Jan 31, 1993; Pasadena, CA, USA: FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman (8) in action against the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl. The Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17. Mandatory Credit: Long Photography-US PRESSWIRE

Making Our Way Through Uncertainty: A Dallas Cowboys Fan’s Coping Mechanism

Growing up in Utah, and being a Dallas Cowboys fan, was not always a walk in the park. I know some of you have to live through a lot more ridicule and harassment than I do, so I think maybe we can build on some common ground. It’s hard when everyone around you despises or generally dislikes your favorite team. You walk outside wearing your jersey of your favorite player and people try to find any way they can to get under your skin and make you feel like an idiot. I have experienced this more times than I would like to count, but I stay strong because I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, following the only team I’ve ever known. So what keeps me, and maybe most of you, going during tough times like these? Well here’s a round-about way of answering that question.

There is so much uncertainty surrounding the Cowboys. After years of being favorites to win the NFC east, as well as the Super Bowl, and then falling short almost every year, it’s hard to determine what the team will do. The roster is talent-laden, and there are very few positions these days that are big question marks in terms of talent. So why can’t the Cowboys ever get over the hump? What do we have to lean back on that keeps us looking forward with optimism? Well let me fill you in on what I do to get through the uncertain times and remain a strong follower of one of the greatest franchises of all time.

When Jerry Jones took over as owner and general manager, I was just a kid. I had only begun following the Cowboys. Even at that time there was uncertainty in my mind, passed down from my grandpa no doubt. The only owner and coach he had ever known had been replaced, and a new era had begun. It was uncharted territory.

The first few years were nothing to write home about. Herschel Walker had been traded. Sure there were plenty of draft picks returned as compensation, but how much more uncertain can you get than a handful of draft picks in return for an all-pro, franchise-caliber running back?

Jan 28, 1996; Tempe, AZ, USA; FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith (22) in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium. Dallas defeated Pittsburgh 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

As each year passed, and more and more quality players were drafted, the uncertainty started to fade. It was a good feeling; I’m not going to lie. The eerie thing was there was still an uneasy feeling running through my nerves. We were starting to win again, but there really wasn’t much to show for it. The uncertainty started to subside in 1992. And it lessened even more in ’93. By the time the Cowboys won their third championship in four years, my uneasiness was all but gone, and I knew I was going to get through any rough spot with my fanhood in place.

So you’re probably asking yourself, “So what? How is this supposed to help for this upcoming season, and into the future?” In response to my self-imposed questions and ridicule I have to say that we’ve been through tougher times. Times like these have happened in the past. History has a way of repeating itself. So when you encounter the uncertainty, and are wondering how to make it thru, just remember, it’s been worse. We’ve made it through. And if any of you are like me, you’ll look to the past and see what has been, and what could be.

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