Photo: Michael Owen Baker (AP)

Some people are fans of the Dallas Cowboys. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Dallas Cowboys. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Dallas Cowboys.

Your 2018 record: 10-6. These Cowboys overachieved and won the NFC East last season. They also somehow got good value out of giving up an oil baron’s ransom for Amari Cooper. But, in an act of divine consolation, none of that mattered in the end, because Andrew Whitworth and the Rams balled them up and shat them out after DeMarcus Lawrence decorated their bulletin board talking some Jay from Clerks shit about taking Jared Goff’s soul. He got his ass flattened.

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Winning the division was a ruse given that the rest of the NFC East last season was a laundromat someone burned to the ground for insurance money. Despite their decent record, the Cowboys still did plenty of the gaudy, asinine shit they do on an annual basis. They started 3-5. They lost to the Skins after getting outsmarted by Jay Gruden, which is like when I lose an argument with one of my children. They also got outsmarted by the Titans, a team that doesn’t even know forward passes are legal. They got shut out by the Colts. Their quarterback got sacked by his own lineman. Their salary cap was a cemetery. They went headhunting. Getting run over by C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley to close out the season was just the kind of frontier justice I crave for these showy asshats.

Over the course of this century, the Cowboys have always been a team with bad habits that hopes that the rest of the league will accommodate them anyway just because they’re the DALLIS CAGGGHHHBOYS. That chesty ignorance is their brand personality. They LIKE being this stupid. As such, the Cowboys are still considered a showcase NFL franchise despite having had as much success as the Skins and Bills over the last two decades. It’s so perfect that the NFL’s flagship franchise is such a weird and extremely expensive mess. I see nothing in the Cowboys.

Your coach: HMMMM YES INDEED. There’s a deep satisfaction in watching Princeton Boy Jason Garrett get constantly outfoxed by whatever slab of olive loaf is coaching on the opposite sideline. He never manages the clock correctly. He apparently thinks a punt is the ballsiest play you can run in enemy territory. It’s a wonder he can work a headset, really. He is Jim Tomsula in boat shoes. He can’t even outfox you and me. This is the final year of Garrett’s contract, and here he is pretending like he can brush it off.

“To be honest with you, I never really think about that,” Garrett said from training camp in Oxnard. “I never thought about that as a player. I don’t think about that as a coach. I just come to work every day and try to do the best job that I can do in the position that I have.”

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God forbid these people ever show a trace of vulnerability. Garrett is either lying here, or he’s telling the truth and therefore completely oblivious to the urgency of his situation (this would align with his playcalling habits), or he’s convinced that spending nine years as a devoted lickspittle to his owner will earn him nine more years regardless. He might be right on that last point. Garrett would have to hijack a blimp to get fired at this point. The only people who might believe Garrett when he claims he’s LASER FOCUSED ON SPROTS are Cowboys fans who shell out $100 to watch the game on a TV stationed over an artisanal sausage kiosk in the Jerryworld concourse.

Your new offensive coordinator is Kellen Moore, who looks like he lures campers to a shed to murder them:

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Your quarterback: Dak Prescott, who will eventually get his $40 million a year from this franchise because owner Jerry Jones, pictured here…

I think you’ve had those rings quite long enough

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…is so delighted that the Cowboys unearthed Dak in the fourth round that he’ll spend the next decade paying Dak and parading him around as a living testament to his own football scouting acumen. Meanwhile, Dak’s DYAR last season was lower than that of both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eli Manning. He’s one of those QBs who is dutifully efficient without ever really playing big. He’s like a more marketable Alex Smith. High percentage passes! Few touchdowns! Runs for 10 yards on third-and-15! DAK HAS IT ALL.

Your backup remains Cooper Rush, who has the most Dallas name on the team now that Cole Beasley has fucked off to Buffalo.

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What’s new that sucks: Jason Witten un-retired! Why it’s like having a coach out on the field!

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Witten is just gonna keep playing football until his brain is made of coffee pudding. He has not had a 1,000-yard season since 2012. He hasn’t averaged over 50 yards a game since 2013. Witten is the Rafael Palmeiro of tight ends. He’ll fit right back into this milquetoast offense. I’m already changing the channel to a rerun of Fixer Upper.

Here to replace Beasley on the field, but never in the heart of every Highland Park divorcee, is former Packer Randall Cobb, who hasn’t had a good season since 1993. David Irving, who is the Josh Gordon of pass rushers, retired to smoke weed (I approve). The good news is that Sean Lee is still here, at least until he accidentally dislocates his tongue in Week 3. Center Travis Frederick, who missed all of last season after discovering he had Guillain–Barré Syndrome, is also back in the lineup, which is good because your opening day running back might be, uh, Tony Pollard.

