the time, that make the difference.
Especially when we're talking about the bottom 30 players on a roster.
How much do you study? How important is winning? Where is football on your priority list? How hard do you play?
Give me a good player who gives supreme effort every snap over a supremely talented player who plays when he feels like it. We all know Albert Haynesworth is one of the most physically gifted players in the game, but don't be surprised if he spends this season at home.
Obviously, the Cowboy fans must be crazy to like a slate of draftees where six out of the seven chosen were captains of their college teams. Who are a group of guys who bring more than just speed or strength to the table.
"It's not like they're undersized guys who will run through the wall for you but can't play in the NFL," Garrett said. "These guys have the physical traits to play, and they also have the intangible qualities, which we think can help them be their best and help our team."
In the fourth quarter of a tight ballgame, you need guys who will persevere through the physical pain and fatigue they're experiencing, and make a play. You need guys who will show up in the first quarter and the fourth quarter of a win-and-get-in game in December.
Now, why would the Cowboys care about that? Obviously, being pleased to see the team trying to address those kinds of things is just another crazy, stupid concept. Believing in Jason Garrett and his process is so nuts that there is no reason to even try to defend it. We can just accept our delusions and keep cheering for the Star.
After all, nothing ever really changes on the Cowboys.
The Cowboys have failed at that element of the game (closing it out) time and time and time again over the past decade. It's among the reasons they fade in December seemingly every year.
Garrett is changing this team's soft mindset and the silly sense of entitlement that runs through it one player at a time.
Yeah, everyone else can keep laughing at us. Nothing is going to change. We will cheer the Cowboys, and everyone will tell how they can never win with Tony Romo as quarterback and Jerry Jones as the owner.
And when things come together in the near future, and this team starts winning football games like it did back in those glory days, well, that's when the real craziness will start. Want to come along for the ride? It's easy. Just remember that sanity is overvalued, and keep repeating the mantra: