A cowboy walks into a bar and says, “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us”. No, this isn’t the start of some western, and the cowboy in question could actually be Dallas Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones. The town is Dallas, about to become the third largest US metro surpassing Chicago. As Dallas joins the likes of Los Angeles and New York, there’s one thing noticeably missing from the third most-populated city in the football-crazed state of Texas.
Los Angeles and New York both have two NFL teams, but in Dallas the Cowboys are the only show in town. They are, of course, enough of a draw not only in Texas but globally as America’s Team, yet Dallas mayor Eric Johnson likes the idea of a second professional football team calling the city home.
The answer is Dallas. Why? We are about to pass the Chicago metro and become the #3 metro in the US, which would make us the largest US metro WITHOUT 2 teams. Football is king here. Dallas needs an expansion team and we would be able to sustain 2 @NFL teams better than LA or NY. https://t.co/ikG0oeZq4T— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) May 5, 2022
A third NFL team in Texas was already in the headlines last summer, when the Buffalo Bills used relocating to the state’s capital of Austin as leverage for a new stadium in New York. Much like the Cowboys brass has used their leverage to get what they want, the Bills invoking the spirit of Texas helped land them a new $1.4 billion stadium in Orchard Park.
Not only does the Cowboys massive brand make it hard to justify another team supporting themselves in DFW, but there are other differences between how NY and LA support two teams that Dallas isn’t prepared for. For starters, the Bills are the only team to actually play in New York state, with the Jets and Giants home stadium being in New Jersey. This creates a unique area where both fanbases can claim parts of both states.
In Los Angeles, the defending Super Bowl champion Rams have been back in their original city since 2016, sharing it with the Chargers who moved from San Diego in 2017. Though both teams should already have a following in California, they averaged over 20,000 less fans per home game than the Cowboys. An expansion team under the massive shadow of the Cowboys, with no pre-existing fanbase to rely on, is an incredibly tough sell.
This has been a tumultuous offseason for the Cowboys, but would the average fan consider jumping ship for a brand new team? What about fans like myself who chose a life-long allegiance to the Cowboys despite not originally being from Texas?
The Jets and Giants share a stadium, just like the Rams and Chargers, but to add a little fuel to this fire it’s possible a second NFL team in the Dallas area could call the Cotton Bowl home, which last hosted an NFL game when the Cowboys started the 1971 season there before opening Texas Stadium.
It’s exceedingly more likely that we’re all stuck with the Cowboys as our only Dallas-based NFL distraction for the foreseeable future.