As devoted fans nothing makes us happier than the success that the Dallas Cowboys are currently enjoying. Our whole sporting existence is stimulated by the team sitting atop the NFC East standings, but as Dallas fans that should be exciting for us. For the NFL it should be a bit of exciting news as well, because on other business related fronts things are not going so well for the league.
To start things off there has been a bit of a discussion about the off-the-field conduct of many NFL players. As much as Roger Gooddell and the league try to steer attention away from things like domestic violence and other legal issues that players are getting themselves into, the ongoing actions of a few have given the game a black eye. There is a public image problem when many on social media refer to the NFL as standing for the National Felon League.
Another wrinkle is the lackluster performance on the field. Gone is Peyton Manning, and there are veterans like Aaron Rodgers who are not performing at the expected level. Then there is the fact that it seems like everything is being dominated be one team, the New England Patriots. Others may make mini-runs, but only the hooded one and his men seem to be there year after year. Some of the on-field excitement is gone.
The NFL currently has a serious problem on its hands. TV ratings are continuing to drop as viewers tune out the league. Fans are not watching those marquee matchups that appear in prime time slots such as Sunday night and those are the ones that command the high dollar adverting that serves to drive the NFL as a business. This means that sponsors who buy the time on these games are not getting the return on investment that they anticipated and soon they will be demanding “make goods” from the league and broadcasters. They will expect to be given reduced rates for other time slots or more exposure at no additional cost. That is not good for the 32 owners and the league executives on Park Avenue.
That is where the resurgent Cowboys come into play. Love them or hate them, the Dallas Cowboys are a top level brand in professional sports. They bring in the money regardless of the box score, but naturally when they are winning they are more successful on the balance sheet as well. With the team winning like they are now, and doing so with a pair of rookies in the backfield, the Dallas Cowboys are generating some excitement around the league. The Cowboys are back, and according to former Dallas star Calvin Hill, that is good business for the league.
Now you've got NFL games on all the time. Thursday night, Sunday, Sunday night, Monday night, and sometimes you have teams in these night games that nobody really follows except their own fans. We used to have national teams. The Redskins of George Allen and Joe Gibbs. Landry's Cowboys. It's been a long time for the Cowboys, but having a national team back is good for the sport." - Calvin Hill
It is starting to look like there may be a new ‘national team’ rounding into form to battle with Bill Belichick and his minions in Foxboro and they are led by a pair of young men who are generating excitement by experiencing success during their rookie season. There are paired with a man like Jason Witten, who has the respect of almost everyone around the game because he is an outstanding player and even better citizen. This plays well to a national audience, even those who do not like the Cowboys.
When Dallas is winning fans will tune in. It may be to root for the Boys or to see the hated men with the blue star on their helmets get beat. Either way the Dallas Cowboys are one of the few franchises that can command viewership and drive advertising dollars for the league. They can stand on their own as a national team where other franchises cannot. Dallas can challenge New England’s supremacy in the National Football League.
They revitalized Dallas Cowboys are exactly what the NFL needs at this point, and their recent success should be considered a boon in the executive offices of the league.