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Sept 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) sit on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

“I Wish”: A New Attitude on the Dallas Cowboys


I feel grateful that I am writing to you today. I am just glad I did not have to write this yesterday or Sunday night. I know for a fact Steven would have called me and told me, “Mark, I can’t print this. Please clean this up.” I would have missed my deadline because it took me over a full day to process my feelings on this (non) performance I witnessed on Sunday without using words not suitable to print.

But alas, today brings with it a new attitude. I cannot keep doing this. You see, I know a lot of fans of this organization are fair-weathered or “bandwagon.” I understand and appreciate that some fans pay their money and have a few drinks and enjoy the show. I wish I could do that. Holy Roger Staubach in hell, I wish I could do that. I do not know by what curse of my upbringing or my iniquities of omission caused me to be so obsessive about something that matters so little. I do not know what causes me to care so very deeply about something so trivial, but make no mistake, this game over which we obsess matters little. There are families of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan that were alerted of their children’s/brother’s/sister’s/etc demise simultaneous to the time when we were screaming at a television. There are a significant amount of uneducated people in this country that are affected by poverty and disease while we stress over the “toughness” of “MY TEAM.”

It is utterly insane, senseless, foolish, selfish and egotistical of me that I care more about the final score of a football game than I care about soldier’s death in the ghettos of the world. But I do. And I’m not proud of it. A lot of people praise me for being a “REAL” fan and I, in fact, pride myself on it. For what? For who? The most disgusting part of the entire thing is the Dallas Cowboys (you know, the actual players that determine the outcome of the game) HAVE MADE IT PAINFULLY OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WITH EYES THAT THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE FINAL SCORE OF THESE GAMES HALF AS MUCH AS WE DO.If you think they treat this as anything but a job, you have not been paying attention for quite some time.

Sept 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett waits in the tunnel before leading his team on to the field against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Dallas, 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

You see, although I severely doubt it, there may be a few players that care as much as we do. There may be a faction in this game that want to win as badly as we want them to win. If that is true, they don’t play for the Dallas Cowboys. They play for another organization. This organization is a money-making machine. And we keep giving them our money because we keep getting fooled into believing they care about winning as much as we do. We stake our reputations on it. We tell all of our friends/family/co-workers/anyone that will listen how much we care about this team. We take pride in the 5 Super Bowl championships and 8 Super Bowl appearances. We brag about the big-name talent on the roster. We stake our entire identity based on the result of a game of brutal strength because we think it makes us tough. We do all of this at the expense of our relationships with others that dare jokingly jab at us when the team loses because IT IS PERSONAL! We do all of this despite knowing in our hearts the evils of the world and the injustices of the world are significantly more important. If as many people in this country cared about policy-making as NFL football, if our Congressmen came under as much scrutiny as Tony Romo in the playoffs for their missteps and the most watched television program in Washington, D.C. was CSPAN and not the Redskins, we might solve a few more problems. We might have real change and not the line of B.S. we’re fed every four years from January to November. But we don’t care. We argue that we can’t make a difference in Washington even if we wanted, yet our lucky jersey and fingers crossed on 4th down in the 4th quarter is TOTALLY helping Romo find the open receiver. We pray for wins like our eternal soul depends on the outcome, all the while never praying for those that need the Lord’s ear.

I never used to understand women that return to their husbands or boyfriends after physical/emotional beating. I used to think I had it all figured out and those women were foolish. Well, tell me how I am different. Tell me how this relationship (and yes, I have made it into a F***ING relationship) I have with the Dallas Cowboys is any different. It is completely unhealthy, insane, ridiculous and detestable. I am a fool and everyone with a level head knows it. Most shamefully, despite my obvious desire to change that emotion, I simply cannot. It may not be a disease, but it is a poison of the mind to which I do not have an antidote and no amount of brow-beating can change. I just wish they would stop bringing me flowers (impressive wins) before they decide to rip my heart out a week later.

Well, no more. Not for me, anyways. I can’t change my feelings for this organization or this game. It is in my blood. It is who I am. And for that, I am most ashamed. But I think after Sunday, I have finally gone NUMB. When the Dallas Cowboys players, coaches and management begin to care about the product they are putting on the field as deeply as I have for these many years, when they don’t quit after 15 minutes of adversity and when they decide not to get pushed around for the last 20 minutes of a game because they do not care about the result, then I will go back to being nuts instead of numb. (Where have you gone, Captain Comeback? Cowboys Nation turns its lonely eyes to you).

Until then, I will treat it like a job. My job is to watch the Cowboys on Sundays because, well, I have to. It’s like the Dr. Seuss’ character the Lorax said, “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” Right now, NO ONE in that organization cares about anything other than making money. If they did, they would have played like it for the past decade, challenged their teammates to do the same and would not have accepted anything in the intermediate. I beg of you all who are just like me to quit getting fooled by what these players say to the cameras because I can state with all the belief in my body that it is polar opposite to what they are saying when the hot, bright lens light turns off.

