The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. So, why are we still obsessed with the Dallas Cowboys? Sigmund Freud would’ve had a field day with us. We hate Dallas. We hate everything about that city. We obsess over the Cowboys like Captain Ahab obsessed over Moby Dick. But we’re worse than Ahab. It’s been 27 years since Dallas went to a Super Bowl. Philadelphia has now gone to two Super Bowls in the last six years. Dallas has proven it can’t win the big game. Why do we still concern ourselves with the Cowboys?
Yet we do. For many of us, Dallas losing is almost as important to us as the Eagles winning. A local car agency is still running a banner ad across the Daily News that reads DALLAS STILL SUCKS. Why do we still care? Our team will be playing for the championship of professional football, but somebody thinks they can sell more cars by proclaiming that DALLAS STILL SUCKS? The Cowboys went home for the season a couple of weeks ago. Their players are already on the golf links. The Cowboys are no factor. Haven’t been a preeminent team since the last century. But Dallas still haunts us. Seems as if the first words our infants speak are, “Dallas sucks.”
Maybe it’s because part of our psyche is that we need something to hate. Something or someone to gloat over. Even in the best of times, we need our objects of hate. Maybe that’s who we are. But in our hatred of Dallas, we elevate them to a stature they don’t deserve. The Cowboys were once called AMERICA’S TEAM. No one seriously thinks they’re anything but AMERICA’S FLOP when it comes to their professional football franchise. The Dallas Cowboys are not even Texas’ team — that’s baseball’s Houston Astros, thank you very much.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has the bloated ego of a former president who has become almost as irrelevant in the political arena as Jones in pro football. Jones’ football franchise is a joke, a family affair — a cesspool of nepotism. But nothing feeds our essential insecurity like the Dallas Cowboys. We’ve allowed the Cowboys to get under our skin for no reason. And because we care so much about their misery, we’ve kept them relevant.
We love being the underdogs too much. The Super Bowl winners of 2017 were underdogs, but this team — a team that has won 16 games and lost only one game when its quarterback played, is NOT an underdog. We’re the cream of the crop. We’ve got a ROCKY complex. But we sell this team, the 2022 version, short when we label this team — or this city, for that matter — as an underdog.
Whom are we kidding? We’re a world-class city. We’re infinitely better than Dallas. We’re superior both culturally and historically. Dallas is stuck with the sad mystery of its grassy knoll. Philly is so much more. Most of us who concern ourselves with Dallas have never set foot in that city or have any reason to do so.
We’ve got Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We’re the city with the Philadelphia Orchestra. We have so many nominees for the James Beard Award, they ought to give us the award for best chef in perpetuity. Dallas thinks burning your meat on a barbecue and slathering it with sauce is gourmet cooking.
We’ve got a greater depth of musical history than Dallas could ever summon. If Texans didn’t have Austin, they wouldn’t have any musical heritage at all. They might as well just tune their radios to some Nashville station. We’ve had more great stars born and raised in South Philly than Dallas could dream of. Why do we let the big mouths with their phony country couture — the big belt buckles and big hats — get to us?
Another thing. Back in the day when Dallas was a championship football team, it never considered the Eagles worthy of being their main competitor. Dallas proudly proclaimed back then that it was Washington that was the only team worthy of being mentioned in the same breath with the Cowboys. Yet here we are, insisting that “Dallas still sucks,” as if it matters.
When we care about Dallas — even when we trash talk the Cowboys — we’re betraying an inferiority complex. The best way to treat Jerry Jones and the Cowboys is to ignore them. They are not worthy.
How do we cure ourselves of this Dallas sickness? Group therapy sessions? A bonfire at the Linc where we burn photos of Troy Aikman? Maybe a frontal lobotomy for afflicted Philly fans? We might need a combination of all of these remedies. Or if none of these things work, how about an exorcism?
When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, it’s time we exercise a little benign neglect. The Eagles – not the Cowboys – are going to the Super Bowl.