The 2016 Dallas Cowboys were a spectacle to NFL fans everywhere.
Fans were in awe at the rookie duo of Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott.
It was almost impossible to ignore these names in nearly every NFL conversation or debate. The team quickly climbed their way to a 13-3 record leading their division, spearheaded by their two electrifying rookies.
Jerry Jones flexed his money-muscles and snagged an offensive weapon on draft day, and a bruising offensive line helped Elliott reach his untapped NFL potential.
The Cowboys had an amazing season with its fair share of drama on and off the field. It was truly remarkable and literally record breaking.
Cowboy fans came out of their hiding places, threw on their lone star caps, dusted off their jean shorts and walked with their chests out. We felt the revitalizing and restoration of what it meant to be a Dallas fan – the original team of Texas.
I could brag about the entire 2016 franchise but what is more important to discuss are the countless fans who never let their support stray from America’s Team.
Look, being a Cowboys fan isn’t an easy thing. We battle through a work week and settled watching our varying collegiate teams on Saturday, only to await often miserable Sundays of disappointment and heartbreak.
After the 90s heydays their dominance withered away and abruptly halted in the 2000s.
I can remember the misery of the Dave Campo days. I can recall Bill Parcells trying to lead our team with an identity drastically opposite from past head coaches who paved the way. It seemed there was no hope for regenerating a winning or even a decent record.
It’s in this era that true Dallas Cowboy fans everywhere were defined. Many jumped ship to take on new identities as Texan fans, some scattered to unthinkable teams like the Jets or Patriots.
What were these individuals thinking? What I do know is that the ones who stuck around are a special breed of fan base who do not get proper recognition.
The loyal fans hung around week after bitter week, year after mediocre year, taking the shade thrown at them from all 31 other team’s fans. To me, this admirable characteristic resonates to real, everyday life.
From a relationship perspective, would you be satisfied with a partner who would bail at the first signs of contention? I didn’t think so. The loyal ones’ fight with grace and stick it out to the end, because their attention is still focused on the worth of the relationship.
When times are dark and the hoopla of the honeymoon phase disappears, who will still be around to proudly claim themselves committed to you? Likely not someone who left their previous flame for an illusion of brighter tomorrows. We all need someone devoted to our vision and goals in life and my guess is it could be difficult to find in the souls of Houston fans.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner one might hope to take that into consideration before making any hasty decisions to court anyone not serious enough for the task. No one is searching for a let-down, so my advice is to be wise and weary of who you choose to be your person.
Remain cognizant of how they handle adversity, and if you find a Dallas Cowboy hoodie lying somewhere on their dirty floor, you’re probably off to a good start.
Take note of people’s intentions. If they are only down for you in the winning days and ghost you when times get rough, do what you must to reach the decision that they are not who you want on your team; it’s fair to assume they’ll be wearing a Tom Brady jersey this time next year – and no one likes a cheater.
In the wake of the loss against Green Bay in the playoffs, I feel for my Cowboy brethren and sisters. It was a tough loss but our team never quit.
Jason Garrett and his superstar lineup will rebuild, refocus and yet again strive for the prize they haven’t attained since 1996.
In the last four years, they have gotten closer and it would seem more likely to achieve than ever before. This was a fantastic year for the Cowboy franchise and loyal fans, but the best is undeniably yet to come. Just like real relationships, the best and toughest days lie ahead after the wedding and honeymoon. That is where the real work begins.
Keep a dependable partner through testing times and I urge you not to settle for anything less.