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Please welcome a new front-page writer to BTB!

Free agent season hasn't ended for BTB.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

[Ed. Note]: We continually try to keep our BTB roster at the top of the game, and that means occasionally adding new talent. Today we welcome a new writer to the front-page, Aidan Davis. We’re excited to have him on our team so please give him a warm BTB welcome - Dave Halprin [End Note]

I am honored to be joining Blogging the Boys as a writer and producer of sports analytics content. I am currently a senior at the University of Texas at Austin with experience producing graphs and statistics reflecting the performance of the Dallas Cowboys. Blogging The Boys has been my primary source of Cowboys news for years now, and I am thrilled to begin contributing.

My fandom started with a penalty

As a three-year-old in 2003, my dad decided it was time to introduce me to one of the world’s greatest creations, Dallas Cowboys football. Since I was still young, I wandered into Texas Stadium with an armful of toys and little knowledge of sports in general.

When the Football Team kicked off to the Cowboys, I was too busy with my action figures to care about what was happening on the field. But when my dad realized that the opening kickoff was going the distance, he lifted me above his head so I could see Derek Ross take it 100 yards for a touchdown.

While the play was called back on a hold, that is the exact moment I became a Dallas Cowboys fan. The energy of sixty thousand fans screaming for one team would enchant anyone, even a three-year-old.

Going to one Cowboys game a year with my dad soon became a yearly tradition. My favorite memories to this day include buying chicken wings from Kroger and tailgating, just the two of us, outside Texas Stadium.

As I grew up, my passion for the Cowboys only increased. In 2006, I was staying with my grandma when Romo fumbled the snap against the Seahawks. In a tear-filled night, I locked myself in the guest room and refused to interact with any of my family. Players like Marion Barber, Miles Austin, and Tony Romo quickly became my idols, with my wardrobe being composed exclusively of cheaply made Cowboys jerseys.

When hardships and family issues arose, the one constant in my life was watching Cowboys games. In a particularly rough time for our family, I drove seven hours home and back one night just so I could watch a Dallas Cowboys Sunday Night Football game with my dad. Simply sitting on the couch and feeling the excitement of watching the Cowboys play in primetime was enough to forget about our troubles for a few hours.

No matter what happens in life, I will always be ready on Sundays to lose my voice screaming for America’s team, frequently in an empty apartment. Just as the opening kickoff being called back still resulted in me becoming a lifelong fan, the outcome is not the reason I am passionate about the Cowboys. Being able to share sadness, uncertainty, optimism, and joy with millions of other fans is the reason I will always love the Cowboys.

What I do

As I said, I am a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in marketing with a minor in sports media. I have developed a passion for telling stories of on-the-field play through data visualization to predict future performance.

Marketing uses analytics to determine how a given individual will act. If a person will respond to an advertisement, which segment of the population is most likely to become a customer, and which individuals are likely to purchase again are all questions that can be answered using data. Attempting to predict how a person will behave extends to the football field as well.

Analytics is not an attempt to prove the general public wrong; it is an effort to determine the real story of a given situation to make more informed decisions about the future. Such a field is also not about reinforcing one’s argument through numbers and stats. Instead, it is about testing preconceived notions to determine if what our eyes tell us is accurate.

My goal with Blogging The Boys is to give readers a factual, yet realistic, view of how America’s Team is performing. After reading my articles, I hope that you are able to leave with greater insight into the team we all love.

I am filled with optimism for the upcoming season, and I am honored to share this hope with all of you. Being able to distribute my findings with the greatest fanbase in football is a dream come true, so as always, let’s go Cowboys.

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