The Dallas Cowboys did not come up with the term “America’s Team” in order to describe themselves. It was coined by NFL Films when they were creating a highlight tape of the team back in the late 70s.
The Cowboys had captured a winning season 13 years in a row, en route to 20 straight, including two Super Bowl titles, three more Super Bowl appearances, and seven additional conference championship losses. The team had their games viewed all over the country and Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach was a face of the league.
The issue with the moniker is that the Cowboys really haven’t been relevant as a football team over the past two decades, with just three playoff victories over that span and never reaching a conference championship.
Sure, owner Jerry Jones has played a huge role in the expansion and visibility of the league and is deservedly up for the Hall of Fame as a contributor, and, yes, the Cowboys remain the most valuable sports franchise on the planet, thanks in large part to the construction of Jerry World.
But the football product has been awful. They’ve barely won more than 50% of their games over the past twenty years and the only team that better fits the term “mediocre” has been the Chiefs.
And then they go and pull this stunt:
Cowboys new training camp locker room has "Do Your Job" on wall. Patriots have three trademarks to that phrase. pic.twitter.com/IsfDkrJO2t— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 21, 2016
This is the Dallas Cowboys copying the New England Patriots trademarked phrase that became popular during the run at Super Bowl XLIX. The Patriots have three trademarks on it. The Cowboys have pasted it in their locker room.
The Cowboys can no longer be recognized as America’s Team, right? There have to be standards. This is Dallas actively trying to copy-and-paste the Patriots franchise, which is, at its core, an admission that they wish they could be the Patriots.
There is no franchise in sports that has been a better model of success than the Patriots over the past twenty years. Four Super Bowl titles. Three more Super Bowl appearances. Four more conference championship losses.
New England has had to deal with the salary cap (started in 1994) and true free agency (started in 1993), both of which ushered in the downfall of the Cowboys as a good football team.
Now I’m not saying that the Patriots should be considered “America’s Team”, even though they (and the Packers and the Steelers) deserve it more than the Cowboys.
The only reason the Cowboys were called “America’s Team” in the first place was that the film producers “saw all these [Cowboys] fans at away venues.” We’ve since learned that people support whatever they see in the media the most, and the Cowboys are the “first or second most commonly broadcast team in 95 of just over 200 markets around the U.S.” They remain popular purely because there are no other options.
Alternatively, they remain in prime time because of their mediocrity.
“For some crazy reason, there always seems to be high drama,” NBC’s Al Michaels said about Cowboys games in prime time. “They're coming down to the last game of the year, all they need is a win to get in the playoffs, and they just can't do it.”
The fact that they’re a recognized brand, yet they always seem to fall flat makes it somehow exciting because it’s a David versus Goliath situation every time, except this Goliath was overhyped and is competing after playing dizzy bat.
So in other words, the Cowboys are pretty much the Microsoft of the NFL. They haven’t gotten anything right in the past twenty years, but they’ve been in our office spaces for so long that it’s too much of a bother to change to a different operating system. The 2015 season was the Cowboys attempt at Windows Vista, Jerry Jones is their version of Clippy, and Jason Witten is absolutely the Microsoft Excel of the league- old, reliable, and the source of a lot of pain in Northeast Corridor.
And how difficult would it have been for the Cowboys to come up with a different tagline, instead of copying “Do Your Job”? Like, couldn’t an intern have looked up “job” in a thesaurus so it would be slightly different?
Do your work. Do your task. Just do it- wait, scratch that last one.
I’m just saying that this has to be the last straw; the Cowboys can’t be considered “America’s Team” anymore.