After two decades of mediocrity, the Dallas Cowboys are no longer the most hated team in the NFL according to a new poll.
According to a new poll released by Public Policy Polling, the Dallas Cowboys are no longer the most hated team in the NFL. For the first time in the history of the poll a team other than the Cowboys has drawn more ire from the American Public.
The newly minted most despised team in America is the New England Patriots. The poll found that 23% of respondents listed the Patriots as the team they hate most while the Cowboys came in second with 20%.
The fact that New England is the most loathed NFL team should come as no surprise. In fact, it is surprising that the Patriots have taken this long to pass Dallas atop this poll.
The Patriots are in the midst of one of the longest runs of success in NFL history and have been perennial Super Bowl contenders since winning the franchises’ first title in 2002. For thirteen years, fans around the nation have had to listen to the media heap praise on one team year after year causing many to tire of hearing about New England.
Meanwhile, over that same time period the Dallas Cowboys have been the very definition of mediocrity. Since the 2002 season, the Cowboys have gone 118-106 in the regular season.
For the first four decades of the Cowboys’ existence the franchise fielded competitive teams virtually every year. In fact, from 1966-1985 the Cowboys had 20 consecutive winning seasons causing a national rancor to arise towards the franchise.
Then, in the 1990’s the Cowboys won three championships in four seasons and did so with players that were brash and often off-putting to non-Cowboys’ fans. But since the turn of the millennium, the Cowboys have become nothing more than a franchise wallowing in its own mess while surviving on the accomplishments of its distant past.
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It is no longer fun for people to hate the Cowboys because America has seen Dallas fail for so long that the novelty is gone. In every sport, a team that sustains dominance will become the villain of the story but if the villain is hapless the story is not worth telling.
So as Dallas has floundered America has found a new antagonist. The Patriots have become villains worthy of a starring role in a Batman movie.
While sustaining excellence for well over a decade, the team has also been accused of some despicable activities. In 2007 the team was found guilty of taping the signals of opposing coaches in what became known as “Spygate”. Ultimately, the NFL took a 1st round pick away from the franchise for this indiscretion.
Then, after the 2015 AFC title game, the Patriots were accused of underinflating the game balls they were to use on offense so that their players could more easily grip the ball in the cold weather. After a lengthy court battle with the NFL, the Patriots were not disciplined for this accused infraction but they were most certainly convicted in the court of public opinion.
Meanwhile, Dallas has done nothing to earn any acrimony because the team has been virtually irrelevant. The Cowboys have transformed from the evil empire of the NFL into a laughing stock that can’t seem to get out of its own way.
No one hates a clown because a clown is harmless and since former head coach Jimmy Johnson left the franchise, the Cowboys have become a circus of follies under the guidance of the NFL’s top clown, owner and general manager Jerry Jones.
To be hated is usually something not to be valued, unless you are unbelievably successful. In reality, what is worse than being hated is being irrelevant.
Because of its national brand and storied past, the Dallas Cowboys organization will never truly be irrelevant. But a generation of NFL fans has developed apathy towards the Cowboys because the team has not played for a conference title in twenty years, winning only three playoff games in that time span.
New England has a quarterback, Tom Brady, who is more successful and more of an international media darling than Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo. The Patriots have a coach in Bill Belichick whose gruff demeanor and sour personality rubs people the wrong way while the Cowboys have rummaged through a pile of coaches lacking any personality or the backbone to stand up to Jones.
Therefore, it should come as no shock that the Patriots are now the most hated team in the NFL. As for the team America has always loved to have, the Dallas Cowboys can’t seem to give the nation any more reasons to aim vitriol at them. So those who love the Cowboys are desperately awaiting the return of the nation’s hate to where it belongs, on the backs of the NFL’s most legendary franchise.
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