Photo: AP

Some people are fans of the Dallas Cowboys. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Dallas Cowboys. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: America’s Toilet Clog.

Your 2017 record: 9-7. Pretty amazing that they won nine ballgames despite putting more effort into preventing Zeke Elliott’s suspension than they put into winning actual games. During one three-game slump, they were outscored by 70 points. They let one dude sack their quarterback six times in a single game. And they allowed what is easily the dumbest Hail Mary touchdown I’ve ever seen:

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Everyone knows Alex Smith can’t throw a football over a swimming pool, and yet the Cowboys let Tyreek Hill score anyway. Amazing. It’s almost like a football team owned by a reptilian camera-whore who treats every game like the Grand Opening of a new Carmax lot has trouble being consistent! FANCY THAT.

Your coach: Jason Garrett. Ever since the Double J shitcanned Jimmy Johnson for not participating in a bar toast and let Barry Switzer coach a Super Bowl while drunk, he has bent over backwards to bring in replacement-level head coaches and keep them around FOREVER to show the world that he’s not the drunken, impulsive freakshow he’s made out to be (and is!). As a result, the Cowboys occasionally fart out a 13-3 season, lose in the divisional round, and then suck for another four years before repeating the process all over again. You are currently entering one of those pronounced dips once more. America rejoices.

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Your quarterback: Dak Prescott. Who could have predicted that Dak would regress in his second year and bear more of a resemblance to a fourth-round pick than a miracle franchise savior… except for the entire free world? It’s only gonna get worse for Dak, because I’ve seen this receiving corps and it’s fucking atrocious. Maybe that’s why he’s already kowtowing to his owner.

Suck up to Jerry and you will only grow more entrenched the more you underperform. It’s the same reason he still stands by Papa John, after all. By the end of this season, Dak is gonna have Quincy Carter’s numbers and he’ll still get a $75 million extension out of it. The NFL is in constant and dire need of fun, interesting young players, so of course Dak Prescott goes to Dallas and, in just two years, transforms into a lifeless company man. Georgia Tech will have a better passing offense than this team.

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Behind Dak is something called Cooper Rush. That is the most Dallas name I’ve ever heard. Cooper Rush is a guy with frosted tips and Pennzoil-branded polo shirt who ejaculates pure Donkey Sauce.

What’s new that sucks: Dez is gone and burned every last bridge on the way out, which is fine because he’s been overrated for the past three years. The problem is that the Cowboys made virtually no effort to replace him with anyone useful. They’re gonna start Terrance Williams, man! Terrance Williams can’t even keep his CAR in bounds. Here’s Tavon Austin, who is good for one 60-yard reverse in garbage time twice a year. Here’s Allen Hurns, who had one good year with Blake Bortles before reverting back to being a dude named Allen Hurns. I was saying WHOOOO-urns. Jason Witten retired and his replacement is something called Geoff Swaim. Cole Beasley is still around and I hate him. That guy catches one slant route and suddenly every girl in fringe boots at the stadium is like COWL BEASLEY CAIN HAVE MAH BAYBAY!

The good news on offense is that the offensive line is still the Vaunted Cowboys Offensive Line™ (you must use the word “vaunted” when referring to it or else Jerry replaces you in the TV booth with a different ex-Cowboy), and Zeke Elliot is back for a full season. Last year, this man was suspended and then unsuspended and then re-suspended roughly 98,000 times. But now he’s back for good, which means Garrett will be forced to run him 50 times a game. AND you’ll get to be constantly reminded that Zeke is a complete prick.

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Also, Zeke’s Dad is an Urban Meyer truther, so that’s neat. Jerry Jones will only stand by his players if they’ve assaulted someone.

Zack Martin is hurt already. Take away those three All-Pro linemen and this is Cleveland’s roster.

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What has always sucked: It’s genuinely amazing that the #MeToo movement got Foghorn Leghorn out of the paint in Carolina, but somehow the Viagra-addled boa constrictor who presides over the Cowboys still remains tightly wrapped around the entire league. If you had to sketch out a worst-case scenario for America upon its founding, Jerry Jones would pretty much be it: a sentient tongue with everyone else’s money to burn.

