The Dallas Cowboys have one of the largest fan bases in all of sports. They are America’s Team after all. While it’s nice that the franchise gets attention all over the globe, the fans are always expecting the most out of this team. Cowboys Nation is quick to point out when things aren’t working and criticize players when they aren’t doing enough.
Perhaps this is why The Athletic has done an annual fan survey every offseason for the past three years. The survey allows Dallas writer Jon Machota to gauge the temperature of the fan base. This year, 25 basic questions about how people think the Cowboys season will go were asked and 1,972 responses were collected.
While most Dallas haters (looking at you, Stephen A. Smith) think Cowboys fans are crazy and always irrationally assume the team is going to be great, the results of the survey (subscription required) feel pretty fair. Fans didn’t assume the team was winning it all this year and estimated pretty realistic stats for each player asked about.
When Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless discussed some of the survey questions on their show “Undisputed,” both personalities also agreed that the results were surprisingly practical. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting questions and answers from The Athletic’s survey.
The Athletic polled over 1,900 Cowboys fans about 25 pressing questions in an annual survey
“How many wins will the Cowboys get this season?”
10 or 11 had the overwhelming majority of the votes on this question at 66.2%. The next closest was eight or nine at 18.1%. This seems like a fair assumption to me. The Cowboys have a decently easy schedule and have the roster to win some pretty tough matchups. They did lose some key pieces which makes me believe 10 wins may be hard to reach, but it’s certainly possible.
“Who is the Cowboys’ most valuable player?”
Dak Prescott had 64.9%, followed by Micah Parsons with 29.9%. This one surprised me. Cowboys fans love to hate Prescott. He doesn’t deserve all of the disrespect he gets, but that doesn’t keep him from getting it. It’s nice to see that at least these survey takers see his value.
“Micah Parsons had 13 sacks in 16 games as a rookie. How many will he have this season?”
Here is a place where Cowboys fans showed they can be sensible and not buy into the hype. We know Parsons has given himself a 15-sack minimum and told reporters he plans to break the NFL sack record, but survey takers are keeping him grounded.
Voters went 45.8% for 11-14, 28.3% for 7-10, 22.1% for 15 to 18, 2.4% for more than 18, and 1.4% for less than seven. While I can greatly appreciate Parsons’ big-time goals, they are a bit bold for someone who takes pride in versatility. If he isn’t constantly rushing the quarterback, getting that many sacks will be tough.
It’s worth noting that fans remained this pragmatic with Trevon Diggs as well with the majority of fans (62.9%) believing the cornerback will drop to just five to seven interceptions this season after 11 last year.
“If you could take any one player off another NFL team and put him on the Cowboys, who would it be?”
A cool question. Rams DT Aaron Donald had 667 votes, which was over 500 more than the next player. Other names included were T.J. Watt, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams, and Davante Adams.
There were many other run-of-the-mill questions asked, but these few stood out. How are you feeling about the 2022 Cowboys? For what it’s worth, 68.2% of fans said they feel the exact same as they have the last 25 years (rather than better or worse). Do you agree?