One of the weirdest things about being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys is that fans of other teams always have something to say to you. To be fair, my desk, my attire, and my “baby got Dak” coffee mug are walking advertisements for my overwhelming fandom, so that’s just inviting conversation. But other fans seem very comfortable taking digs at Dallas’ “lack of success” over the last couple of decades. One of the most common questions is “how can you still be a fan” or “don’t you get sick of losing?”
While the Cowboys have been the poster child for coming up short since the turn of the century, there are a couple of things fans from other teams seem to lose sight of. First, the Cowboys were so incredibly awesome in the ‘70s and ‘90s that they built a strong fanbase foundation for those who have followed the team for many years. Younger fans don’t get that, but it’s a real thing.
Haters are quick to point out that’s all in the past, but another key factor that keeps the love rolling in is that they keep winning. Did you know that the Cowboys have a 137-104 record over the last 15 seasons, ranking them eighth overall during that span? Green Bay, New Orleans, and Seattle are the only other NFC teams who have more wins than Dallas during that time. No team in NFL history has played in more playoff games (64) than the Dallas Cowboys. So, even though they are supposedly not all that great anymore, none of those fabulous teams over the last few decades have been able to catch up to the Cowboys when it comes to playoff appearances. Not New England, not Green Bay, not anyone.
While playoff excitement and the beautiful star on the helmet are a nice draw, the most satisfying thing about being a fan of the Cowboys can be described by this one statement.
I have watched my team win on Sundays more than you have watched your team win - Danny Phantom, die-hard Cowboys fan
Okay, so technically this may or may not be true depending on when you started following football. Older fans of the Chicago Bears are likely to have witnessed more victories whereas younger fans of the Cowboys have not. But if you’ve been a long-time fan of the Cowboys like I have, there’s a good chance this holds true against most other fans.
Let the significance of such a statement sink in. Imagine a normal football Sunday. Imagine your mood the next day after your team comes through with a big victory. Think of all those wonderful moments your football team has provided you with over the years. Now, if you collected those memories and put them in a jar over the last several decades, then you’d have yourself a nice little savings.
The Cowboys used to own the highest winning percentage in NFL history, but unfortunately, three-straight 13-3 seasons from the Green Bay Packers have changed that. The current rankings for the highest winning percentage are as follows:
- Green Bay Packers record: 782-581-38 (winning percentage = 57.17%)
- Dallas Cowboys record: 583-403-6 (winning percentage = 57.12%)
These two teams are neck and neck and it wouldn’t take much to jump the Packers. Green Bay has played in over 400 more games than the Cowboys so their winning % curve is less sensitive than the Cowboys. If both teams were to struggle, that means the Cowboys might still have to win a few more games than Green Bay to finish with a higher winning percentage. However, if both teams are good, then the Cowboys just need to keep close to the same record to finish with a better overall winning percentage.
We’ve plotted each team’s new winning percentage based on how many games they’ll win this upcoming season. You can see that 12-5 is the mark when the Cowboys eclipse the Packers in winning percentage if they both win the same amount of games. We’ve also included the exact record Dallas would need for every win/loss scenario for Green Bay.
Does your team having the best winning percentage in the NFL matter to you?
The game with Green Bay should make that mid-November afternoon battle in Lambeau Field that much more important as it will represent a two-game swing. Not that we needed another reason to root against Aaron Rodgers and company, but alas, here it is. With any luck, the Cowboys can re-claim what was once theirs and again be known as the NFL team with the best overall winning percentage.