This man’s brain is in his dick. Like the NFL itself, there is no PR crisis that Jerry Jones cannot make worse by barging in with his bad taste, his wooden fangs, and his wrinkly hard-on. He’ll just ride in, loaded up on Johnnie Walker, and then he’ll take a steaming dump to mark his territory. Jerry cannot live if he is not the sun around which all earthly garbage must orbit. He tried to get Zeke off and failed. He tried to get Roger Goodell ousted, failed, and got fined $2 million in the process. He tried to impose his own anthem policy on his team and failed. He took a knee BEFORE a game last year in an attempt to look compassionate (and to sleazily pre-empt any mid-song protest) and failed. He tried to stand for the anthem himself and failed.

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And yet, this twangin’ racist shitheel still gets to be treated like Texas royalty. In trying to purge the NFL of any political context, Jerry Jones himself has become a political statement. He stands for all our societal ills. He is every rich corrupt asshole with busy fingers, feverishly trying to pry open both your wallet and your legs. That is why the Cowboys are now Ted Cruz: The Football Team, right down to the fact that they don’t actually win anything important. He is a horrible, nasty old shit.

“I’m very sad,” Jones said after the Cowboys’ win at the Oakland Raiders. “Jerry is one of the really, really, really outstanding men of football that I’ve ever met, and I really admire him. I know that he made it the old-fashioned way. He worked for it. He took what he made in a short time in pro football and turned it into a great business and then used that to get the Carolina franchise. So he’s a great story.”

See, that’s just like both Jerrys. Call yourself a self-made man and you get to act as if the world owes you everything. Look at this smug asshole:

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That’s a man who knows he can fuck up over and over and over again but it doesn’t matter because he’s swindled his way into being bulletproof. Any defeat for Jerry is a win so long as it’s PUBLIC, and so long as his stupid toothy mug is seared onto your brain. This really is America’s Team, if you consider how fucking warped America is at the moment.

By the way, Cowboys fans are no better. They’re all cul-de-sac garbage from Highland Park and Frisco who congregate at Jerryworld because that’s the apex of fine culture to them. They’re also delusional idiots:

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That’s such a Cowboys fan mentality. Like Jerry, Cowboys fans think all of their shortcomings are because someone has treated them very unfairly.

Sean Lee is gonna get hurt again. David Irving has already been suspended AGAIN. A week from now, Randy Gregory will be suspended 12 games for inhaling secondhand Pall Mall smoke as he’s walking out of the stadium. Get used to a lot more swing pass Hail Marys, kids.

Dez dropped the ball.

What might not suck: How old is Jerry? 75? Hey, maybe he’ll die!

Let’s remember a guy who sucked: I miss the days of Jerry personally drafting players like Kavika Pittman and Sherman Williams. Those were the good times. Just Jerry and a pint of overpriced whiskey and 17 yes-men in the war room, all of them looking on in horror as Jerry drafts anyone with broad shoulders and a sex addiction.

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HEAR IT FROM COWBOYS FANS! 

Will:

Michael Irvin stiffed me out of Boy Scout popcorn money when I was 12 by refusing to answer the door and I could see him walking around the living room bare-assed except for a mink bathrobe. Eat shit, Mike.

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Teddy:

The fish rots from the head, and our fish’s head has been rotting for over twenty years.

Brad:

I feel like being a fan of the Cowboys is like being a Star Wars fan when the second wave of movies dropped in the late 90’s/early 2000’s.

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Jon:

For a brief time I had a Cowboys credit card and got shit on by basically everyone I handed it to.

Tucker:

Don’t be surprised when Jerry is elected president in 2024 and replaces all the tap water with Pepsi Max.

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Luke:

Our defense is one Sean Lee sneeze away from being unable to stop a retirement home bingo club.

Kyle:

North Texas is hell.

Brian:

I have two friends with Cowboys season tickets. One takes a helicopter to the game and the other is an alcoholic used car salesman who bought fourth level tickets on credit. This is the Cowboys fanbase.

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Pat:

We signed Tavon Austin to start at wide receiver in 2018, which might be more embarrassing than the Eagles winning the Super Bowl.

Charles:

Jerry has to die at some point, right? RIGHT???

Mason:

Their strategy is to be vaguely competitive, without ever achieving anything of note.

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Richard:

Every year Jerry finds new an inventive ways to make being a Cowboys fan embarrassing and shameful.

