I and many others have lamented the exposure the Dallas Cowboys get, despite the team being a complete waste of everyone’s time. ESPN, NBC, FOX — they can’t wait to lustily paste the Star of Texas on their prime windows, and yet all the ‘Boys do is throw up masticated foodstuffs pretty much every time. No one wants to watch someone else puke, figuratively or literally, and yet there are the Cowboys, consistently, “screaming at their shoes” on national TV.
But I think I get it now. It might be the one altruistic thing the networks do, even if it’s indirectly. Because the Dallas Cowboys are truly America’s team. An overhyped and overwrought organization led by a senile billionaire clamoring for a heyday that only ever existed for a short time, maybe, but for much longer in the hazy memories of people over 50.
Through the Cowboys, we can see what we are as a country, and really always have been.
We’re constantly reminded of the Cowboys’ place in football, how important they’ve always been. But, really, have they? They have the early ‘90s, a period in the ‘70s, and that’s it. Even in the ‘70s they were eclipsed by the Steelers. Dallas is cashing in on an aura they never really earned. It’s all manufactured and glossed up in the memory banks, to fudge the truth: that it never really happened. Meanwhile, the thesis of “Make America Great Again” is its implication that America was great at some point. It wasn’t, it just kept saying so until that started sounding like the truth.
The Cowboys are run into the ground by Jerry Jones, a loose grouping of cockroaches with barely enough skin desperately grafted over them to avoid rupture and spillage. But he’ll never suffer for his incompetence. The masses of the Metroplex and elsewhere (like every hockey writer, for some odd reason) will flock toward Jones’ monument to himself and fill his pockets, all while falsely feeling like they’re part of something.
Jones has rigged the system to his own whims and desires, and serves as the NFL’s de facto commissioner without ever having to answer for it. He is the true power, even though it apparently does not compel him to create a product anyone should give a flying fuck about.
The Cowboys play in a building that is the biggest simply to be the biggest, without any charm or convenience. The stadium’s only uniqueness is its bombasity, while doing nothing for anyone’s experience within it other than to say they were there once. It is filled by those who couldn’t afford to fund it but did anyway and get no benefit from it but are blinded to that fact by the sheer show of it.
And as long as Jones is around, nothing will change. The rules and agreements of the entire league will run through him, and will pass the only test that matters, what they mean for Jones’s bottom line. No amount will ever be enough.
And insulated in that way, Jones will continue to tinker and bend and break his toy, and as long as the chatter is about the Cowboys nationwide he’ll never know that he’s doing it wrong and badly. Players’ careers will turn to dust and fade into obscurity, truly good and difference-making players will break either physically or spiritually or both, but the machine will roll on for those it’s made to benefit, namely, just Jones. Only a true revolution in pro football will change anything, but the fans are placated just enough by shiny things and the impetus that they can’t ignore to keep showing up, and never walk out. Where else would they go anyway?
America’s team, through and through.