Why are the Dallas Cowboys still America’s team?

I feel like not many people bring this topic up, but have you ever wondered why the Dallas Cowboys are still considered America’s team?

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The term “America’s Team” was coined by Bob Ryan, now Vice President and editor in chief of NFL films, after the 1978-1979 season. He was preparing a script for a highlight film for the Cowboys of the 1978 season.

“I saw all these [Dallas] fans at away stadiums. Hey, they’re the most popular team in the country,” Ryan explained. “How can I use that? Why don’t we call them America’s Team?”

John Facenda then narrated the line in some NFL Films footage: “They appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars. They are the Dallas Cowboys. America’s Team.”

Argument For

Of course, there are reasons to argue that the Cowboys really are “America’s Team.” They are worth over $5 billion, which is by far the most out of any other organization. They have also won five Super Bowls, but these days that is becoming less impressive as three teams now have five Super Bowl wins (New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and the Dallas Cowboys). The New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers are each one win in a Supr Bowl from five total championships as well.

But when was the last time the Cowboys won the Super Bowl? You have to go back 22 years to 1995-1996 when the Cowboys defeated our Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17.

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Argument Against

Since then, the Cowboys have a combined record of 184-168 in 22 seasons. That record is just barely over .500, coming in at .523 since they last appeared in the Super Bowl. They have appeared in the playoffs only nine times. They are 3-9 in the playoffs in the last 22 seasons and have not made it to the NFC Championship since then.

You could talk about their fans across the nation, but there are plenty of teams that have fan bases just as loyal and as numerous as the Cowboys. For starters, the Packers have a loyal “cheesehead” fan base; the New Orleans Saints have one of the best home-field advantages in the sport due to the fans that show up at their stadium, and, as much as it pains me to say it, the Patriots have die-hard fans across the country.

Oh, and there’s a team called the Pittsburgh Steelers who have the best fans in all of football.

Lastly, the phrase “America’s Team” was coined after the Steelers won back-to-back championships (Super Bowl IX (1975-76), Super Bowl X (1976-77) just ahead of Pittsburgh winning Super Bowl XIII over Dallas by a score of 35-31 (1978-79 NFL season; held on Jan. 21, 1979).

So, the Cowboys earned their nickname mainly due to their Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos during the 1978-79 NFL season, in between losses in the big game to the Steelers. With the Super Bowl XIII win, the Steelers moved to become the team with the most Super Bowl victories at three while Dallas, Green Bay, and Miami were all tied with two Super Bowl championships each.

It is time to leave the narrative that the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team” behind.

Technically, there have been other teams in different sports who have been deemed “America’s Team,” but most people only know about the Cowboys. There isn’t really another “America’s Team,” and when you look at other countries, their national team consists of players from the entire country on many different teams, not just one. Of course, Cowboys fans will advocate for their team to remain America’s Team, but it’s time for that notion to disappear.


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