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Okay, well now I know why Jason Garrett has stayed employed here so long. It’s just he and Jerry, sitting handless in a pile of twisted chrome, assuming everything will work out just groovy in the end. Anyway, Jerry can yap all he likes about ZEKE WHO? and workin’ the cap and only makin’ deals he’s comfortable with, but he’s still gonna end up paying Zeke Elliott $900 million and hamstringing the Cowboys into the next decade after Zeke gets caught on tape pushing a lady in a wheelchair off a roof. That is because…

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What has always sucked: The Cowboys are the NFL’s id. Yes, they’re shitty because of Jerry, and because of their misplaced sense of entitlement, and because of their Vince Gill concert tailgate party of a fanbase, and because I have to watch them play in a 4:25 p.m. or primetime game every goddamn week, even when they go 4-12. But you already knew all that shit. There’s a deeper suckiness to this whole enterprise … an institutional grossness that makes the Cowboys tiresome no matter what guise they come in.

Jerry is the shadow commissioner of the NFL, and he has taken the NFL owners’ boys club ethos and applied it to his own franchise. Jerry hoards the NFL’s supply of resources and then dribbles them out to anyone who swears fealty to him, like he’s Immortan Joe. Jerry will extend anyone he likes because he believes, deep in his Johnnie Walker-drenched soul, that if he likes you, that will MAKE you great.

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After all, it worked with Barry Switzer, did it not? That 1996 title was all Jerry needed to cement the fervent belief that he has The Touch, both metaphorically AND at the strip club. He believes his kinda guys are the BEST guys. Jerry is just like every other rich asshole owner who prizes belonging more than actually winning, who believes that who you know justifies what you do, and who thinks projecting an aura of excellence creates excellence. These guys are all just clinking whiskey tumblers and cackling their way to the grave while improving the lives of exactly no one around them. These are contagious delusions and they’re EVERYWHERE in Jerry’s NFL.

Whenever Jerry dies (call it 2078), he’ll be heralded as a renegade with bold ideas and not what he actually was: a handsy hick who was only intriguing to beat writers when he was clearly shitfaced. That old-ass motherfucker doesn’t even do anything anymore. The Cowboys are essentially run by son Stephen Jones, who looks like a Congressman that got caught fucking a dog. Jerry’s just there to hog credit whenever something goes right and pull out his six-shooter when he’s displeased. He’s a fucking mascot. And so are the fans of this team. You’re all braindead clapbots with removable heads. It’s scary that there are so many of you. No, really. I look at the Cowboys and I realize that America is a lost cause.

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Ezekiel Elliott has had more league investigations than the Cowboys have playoff appearances.

What might not suck: Leighton Vander Esch has already assumed Lee’s mantle of Cris Collinsworth’s Pet. Watch him hand-deliver an apple up to the SNF booth for Cris every other week as this jerky-brained team goes 8-8 for the next 10 years.

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HEAR IT FROM COWBOYS FANS!

Britt:

The Rams only needed Greg Zuerlein and C.J. Anderson to embarrass us.

William:

IF JERRY DOESN’T VALUE THE WORKHORSE BACK, WHY THE FUCK DID HE SPEND THE FOURTH OVERALL PICK IN THE DRAFT ON ONE

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David:

We’ve got the b-movie version of Pete Carroll.

Matthew:

Even among NFL owners - a uniquely loathed group - I feel like Jerry is probably the worst. It’s kind of impressive, it’s like being the worst actor in a Seltzer & Friedberg film or something.

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Drake:

I’ve overheard the following multiple times at the office over the last few months: “We got Witten back, this is our year. Now we just gotta convince Romo to come back.”

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Alexandra:

I’d rather get back with my shithead ex than cheer for this perpetual disappointment. At least he sometimes paid his half of the bills.

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Matt:

As long as JJ own this team and there’s a salary cap we’re fucked nine ways from Sunday.

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Scotty:

Dallas is L.A. except you can’t even get famous there.

Andy:

The real Dez Bryant tape was in our hearts all along. Fuck Jerry.

Craig:

Kellen Moore will be yelled at on Monday morning for not calling more 4-yard out routes to Witten on 3rd-and-7. Fuck Jerry Jones with the propeller from his $225 million yacht.

