So it wasn’t until Roger Staubach’s final season in the NFL that the Cowboys were known as America’s Team. Funny how you can’t convince a lot of people of this fact. For instance, in Bert Sugar’s aforementioned book it is amusing how many contributors to that book talk about wanting to have been drafted by America’s Team, or played against America’s Team. One in particular was Conrad Dobler, for many years a standout Guard with the Cardinals and once considered the dirtiest player in the NFL. Know how many times Conrad Dobler faced America’s team in his entire career? Once, in 1981 as a member of the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately for many of Bert’s co-authors they had no idea that you can’t dub someone with a nickname and make it retroactive to all time before bestowed.
Yet this is what Dobler and others like Steve Bartkowski have done in that book. They’ve taken the nickname and deemed that the Cowboys always claimed it, and because they were snubbed by the team in the Draft they turned their anger and hatred upon them because of it. A truly fascinating claim by Bartkowski since he was the first overall player taken in his Draft class and Dallas did not own that pick. So how did they pass on him? In fairness he laments that they did not trade up to get him and he wanted to play here. I guess Steve had never heard of Roger Staubach, and had no idea the Cowboys would not be in the market for a Quarterback in 1975 and that the player they chose 2nd, Randy White, was simply a better football player.
The jealousy of players like the aforementioned trio are exactly why the Dallas Cowboys are still America’s team and why the nickname is not transferable. In 2001 the media pondered whether it should be bestowed on the New England Patriots because of 9/11 and the new patriotism in the nation. In 2005 they pondered whether it should be bestowed upon the New Orleans Saints as they fought back from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. In 2008 they pondered whether it should be bestowed upon the Pittsburgh Steelers as they took the lead with their 6th Super Bowl title. Forget the fact that when the Cowboys were proclaimed that nickname the Steelers were already the first and only team in the NFL with 3 Super Bowl titles and it was given in the year they won their 4th.
There is no rhyme or reason as to why a team should be given this nickname and Dallas stripped of it beyond jealousy; or maybe it is pure and simple penis envy. Last year I heard Marshall Faulk proclaim he thought America liked winners, and the obvious slap there was that for a long time the Cowboys have not been. He is not wrong on the part about the Cowboys, but he is wrong on America only liking winners. Marshall would do himself a favor to do a little research. There are five networks that televise NFL games. If you go back for the last 5 years and look up the highest rated games on each network there is a very common theme. That theme is the Dallas Cowboys draw the biggest audiences by far. CBS only gets 2 Cowboys games per year, 1 of those 2 games will almost always be their highest ranked game and the other is in the top 5.