Enrique:

My dad still waxes eloquent on how hard working Jay Novacek is.

Canon:

Watching “All or Nothing” finally cemented in my mind that I root for a Ponzi scheme. The only thing that matters is their annual valuation, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a mark.

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David:

I don’t have effort this year, because what’s the goddamn point. We’re the Donald Trump of football. Fucking Christ.

Adam:

Zeke hasn’t been in the news for a while so we’re definitely due for that.

Elliott:

Our quarterback actually said these words:

“My favorite song ever is ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train. It’s one of the songs I listen to before games. It’s chill, but also upbeat at the same time.”

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Jayce:

The devil wears a powder blue suit and mirrored ray ban aviators.

Lareign:

Jerry Jones is totes fine with players assaulting their wives/girlfriends/random women at parades as long as they don’t somehow disrespect the American flag and/or Papa John in the process.

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Jerry:

Our RB will probably be too injured at the end of the season from overuse to sexually harass women in public anymore.

Cristian:

Because even though Jerruh is a pompous, racist ass and the biggest reason this team blows, I can’t even complain about him being the worst owner in the division.

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Nick:

The experience of American capitalism is like wandering through a desert wasteland and the Cowboys are like the mirage; from far away it looks like a football team but when you get closer it’s the same hot pile of bullshit that you’ve been carrying in your hair and clothes for the last hundred miles.

Billy:

My father’s generation sold its soul to Jerry Jones for three Super Bowls. I get to deal with the hangover without having had any of the fun. Fuckin’ Baby Boomers.

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Brandon:

Being a Cowboys fan (from Dallas) and living in DC proper is a special kind of misery. I can’t quietly watch the Cowboys at a bar without some chinstrap-facial-hair clad gentleman from Manassas somehow mistaking me for a brother in arms. Jesus fucking Christ. I’d rather get shivved by an Eagles fan in the Linc parking lot rather than hold a conversation with most Cowboys fans out here.

What’s better is that fans of literally every single other team will openly, and without restraint, tell me to get fucked on account of my fandom. I can say, without a fraction of doubt, that if I went to a bar in Calgary that some drunk asshole in a Stampede jersey would go out of his way tell me “Romo was a fucking choke artist”.

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Joe:

Ever get introduced to someone during football season? As small talk inevitable turns towards whatever the latest news is in the NFL, there is sense of dread that comes over me as I realize the conversation is about to lead towards, “So, who is your team?” I imagine it must be similar to what a doctor feels like as he’s about to tell a family member that their loved one is braindead on life support, staring at a hopeful and friendly face, knowing that what is about to come out of your mouth will smash that smile and cripple any positive emotion they may be capable of emitting towards you.

Brian:

My buddies and I were sitting around smoking cigars and one of us asked, “Would Jerry pay $1,000,000,000 for another Super Bowl?” The vote amongst the five of us was unanimously YES. Then we asked, “Would he take a guaranteed Super Bowl win, but he has a few players kneel before the anthem every week?” The vote was unanimously NO.

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Charlie:

Jerry deserves getting fucked over by Trump and Goodell, Goodell certainly deserves any bad things that come his way. Ditto Trump and Zeke. And yet why do I deserve any of this? Because I followed a winner in 2nd grade. Harsh but fair.

Michael:

A brief list of things I’ve said with a straight face in defense of my beloved Cowboys:

“Jeff Heath isn’t THAT bad. Maybe even decent!”

“Maybe Pacman Jones will turn his life around for us.”

“Maybe Greg Hardy will turn his life around for us.”

“Maybe Rolando McClain will turn his life around for us.”

“Maybe Randy Gregory will turn his life around for us.”

I would dropkick a puppy for a Wide Receiver who’s actually caught a pass at the NFL level. Tony Romo could be shot in the abdomen during a play, perform surgery on himself to remove the bullet without anesthesia, stitch his tummy back up and then take a sack, and people would STILL call him a pussy.

I hate this team.

Fredrik:

During the game against the Rams in which Demarco Murray broke the single game franchise rushing record, a guy pickpocketed me at the JerryWorld team store. The best moment of being a fan of this wretched franchise over the last 18 years was when I realized I didn’t have anything valuable in the pocket he reached for... and the Cowboys managed to beat AJ Feeley.

