Hopelessly spoiled; the only way to describe this fan base.
I received much criticism for looking inward throughout the course of the 2011 Regular Season. Instead of complaining about referees, the football gods, Philly fans or any of the other external crap that supposedly adversely effected their season, I chose to focus on the Dallas Cowboys. At times, I even called the fans whiny, spoiled brats. I was told I was a bad fan, that I didn’t know anything about football and the Cowboys are cursed. I reasoned the Cowboys were an 8-8 team because they simply had a bad offensive line and an all-time joke of a secondary. I reasoned they would fix these problems by flooding those positions in the off-season. I was told I didn’t know anything about football.
Then the season ended and all those same “fans” and commenters told me we had to pick up free agents once the signing period started. I told them we were finally on the same page and that was what I had been saying all along. Then 3PM on Tuesday came around and fans began to obsess over a 3rd string wide receiver (as if we DIDN’T find him on the scrap heap last year and as if Radway, Harris and Holmes aren’t already on the roster). Laurent Robinson ended up in Jacksonville and then shit hit the fan. I still don’t understand why. Yes, he was good. Yes, he was in sync with Tony Romo. No, no, NO, NO, NO, he is not irreplaceable.
Then the Cowboys signed FA WR Brandon Carr and all Cowboys fans agreed for about 5 minutes because we ALL knew Terrence Newman needed to go and the Cowboys needed a replacement. That was nice for about 5 minutes.
The Cowboys also picked up FA FB Lawrence Vickers (at a rock bottom price), FA QB Kyle Orton and FA G Mackenzy Bernadeau (at a low price) none of which caused much controversy.
Then all hell broke loose in Cowboy Country with the signings of FA S Brodney Pool, FA G Nate Livings and the release of Cowboys G Kyle Kosier. Immediately on my Twitter feed, I had scores of tweets asking me why the Cowboys had spent so much money (we didn’t even have the contract details yet) on these “scrub players” who will “never be anything but back-ups.” The reason why? The Cowboys needed guards. They needed safeties. They didn’t have to (nor should they have) spent a lot of money on acquiring over-priced free agents. In fact, if they would have done that, fans would have complained as well (I know that from previous off-seasons). All the Cowboys did was fill the most holes they have ever filled in one off-season free agency and they did not do it with over-priced, glory boy, trouble-making players like Terrell Owens and Pacman Jones.
Then the contract details of Nate Livings came out and fans again lost their minds. 5 years? $20 million? $6.2 million guaranteed? We should all be outraged a rich man paid another rich man a lot of money to do something that rich men get paid a lot of money to do!!! We did not even know how the contract was structured but that did not stop fans from losing control. The $6.2 million guaranteed will look like child’s play in 2 or 3 years when the NFL Salary Cap shoots up. The contract details came out and (as I predicted) the contract is back loaded, leaving the Cowboys AMPLE opportunity to get rid of that contract with a minimal Salary Cap hit.
Then Pro Football Focus became the best reference for how good a player is because they rated Livings as the worst guard on the Bengals Offensive line last season. Forget the facts that the Bengals were a) a playoff team and b) a great running offense with a solid passing quarterback. Forget those things. Pro Football Focus also rated Doug Free BY FAR the worst offensive lineman on the Cowboys last year. Now, Free was no super star but can anyone say Phil Costa? Argument null and void, people.
Not to mention, the Cowboys have an ENTIRE draft to fix any other problems long term as opposed to the band-aids they just put on two hurting units. What we have here is a HELL of a free agency period by Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones. What we also have is a spoiled rotten fan base unwilling to give credit when it’s due but more than willing to pass out a more-than-fair-share of blame when it’s time. “What? The Cowboys didn’t win the Super Bowl today? FIRE JASON GARRETT AND I HOPE JERRY JONES DIES!!!” That’s not too much of an exaggeration of what I saw.
If you would like evidence, check my Twitter feed for the past week. @MrCowboy 74 is where you can find some of the worst whining for no good reason that you will ever see. Start at 3PM, last Tuesday.
I would like to take this time to ask you to give thanks to whomever you pray that you have a team to root for that is in such a great position, year after year. You know who else used to be hopelessly spoiled? The fans in Cleveland. They used to have a QB that went to a world championship game TEN (ten!!!) of the ten years he played for them. He won seven of them. They used to have the man that is still considered the greatest running back in NFL history. The stars were aligned in Cleveland and they seemed to be a “special” franchise; one immune to bad ownership and the other teams in the NFL. All that’s happened to them since the 50′s and 60′s is NEVER being apart of the Super Bowl, years of hopeless futility, the death of the industry that fed the city, The Drive, The Fumble and losing their franchise before gaining back a worse one.
We might still be a special franchise but it’s not because it is ordained by God Almighty that it should be so. It’s because of people like Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones and all of the scouts and executives that try every year to make this happen. All the executives have their faults (especially Jerry) but they deserve our support (especially Garrett). Despite not reaching the Promised Land since January of 1996, Dallas has won 2 playoff games in that time after making 7 trips to the playoffs. That’s not exactly a horrible, people. It’s not what the Cowboys fan is used to, but it’s not the Dolphins after Marino or the Browns after Graham. We fans lost THREE Hall of Fame legends at the end of the 90′s dynasty. Yet, the Cowboys have been one of the top 12 teams in the league several times since then and have narrowly missed the playoffs in a handful of those other years. This team is a perennial contender to win the division. We ALL want more. Diehard Cowboys fans DESERVE more.
Just consider the alternative the next time you’re ready to slam Jason Garrett for filling the holes that needed to be filled both in a timely manner and at a rock bottom price.