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Elliot:

I’m so stuck in the 90’s that I’ve been exclusively buying Dallas Cowboys shirts featuring Flintstones and Looney Tunes characters. Marvin Martian thinks the Boys have a real chance this year!

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Edgar:

I know this team will ride my emotions like a cheap old 4-wheeler on country back roads and what do I do about it? Make that surprised Pikachu face.

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Jim:

Jerry Jones and the organization writ large pretty much embodies the antithesis of my worldview. I’ve got pals who get less shit for being Pats fans since 2002 than I do for being a Cowboys fan for nearly 30 years.

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Amanda:

Fuck you Cowboys. I wish I could quit you altogether, but Thanksivings in the Metroplex just wouldn’t be the same without every member of my entire family yelling at the Howdy Doody puppet on the sideline at AT&T Stadium carrying out the exact orders of the old drunk hillbilly in the owner’s box.

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Teddy:

Dirt bag owner? Check. Feckless coach? Check. Completely unreasonable expectations for a team that sits barely over .500 over the last twenty years? Check. But what dawned on me as I prepared my submission this year is that above all else, what makes the Cowboys suck more than any other team is me. Me, along with the rest of our grossly overconfident, band-wagoning, front-running fans fueled by hazy memories of victories from lifetimes ago and other terrible life choices.

In no specific order, here are just some of the ways I have cemented our place at the top of Turd Mountain inside of my 30 short years:

· Cursed out the guy working the register at Arby’s for having the audacity to wear a Brian Westbrook jersey in my presence.

· Hurled full beer cans at passing cars while “celebrating” a win over the previously undefeated Colts

· Howled at a small child and his father (both wearing Eli Manning jerseys) asking them “How my ass taste?” while leaving Texas Stadium after a victory of the eventual SB Champion NY Giants

· Stiffed the San Diego Chargers cheerleaders who stopped by our tailgate at Qualcomm to sell calendars cause they weren’t The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders – still asked for a picture with one, because of course I did.

We should be the ones shoved into cages along the border, not migrant children.

Cale:

Zeke will be in jail or suspended most of his career and impossible to root for. Our Hall Of Fame 37 year old TE is back because he was less interesting than the Booger-Mobile. Our new offensive coordinator scored seven fucking points in the fucking Pro Bowl. Jaylon Smith is a bad ankle sprain away of being done forever. Is Sean Lee still here? Does it matter?

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Arye:

My buddy has season tickets to JerryWorld and seems hell-bent on getting us all to fork over several hundreds of dollars to watch a gigantic television version of Michael Irvin yell at us to “GET ON YOUR FEET” and make some noise while Becky from Grapevine sips on her third Pinot Grigio of the quarter.

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Jason:

Most Cowboys fans, especially older ones, are spoiled, reactionary, dumb rednecks who worship Tom Landry and Roger Staubach and Randy White and Bill Bates and Troy Aikman and Jason Witten. The younger ones were raised by these bootlickers and all drive lifted F-250 King Ranch Editions. They like the tradition, the nostalgia, but there’s a 100% chance if the ‘Boys swapped the iconic blue star on their helmets for the USA-flag-motif/Blue-Lives-Matter Punisher logo, they’d simultaneously orgasm and weep with pride.

These are my people. We haven’t won shit since I was 20. I drink heavily.

Jonathan:

Things you can count on every year as a Cowboys fan

- 500 thinkpieces discussing how “Jason Garrett is actually a great coach.”

- Zeke getting into some kind of trouble that results in at least one meeting with Goodell.

- The team trying to tell its fans they’re going to make an unstoppable weapon out of a Tavon Austin/Lance Dunbar type (this year it will be Tony Pollard).

- The continuation of the DiMaggio-like streak of having a DL suspended for drug use.

- (At best) a loss in the divisional round of the playoffs, likely to Aaron Rodgers.

- Discussions on who the next “triplets” will be, and are they the best Cowboys triplets ever (No).

- Endless praise for Rod Marinelli, who’s never actually achieved anything.

- A terrible nickname for the defense. Last season it was “The Hot Boys.” Kill me.