Jason Garret has an anus for a face and for a personality.

Fuck the following people with broken shards of sky mirror:

Jerry Jones

Roy Williams

Bobby Carpenter

Martellus Bennett

Lucio:

I’m a Cowboys fan. Never been to Texas. Never been within a thousand miles, even. Shit, I’ve only ever crossed the Mississippi twice. I am why this team sucks.

Our racist mummy owner decided to beat the league to the punch on the anthem front, because his moral compass demagnetized 250 years ago. At this rate, nobody will ever see a Cowboys player kneel, because they won’t be in the victory formation once this year.

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Randal:

Dallas is a soulless concrete hellscape with no culture and filled a million white frat boys with Blue Lives Matter stickers on the back of their 3 series BMW.

Two years ago I was at a family member’s house for Thanksgiving and they had the fucking Cowboys on and were talking about some old man who got beat up for having a Trump sticker on his car and how the liberals are the real intolerant ones. Fuck you. My wife and I just bought a house in Pittsburgh and I’m a Steelers fan now. Don’t @ me.

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Craig:

Garrett has ZERO playoff wins. Yet Jerry keeps him in place. Why?

Because Jerry can count on Garrett. He can count on him to be as tepidly inoffensive in press conferences as he is in his playcalling. To never, ever contradict even the most painfully stupid of Jerry’s decisions (Greg Hardy). To never publicly criticize a player or coach even when it’s obvious to my first grader that a Hot Take is in order. To accept every instruction from the front office without question or the nagging doubts of a moral compass, and to spout platitudes about doing things the Right Way while shitting quarts of liquid hell all over even the most generous definitions of right or wrong (let’s release Lucky Whitehead but bend over backwards to keep Zeke on the field!).

Jerry will never fire Garrett, barring something like a Browns level of ineptitude. Unless and until Jerry, Jr. is handed the Motorola headset, Garrett will continue to lead this team to records hovering around 9-7, keeping Dallas relevant in the wild card hunt until week 17, which is all Jerry cares about, regardless of the fact that Garrett will never win a playoff game. I used to believe otherwise, but I now accept that Jerry values power, profits, and #branding above winning, which means things will never change, because the Cowboys’ streak as the most valuable sports franchise in the world now stands at 2 years, meaning in Jerry’s eyes, everything is going according to plan.

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Matt:

I always realized that being a Cowboys fan was the pinnacle of NFL fan generic-ness. I didn’t realize how generic it was until last year when there were no less than six submissions published by people named “Matt”. I hate all of them and I will absolutely continue to watch games with a heavy dose of self-loathing.

Matt:

Despite paying Dak a quarter of what big yoghurt is, we weren’t able to field a complete team for fifteenth time this century.

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John:

Something I would like to add into the ether: Jason Garrett is, without a doubt, the worst coach in the NFL. Don’t let the 8-8 record fool you and place him in the middle of the pack. Garrett is kept one hundred percent afloat by the talent level on the team. He cannot adjust to anything schematically. When Zeke was out, they tried to run the exact same offense with Alfred Morris, who is just a worse version of Zeke in every way. They sucked. When Tyron Smith was out for the game against the Falcons, they didn’t give his backup (who sucks) any sort of help. Dak nearly died. As evidence of this, the best years Garrett has had have been when all his star players are healthy. Anyone goes down, it’s totally over. If you gave our entire team to any of the other coaching staffs in the division, they would be better than they are.

By associating myself with the NFL, and further the Cowboys, I am implicitly supporting just about everything that I hate. Tony Romo is more deserving of the Hall of Fame than Eli Manning and I hope to one day literally die on a hill defending this point. Everything sucks.

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Michael:

That idiot fucking Yosemite Sam knockoff decides to get in a dick-measuring contest with a guy who hasn’t ever had a real job, costing not only my dynasty team but my actual team six fucking games so the fucking Eagles finally win a championship.

Luke:

The last 20 years of my life have been wasted cheering for some of the worst human beings ever to walk the earth.

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Chris:

Cowboys fans love shitty public figures because Cowboys fans are shitty people. They’d have licked Dez’s nutsack a year ago, but now that he’s gone it’s back to epithets and turns of phrase you’d have assumed died with Plessy v Ferguson.