Some will say this is a GROSS over-reaction to the ONE loss on Sunday. I say “you have not been paying attention for NEAR as long as I have.” Some will say I am a fair-weathered fan.

I say, “I wish.”

If you like what you see, follow Mark on Twitter (@MrCowboy74) for all your news, updates and opinions.

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  • californy

    I feel you Mark. The Cowboys organization and football player today are disfunctional. The Cowboys are rich in history, but this great past doesnt belong to any current player of this Dallas organization. In order for this team to have any success in the NFL they must learn to reject this team rich history and start creating it own history in the present. The media in Dallas is a big part of the Cowboy issue. The problem is many player start believing in it. There is a small selected people in the media that can relate to what it means to play on a championship team at any level. The NFL today is differnt that what it was 15 years ago. The rules have taken away from the aggressive nature of this sport.
    Football for me is my passion, outside of my faith and family. Football championship are won outside the media eyes and away from the bright light. The team that play and practices the hardest and play the smartest will win most of these game. Personal drive is the key to being a good team. The team that is willing to go past the pain treshold, and do all of it can to win, will be there at the end. Many believe the riches team are the one that will have the greatest success. This may be the case in Baseball and basketball, but is not the case in football. Some of the smaller market teams, have won the championship games more than other, despite the losing 21 players to IR in a season, and transforming from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in less than two years, and being one of the lowest paid team in the NFL, The Green bay packer won it a couple of years ago. The same thing happen to the 1993 Cowboy team, when they were one of the lost paid team in the NFL. So yes money has nothing to do with winning Championship team despite JJ throwing million at these players.
    The winning of these championship are a result of good draft, player evaluation, personal drive, player development, great depth, and to a team who respect and over train for their weekly opponets. I have been a member of some of these championship team, and I can honestly say the games are the easiest part of our football schedule during the week. The practices are brutal, but this toughness build character and develope team. The key to executing the play is in the small detail that must be adheard on every play. If we didnt get it right there will be plenty of more running at end of the practices. Trust me you dont want to do it twice, practice was plenty long already. It been years since my championship years, and the thing I miss most is not the game, and the time in front of the big light. It the time I spend with my friends and team mates in these practices. It like I said, you must love the game, and be willing to do the hard work, because in the end no one can ever take these moments away from you.

    • Mark Contreras

      Thanks for reading. I’m glad you liked it. I think money has something to do with winning. And to Jerry’s credit, he DID bring us 3 Super Bowl championships. But if he truly searched in his heart of hearts, he would see that he won those when he cared about the product he put on the field. He has stopped caring. He has rested on the 90s teams laurels ever since and because they were one of the greatest teams of all-time, he’s STILL making money off of them. Why change now? He’s still making money.

      The truth is, it’s starts with him…. and us. If we want change, we need to stop giving him our money.

  • Jesse

    The best article I have read in years. Now I can just refer friends and family to this article instead of trying to explain how I feel! Well done!

    • Mark Contreras

      I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.

  • http://twitter.com/Dboyz62 David Perez

    I’ve been NUMB for the past 10 yrs. i just keep hoping every year, that this will be OUR year, OUR time.
    I’m able to keep my sanity because of HOPE!

  • http://twitter.com/Dboyz62 David Perez

    Dallas Cowboys football: Not for the “Faint of Heart!”

  • Artie C

    Bravo

    • Mark Contreras

      Thanks for reading. I’m glad you like it. I had never heard the Phil Collins song before. Just listened to it..

  • http://twitter.com/Dboyz62 David Perez

    My time with the 90′s Cowboys: Priceless! So glad to have experience the glory days. I still haven’t come down.

    • Mark Contreras

      I feel the same way. it was priceless. But I have DEFINITELY come down.

