If you want to get a Steelers fan's dander up or garner the righteous indignation of a Cheese Head, just mention the Dallas Cowboys and the moniker given to them in the 1970s: America's Team. The wailing, cussing and gnashing of teeth that is apt to ensue will make you wonder if the mouth-foaming might not result from apoplexy.
Even the Cowboys faithful have become weary of defending the title, what with the 15 years of so-so football they have had to endure.
There are football fans in their teens that do not even remember when the Cowboys really mattered in postseason play. Stands to reason the whole America's Team thing is a piece of history and not really pertinent to today's NFL.
According to Mike Sando of the ESPN NFL Nation Blog, the Cowboys are still the number one team among fans—and it really isn't all that close. Writes Sando:
Pollsters conduct (sic) 1,500 monthly telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of Americans age 12 and older. They have reached 390,000 Americans since 1994 via land lines and cell phones, in English and Spanish.
Accompanying the article is a chart showing all 32 NFL teams and the percentage of fans that claimed each team as their favorite. As you might expect, the Jacksonville Jaguars are at the bottom with 0.4%, followed (a little surprisingly) by the Rams at 0.7. The Bengals, Cardinals and Panthers round out the bottom five. Not great news for the ticket sellers and merchandisers in those cities.
The only surprise in the top five is who sits at number one and how solidly they are positioned there. Here's a chart view for you.
|2||Green Bay Packers||7.2|
|3||New York Giants||7.1|
|5||New England Patriots||6.8|
As you can see numbers two through four have all won Super Bowls in the 21st century. They are also all much closer to one another in popularity than they are to number one.
So, there you have it. Despite a decade-and-a-half of subpar football, the Dallas Cowboys remain America's favorite football team.
Still…I don't know a single Cowboys fan that wouldn't trade that for a Lombardi trophy come February.
[Our] heroes have always been Cowboys… and they still are, it seems.