Brad:

Did you know after the Cowboys won the 1993 Super Bowl, they had both the youngest and lowest-paid roster in the NFL? And the next year — after winning consecutive Super Bowls — the Cowboys owner fired the man who was most directly responsible for the roster and the championships? AND, did you know that owner is still in charge today?

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Vincent:

The first Cowboys game I remember watching was with my Dad when I was 5 years old. We just moved away from Berlin to Frankfurt in Germany and it was the first time I was allowed to stay up late to watch sports. This was the end scene before they cut off the broadcast and it pretty much sums the last 22 years up perfectly.

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Samuel:

At a wedding earlier this year, I ended up talking with an older gentlemen who made his money in construction and had since retired to live in Frisco (where the Cowboy’s training camp/evil lair, the Star, is located). Now, according to him, crane rental is one of the most expensive parts of construction, so most new structures are built using just one crane. Evidently, this wasn’t gonna fly for good ol’ Jerry Jones, so he rented three cranes just to make sure the Star was built faster than anything else in the area.

Josh:

I have watched three playoff victories in my entire life. That is 22 seasons. Fun!

The best player might have beaten up his girlfriend.

The QB can’t throw a 15-yard out route.

Do we have any receivers?

Our best linebacker will get hurt by week 4.

I hate this stupid franchise.

They’re going to win the Super Bowl this season.

Glenn:

Last year, I got my first job out of college at a small college athletic department in Virginia. On my first day, I found out my new boss was also a Cowboys fan. I thought “Great! We will get along just fine.”

He then proceeded to say the following things over the course of the next nine months:

“I would have signed Ray Rice the day after he was cut. The dude is still a playmaker”

“There’s no video of what Greg Hardy did, I don’t know why people are so upset. So he didn’t do anything wrong”

“The woman who accused Zeke of those things was crazy and just wanted some money”

“I don’t care if Michael Irvin snorted cocaine off a stripper’s ass on the 50-yard line, as long as he’s scoring touchdowns I don’t care what he does off the field”

[back to Greg Hardy] “If she did get hit she probably deserved it!”

“I have not had a vegetable since 1994 and I don’t plan on eating one ever again”

I now have a new job and he was fired a week after I left.

Brad:

The average player lasts three seasons in the NFL, and even your top shelf non-quarterback players tend to retire around season ten. Yet, the Cowboys were somehow blindsided by a 15-year veteran tight end’s retirement.

Now we have a starting quarterback entering his supposed “make or break” third season with a receiving corps that consists of Allen Hurns, two dwarfs, a third round rookie, and drunk Lance Armstrong. Meanwhile, resident sociopath David Irving is suspended again, the linebackers consist of a rookie who is fresh off of living with Big Foot in the woods of Idaho, a second year guy with one working knee, and Sean Lee, who’s hamstring will slingshot off of him and hit the video screen at some point this season.

Not that any of that matters since Zeke is one sideways visit to Hooters from being squashed by the Ginger Hammer and our All-Pro left tackle has a back that’s made up of sawdust and toffee.

We still don’t have reliable public transportation to the stadium. Thanks, Jerry. I hope the outrageous parking fees make you enough money to buy a case of Johnny Walker Blue and John Bonham yourself.

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Andrew:

I quit watching.

For the first time since my youth, I took a long look at the steaming plate of shit being handed to me by the double J, and I thought to do something other than just scarf it down at first glance. I actually looked at it.

And realized that I and Dallas Cowboys fans everywhere have been eating shit for the past 20 plus years. That’s what we are now. We’re the shiteater team. We’ve been the shiteater team ever since our generic 80s era Paul Verhoeven villain-owner took over. And now, here we are, shit all over our faces. We know it. Jerry knows it. Malcolm Jenkins knows it. The whole NFL knows it now (thanks Dez!) and they’re laughing at us, and frankly, we deserve it.

But it wasn’t until I saw the Monopoly-Man-Brought-To-Life, standing there arm in arm with his fellow players, RESPECTIN’ THE FLAG AND THE TROOPS BAH GAWD, pretending he gave even an iota of a fuck about “the concerns of the Help”, that I just lost it. Like, the image just broke my football brain. I was confronted, visually, with the antithesis of everything I believe in as a human being, and I had to decide if I was going to willingly continue to stare into the capitalistic abyss that Jones was exposing me to or if I was going to step back and do literally anything else with my Sunday afternoons.

