The fans go through abuse. All these years, over and over, we receive the short end of the stick. We do not wear a star on the side of our head or dress in white Cowboy uniforms for work. June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle works out during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys: The Death of An Empire

The fans go through abuse. All these years, over and over, we receive the short end of the stick.

We do not wear a star on our heads or dress in white Cowboy uniforms for work.

We’re engineers. Pilots. Writers. Cooks.

We’re workers.

Stars are not something we wear; it is something worn underneath our skin. It’s in our blood, our DNA. We do just as much work as the 53-man roster. We play, promote, yell and fight beyond Sundays. We’re the people the cameras don’t record.

We’re real.

But fans get tired. We’re tired of getting slapped around. Tired of the hype. We’re tired of lip service.

Though supposedly, it’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all.

We can’t walk away. We won’t do it. Never. Fans will be there. Forever. No matter how many times the heart bursts. We come back. Repaired. Re-energized. Hoping that hope will return.

Surprisingly, it does. Every year. It’s the anatomy of each fan: we believe we can win it this year. This year is not yesterday, we tell ourselves. It might be stupid, this idea, but it’s what some of us have.

Take caution: There are some fans in Cowboys Stadium who are liars. These aliens pretend for a living. Though they walk among us, and share the same air, they are not one of us. They build things, big things, expensive things, that mask reality.

They built Cowboys Stadium. It’s a place to remind everyone that an empire once existed.

Dallas. The Cowboys. America’s team. Oh, the empire! If only we could return to young. What we once were, we are no longer.

And yet still, here we are. Alive. Popular. Envied. Wanted and targeted for dead.

You can’t really say our fans are bandwagon jumpers — we’re not exactly winners as of late. There’s nothing for the jumpers to grab a hold of.

This tells something; it means something. It means fans, the real ones, have stuck around. They made it through the bad weather. They still exist. This isn’t an empire, but spread around the country are pieces of it. One day it might be whole again.

Just maybe.

Each of us can only hope. That’s your cue.

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