The Dallas Cowboys have been blessed to reach the mountain top five times in their history and had the opportunity to do so eight times. You can say that it's been pretty great being a fan of the Cowboys, though lately, we don't have much success to write home about. Still, whether you're young or long in the tooth, there have to be plenty of memories throughout the history of this team that stand out.
As we drive that final leg before we get to training camp and have hopefully new great memories to look forward to, it's important to get the fan base all riled up again in discussion. This is a fun piece to put together because for so many, it can really mean anything. We want your personal best stories that have validated your fandom of the greatest organization in the National Football League.
For some of you, it could be the Cowboys throttling of the Buffalo Bills twice in Super Bowl fashion. Maybe it's a personal witness of a regular season game that was just too fun you had to be there. Absolutely any moments in history that have validated you as a fan and what it means to sport the star with pride. What we're going to do here is ask you for your top moments you've had and how it made you the Cowboys' supporter you are today. I'll start with two of my own that may be a bit surprising to some of you.
A Quarterback Taking It To The Mid-Section
As a 28-year old, I remember the last championship and how excited my family and I were at the time, but I didn't understand my fandom until I got older. I've been on record next to Terry as loving everything that is Tony Romo. He's my favorite player and will always be. Let's take a stroll down memory lane back to 2011 out to an old rivalry in Candlestick Park.
I had just moved for my job to Austin, Texas and was proud to be back in the Lone Star State. After Dallas dropped the opener on a late-game interception, Romo was looking for redemption. We all needed redemption and what we got was so much more. I just so happened to be hanging with some buddies and if you have never been to Austin, you'll find out that it's a melting pot of many different fan bases. We just so happened to walk into a Buffalo Wild Wings that was operated by the fans of the Oakland Raiders, so we had a few extra Cowboys' fans that day.
The game started out quite ugly as Jim Harbaugh's defense was getting to Romo with regularity, the 49ers would take an unanswered 14-0 lead. Romo was not in-sync with the offense but managed to find Miles Austin on a 50+yard touchdown pass before heading to the locker room with a cracked rib and breathing issues. Trailing 14-7, the Cowboys put in Jon Kitna who threw a game-tying touchdown to Miles Austin, yet again. However, on the next possession, Kitna threw a crippling interception and the 49ers went up 21-14 and then made it 24-14. Tony Romo had enough and put himself back into the game with less than seven minutes to go. Romo found Austin for his third touchdown of the game to cut the 49ers lead to three points.
With less than two minutes, Romo led the team down the field for Dan Bailey to tie up the game and send us to overtime. Romo was seen talking to Jesse Holley (a backup receiver in every sense of the word), they had a play and only they knew it was coming. Romo found an open Holley streaking for 77-yards to set up Bailey's OT winning kick. We screamed so hard in the Buffalo Wah-Wahs that you would have thought they won the Super Bowl. It was such a gratifying feeling to watch Romo silence his critics and put his body on the line for his team. He refused to give in and he willed his team to victory.
As fans, we did what we knew best. We went to our favorite watering hole and discussed the game all night long. It was there that we found out that Romo had actually punctured his lung. As the drinks kept pouring, so did our adoration for the Cowboys' signal-caller and he was the toast of the town. It was then that Romo leaped into legendary status as a Cowboy and has been there ever since.
A Pebble Of Positivity In A Season That's Lost
In 2010, I was in living New York, New York and was having a blast in the Big Apple, mind you. Soon my football dreams would become a nightmare as the Cowboys stumbled to 1-7 and lost Tony Romo in a rivalry game against the Giants. They were blown out two weeks in a row and seemingly had given up on then head coach Wade Phillips. Jerry Jones did what he had never done before and made a change mid-season and promoted Jason Garrett in the interim.
That whole week as the Cowboys prepared for a chilly game at Met Life stadium, I took lashings from all my co-workers about Jon Kitna and this rag-tag bunch of "losers" they'd call them. How Jason Garrett was the problem to begin with and that it wouldn't change until a real coach was brought in. It was brutal living in New York that week and it never stopped. As Sunday approached, I made my way down to Gramercy to meet my buddy and longtime Jets' fan, Jef, or One-F as we'd call him. Jef would join in the fun of making jokes at the Cowboys' expense but only because his team was a bigger embarrassment in the NFL history books.
I couldn't get tickets to the game and frankly didn't want to be on-hand for a predetermined clobbering. As we entered the bar, I wore the throwback, Thanksgiving-style Tony Romo jersey. I was ridiculed by a sea of Giants' fans telling me I should have brought the sling and anything they could throw at me. It was so bad, I was hoping for a miracle and that's exactly what I got.
The Giants went up early on a Lawrence Tynes 43-yard FG, Dallas answered with a 13-yard TD pass to Dez Bryant but failed the PAT (damn you, David Buehler). Buehler would connect on a 22-yarder to put the Cowboys up 9-3. Then Cowboys rookie cornerback Bryan McCann (bless you) would make my day and return an Eli Manning interception 101-yards for the score and Cowboys took the lead further to 16-3. Buehler would make another chip-shot FG and put the 'Boys up 19-6 after Tynes answered with a FG. Kitna found Felix Jones for a 70+ yard touchdown pass and they were on their way. At one point in the third quarter, the lights would go out at Met Life and the game was delayed 15-minutes. The little superstition that was in me was going wild as I thought, surely, the Manning-led Giants weren't done. I was correct but it was far too late, Kitna hit Miles Austin for a 24-yard TD pass and the defense held in the fourth to win Garrett's first game as a head coach 33-20.
As the Giants fans somberly exited this bar, Jef and I had shots to celebrate the butt-kicking. I wandered off into the cold New York evening, face filling warm with libations, and a skip in my step. I wore that number nine jersey with pride, carrying my jacket to show my colors to all of New York City on my way back to my small apartment. As little a moment that seemed, it validated me in a season that was lost for good. It took me away from a funk of not wanting to watch anymore Cowboys' games that season and made me rise up and cheer the Cowboys' on to a 5-3 record down the stretch and cementing Kitna in my mind as a warrior in Cowboys' lore forever.
Not all great memories have to come from winning a championship or even winning seasons, we leave it over to the great forum of BTB. What are your magical moments as a Cowboys' fan and validations that we can all revel in?