  • Jim

    I posted almost this exact same thing on Blogging the Boys. Please read and give me input. Thank you. Go ahead and bash me, or chastise me, but I’m gotta put my thoughts down and see how you feel/think about it. I believe all the core players, 5 to 6 years or more on this team, and all the coaches, Garrett, Ryan, Decammilas have all got to go. The reason I feel this way is because it’s the same old scenario every single year. They just cannot, and or will not win with this group. I have no idea what the problem is, but I’m gonna say what I think it is and see what you gotta say. Fair enough? I have been a Cowboys fan my whole life, I have tattoos, I have named my son Dallas, and I have well over 60 Cowboys stickers on my Ford Focus. I will never lose hope in this team, nor give up on them, but somethings gotta be done. It has been the same song and dance every year. The same, well let’s move on from it, lets work and get better, well you know what those words are falling on deaf ears. How about we quit saying lets move form it, lets learn from it and do it, my mother always taught me that actions speak louder than words, and all I see from the Dallas Cowboys are words, and not a lot of action every single year. When will these sayings ever get old? Never?I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers, but the same message is said on here after every game just like last year. Oh it’s just one game, or one game does not make the season. Lets chill, they will be OK. No they will not, No they will not. You all said the same things last year attempting to make yourselves feel better, and look what happened. The same is gonna happen this year, wait and see. I’m almost getting tired waiting for this team to win. It’s a process I get it, but why is it taking sooooo long. It’s been a process for almost 3 years now, it took San Fran one off season to become one of the best in the teams in the league, ONE off season. Why can’t the Cowboys even come close to duplicating this? Why not? WHY?So I feel until they get rid of some people, start all over, nothing is gonna change. This team is so bi polar, and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. One week beating the best team in the league, a World Champion, to the next not being able to beat the Browns. I just don’t get it, what happened? How come the game plan worked out so perfect last week, but wasn’t used this week? What happened? It’s like they took that plan and threw it away, lets try something else, and it back fired. Why can’t this team be at least a little consistent? I mean come on now. You bump the receivers all over the field against the Giants, but then give a huge cushion to the Seahawks? Why? Again Bi Polar I tell ya. Why no adjustments? This is the worse coaching ever, and it stays the same every year, no changes! And Garret talked about them wearing down as the game wore on last season, so he had them sprinting after every practice, and yes it seemed to work last week, but what about this week? Especially after 11 days off. Why were they the weaker, more run down team? It seemed the Seahawks were the ones doing all the sprints and conditioning after evey practice in camp, not the Cowboys???Why can’t one aspect of the team help pick the other one up either? Have you all noticed that once one section fails the whole team fails? Why? Why if the offense is struggling can’t the defense pick up the slack and help out, or vise verse, nooooooo once it starts heading down hill the whole team rolls down with it? Again, I’m not looking to upset anyone, I just want answers? I read every ones posts on here, and they all seem very in formative, very good writes. BUT the problem I feel is, why doesn’t the coaches or players read your all posts? I mean it seems almost like you all could run this team better than them! All your insights, and analyse. They seem spot on. You all seem to find things and point out things that these darn coaches obviously cannot. Why is that? Are they not seeing what you can see or what? Why won’t they try fixing anything? This team just seems to wanna remain content on where they are at, and continuing to suck, year after year, and not listen to anyones input for anything. I feel if they just heeded a few of your all’s words at least a little this team would be much better, but nope I guess they just wanna continue to suck! I never see any adjustments as the game goes on either, nor any adjustments between games. Why is that? Are these coaches just not smart enough or what? I keep seeing the same things ran every single week, every single year. When will it ever change? So why does this same thing happen every year. Is it the Owner? Coach? Players? My guts says all the above. I’m not trying to have a knee jerk reaction here but I’m telling you, nothing is ever gonna change, it’s all gonna remain the same, a roller coaster up and down team year in and year out until something drastic is done about it. Replace majority of this roster or nothing will change!Does any one have answers or input?

    • Mark Contreras

      Thanks for reading. Just like with any team, it starts with the owner and the general manager. In this case, that’s the same person. If those people are focused on winning football games, the team will likely win football games. If those people (or that person) if focused on selling football caps and making money, well… you get the idea.

      Like I said above, until someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.

      It’s not.

  • Artie C

    As I read your article, the song ‘Take Me Home’ by Phil Collins kept playing in my head – “They can turn off my feelings, like they’re turnin off the lights- Aw but I, I don’t mind”

  • DallasFan55

    I’m not a writer, but I felt the need to comment on this because I am also obsessed with the Cowboys. My family is upset with me for refusing to go to the County Fair with them because I wanted to watch my Boys. I don’t care. I am a diehard Cowboy fan and no matter how it impacts my life, I’m with them till the day I die. Go Cowboys!

    • Mark Contreras

      Thanks for reading. I’m glad you liked it.

  • Todd Toombs

    LOVE THIS! Better than Jerry Maguire’s “manifesto” even. It absolutely sucks to be a Cowboys fan these days. And, so many people take such delight in our pain. Ugh!

    • Mark Contreras

      Thanks for reading it. Yea, I know what you mean. I live in Houston. Everyone that isn’t a Cowboys fan here takes great delight in every Cowboy misstep. Even when they win, the talk is about something they did wrong. It’s maddening.

  • Reality Check

    Here’s the problem… The owner, coaches, players, writers and experts think the Dallas Cowboys has so much more talent and are a better team than the Seattle Seahawks. But, yet they won one more game than the Seahawks, but yet didn’t give them any respect. Here is the reality…. Seattle has more talent than Dallas. Dallas has a better quarterback and wide receivers. Linebackers are even. Seattle has a better offensive line, running backs, defensive line, defensive backs and special team players. Our pro bowl defensive back matched your wide receivers. But this game was won in the trenches and with special teams. That is the reality.