I walked away and it broke my goddamn heart to do it. Worse yet, I felt ashamed to do it. Like, I called my dad a few weeks later and he said “How Bout Them Cowboys” and I could only muster up a “Jesus dad I’ve been busy, how are they doin?”. I could hear his reproach in his voice when he said, with a rising note of conservative fear, “You haven’t been watching the Cowboys? But you love the Cowboys!” and I wanted to be like “Yeah I loved them but now we got shit all over our faces”, but I didn’t say this, ‘cuz I don’t swear at my father and I hadn’t come up with this visual metaphor yet.

But that’s how it is when you walk away from your team, it’s like a break up or a loss of faith, and yeah, maybe that’s a pretty special kind of bullshit to feel so strongly about a sports team you could theoretically choose to leave at any time, but if you love sports half as much as I’m guessing you do, you get what I mean. I just couldn’t keep on with it, and despite the bad feels and reproachful comeuppances (mostly from the few conservatives who have remained latched onto my social web) I quit watching entirely.

So I’m taking a break. I don’t have anything funny to say about the players. I can’t even think of a good Cole Beasley jab, and I named my cat after him as a fucking joke. I’m on the other side of the looking glass, watching this shitheel of a team continue to exist without me. I don’t know how ANY Cowboys fan who has even a smidgen of human empathy in them can reconcile the moral costs of giving money and attention to the Jerry’s Football Wonderland.

The worst part is that I know that it makes absolutely no goddamn difference if I watch or don’t watch. The machine is too big now. We can’t turn it off- it’s learned to run itself, and even when Jerry’s shriveled ass has died and his brain jar has finally dissolved the last atom of gray matter that kept him legally at the helm of the world’s richest sports franchise, it won’t matter.

Just as there is no ethical consumption under capitalism, there is no ethical fandom under the Dallas Cowboys. And who mourns for us, you might ask? Who mourns the ethical Cowboys fan?

Fuck this moral sewer dump of a team, fuck Jason Garrett, fuck Jerry Jones, fuck the anthem, fuck the troops, fuck propoganda, fuck Trump, triple fuck Pence, fuck Mrs. Jones’ art selection at AT&T Stadium, Fuck Troy Aikman with Joe Buck’s Mic, fuck Terrance Williams with grounds crew’s sideline painter, fuck Julius Jones and DOUBLE FUCK Marion Barber, fuck Roy Williams, fuck Mo Claiborne, fuck Greg Hardy with his own assault rifle, fuck Quincy Carter, fuck Sean Lee’s knee, fuck Rolando McClain’s burned down house, fuck Dwayne Harris, fuck Jeff Heath, fuck Doug Free, fuck Josh Brent, fuck Jason Witten with his own Walter Payton trophy, fuck Wade Philips, fuck Rob “I’ll be out of work for five minutes” Ryan, fuck Monte Kiffin, fuck the Dez Bryant Tape, and for good measure fuck Danny White ‘cuz why the fuck not, I wasn’t alive when he played anyway.

Fuck everything forever and ever and God Fuck the Dallas Cowboys AMEN. I’m done with this shit.

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Dane:

Back in the 90’s, my father (since retired) was an internal security investigator with a federal agency that shall remain nameless. After receiving a tip about some wild procurement overruns, my dad began investigating a manager that worked in the same building he worked.

It turns out this guy was, among other things, expensing his Cowboys season tickets to the US government, and had been doing so for three years.

Oh yeah, I should mention he lived and worked in New York.

Eight times a year (plus playoffs!), my dude would fly to Texas alone on a Saturday, get a hotel room, watch the Aikman/Smith/Irvin era Cowboys wreck some other team’s shit, fly back to NYC, and be in at work Monday morning with no one the wiser, all on the taxpayer’s dime. And again, to reiterate, he got away with this for Three. Motherfucking. Years. When finally confronted, he readily confessed, breaking down in tears explaining “how much the team meant to me”. In all, he stole about $120,000 in cash and expenses.

Naturally, to avoid scandal, the case was swept under the rug and the guy got off fairly easy with 18 months in minimum security. Jerry would be so proud.

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Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Detroit Lions.