When Brandon Marshall called Chicago's win over the Cowboys two weeks ago—at Cowboys Stadium—a "home game", he wasn't kidding. The Bears jumped out to an early lead, never looked back, and received an increasing percentage of the cheers as the game went on.
That didn't sit well with some, but Troy Aikman says it's nothing new. Aikman, speaking on SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket (as transcribed by the Dallas Morning News), compared Cowboys home games to those of their NFC East rivals—and finds them lacking.
"I don't think Dallas has ever really had a great home field advantage. What I've heard is that, 'Wow, they really lost home field advantage when they left Texas Stadium.' Texas Stadium really wasn't that different. Having played playoff games in Texas Stadium, that stadium was rocking, it was great. ... But when we would play in Philadelphia, New York and walk out of the tunnel, I would have to be yelling at the top of my lungs for guys to hear me. And you get on the plane for the flight home and your head would be pounding, you wouldn't have a voice, and that's just the way that it was. There was no way you could go down there near the goal line and use hard count in an opposing stadium. And yet in Texas Stadium, teams did it all the time."
Any theories as to why, Troy?
"I think for a large part – and the fans don't want to hear this – a lot of the people that attend sports in this town, they're there because it's kind of just a place to be seen. I didn't know anybody who went to Rangers games, and then when they started winning and going to World Series, everybody's wearing Rangers hats and saying, 'Oh yeah, I'm a big Rangers fan.' I've always said Dallas isn't so much a sports town as it is a winner's town."
Aikman's not the first of the Triplets to throw out the "bandwagoner" accusation, so it's probably got to sting for Cowboys fans hearing it. But here's a simple way to decide how mad you should be right now. Are you a frontrunner? If yes, no one cares about your hurt feelings. If no, Aikman's not talking about you.
And don't listen to Emmitt Smith on Romo. That's not about bandwagoning. If giving Tony Romo grief is wrong, then nothing is right.
Troy Aikman: Cowboys rarely had loud home crowds; a lot of Dallas fans go 'to be seen' [Dallas Morning News]