- One excruciating loss where they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Chris:

Here’s a sample of the stupid shit the Cowboys have done since 2006:

-Sign Mike Vanderjagt

-Signing Terrell Owens against Bill Parcells’s wishes

-Trading 3 draft picks Roy Williams who happened to be awful at WR

-Making Marion Barber the starting RB and making him run wide/outside

-Firing Wade Philips in favor of Jason Garrett, who is the longest tenured coach not named Tom Landry

-Signing Brandon Carr and drafting Morris Claiborne, and then hiring Monte Kiffin and switching the defense to a Tampa 2, making them worthless

-Signing the worst possible backups to Tony Romo (Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna Brandon Weeden, Mark Sanchez, Kyle Orton)

-Drafting players too high (Bobby Carpenter, Gavin Escobar, Taco Charlton)

-Jerry and Stephen Jones threatening to take action against players who are not present for the national anthem

Fuck Jason Garrett, fuck Terence Newman, fuck Marion Barber, fuck Roy Williams (both of them), fuck Monte Kiffin, double fuck Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones with the largest American flag possible, and triple fuck me for continuing to support this shameless, soulless money grab of a football team.

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Erik:

The false axiom that financial success = intellectual prowess is uniquely American, and is never more true than with professional sports ownership (particularly over the last 40 years). And no single owner better exemplifies this than Jerruh Oil Man Jones. He took out loans to speculate on oil, got lucky when it struck, and has spent the last 40 years trying to buy back his soul from the devil while simultaneously being touted as a master marketer and architect of the modern NFL. Wrong. He’s a charlatan’s charlatan who used America’s biggest sports brand to lure in desperate advertisers. Must have been real hard getting those Pepsi and Miller Lite dollars.

He’s not downright evil like Daniel Snyder, but he’s still more concerned with image than with winning. If JJ was so freakin’ smart, he would have signed D-Law in 2018 to 75% of what he did in 2019. He would have extended Dak BEFORE Wentz was extended, and saved $5m in AAV. He would have already signed Amari Cooper and not continue to wait for Julio Jones to drive up the price. Lots of folks like to give Stephen Jones credit for “reining in Jerry” by not letting Jerry draft Johnny Manziel, and while that is certainly commendable, it doesn’t make him Ozzie Smith, John Dorsey or Ron Wolf.

This team is going to go down like that helicopter over the exposed core in Chernobyl Reactor #4 at some point this season, and lame duck HC Jason Garrett will be sacrificed like those poor souls who had to drain off the water in the reactor’s basement. Then instead of doing something smart like promoting Kris Richard or throwing a ton of $ and power at Stanford HC David Shaw, JJ will hire good ‘ol boy Bob Stoops to run the Oklahoma drill 100 times next August. Can’t wait.

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Travis:

While Bob McNair had the decency to finally fucking die, Jerry Jones will continue to ruin what’s left of this once-proud franchise until he’s 117. Even when he does take his personal helicopter to the great Johnnie Walker distillery in the sky, his idiot offspring will take over and continue to run it into the ground, as is their birthright. The Jones family will never sell this team and every draft, Jerry’s grandsons will get one seat closer to the head of the war room table.

Just like when he tried to fuck Emmitt Smith over back in the day, Jerry doesn’t want to pay full price for Dak even though he’s 32-16 after 3 seasons. He will somehow find a way to disenfranchise the quarterback he completely lucked into and one of the few players on the team that’s actually a role model. Jerry also got outmaneuvered by Roger Goodell despite basically owning the NFL.

Our head coach is a freckled ginger with a .566 regular season win percentage and 2-3 playoff record. He punts on 4th and 1 on the opponent’s side of the field during overtime and when he does go for it, he runs the same handoff to Zeke that even my 3 year old niece knows is coming. He can’t make a halftime adjustment to save his fucking life.

Our offensive coordinator is a former training camp tackling dummy.

Eric:

Jerry Jones will never die, but when Satan calls him home to hell to run the General Store, there are multiple generations of Jones available to take over. Here is one. Life is hopeless.

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Levi:

When my mother moved into her new house she excitedly told me that her neighbors were “Cowboys fans too”. I am sure other fan bases are kind of happy when they find a fellow fan to commiserate with but not us. We can’t even handle Cowboyfans. I pleaded with her not to tell them I am a Cowboys fan and threw up in my mouth when she told me they named their dog Zeke.

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Matt:

There should only be two possible outcomes this season:

1) The Cowboys make it to the NFC Championship

2) Jason Garrett gets fired

And yet, I KNOW that weasly motherfucker will find a way to make the quarter land perfectly on its side again, and keep his job despite blowing it in as agonizing a fashion as possible.

In five years, Dak Prescott will be the QB people use as the example as to how the QB market became unsustainable in the late 2010s.

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Submissions for the NFL previews are closed. Next up: Los Angeles Chargers.