Opinion: What REALLY killed the Cowboys?

Photo of Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Feb. 12 is the Super Bowl for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, marking another year in which the big game won’t feature the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys haven’t been to a Super Bowl, or even an NFC Championship game, in 26 years.

With a Super Bowl absence that’s lasted over a quarter of a century, it’s time to ask — who killed the Dallas Cowboys?

Last week, sports editor Simon Mortensen said owner Jerry Jones killed the Cowboys. While Jones did play a role, in my opinion, outside influences played a more prominent factor than Jones in Dallas’s demise.

In 1978, due to heavy televising of the team’s games, NFL films put highlights for each team and gave them nicknames. The Cowboys were nicknamed “America’s Team.”

This name has caused the opposition to play harder against the Cowboys. When Dallas opened their new stadium in 2009, their opening game was against their rivals, the New York Giants.

The Giants ended up beating the Cowboys, and quarterback Eli Manning signed his name in the visitors’ locker room to commemorate his role in the upsetting of the Cowboys on their big day. After this, Jones memorialized Manning’s signature.

As a team, they are more despised than any other by NFL players and fans.

“I just don’t like them,” former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said on a podcast.

Edelman said the Cowboys don’t even have red, white and blue colors. He sees the Patriots more than Dallas as America’s team.

Dallas fans talk a lot of smack. The irony is that these fans still believe in their team despite how many times the Cowboys fall on their face when it counts.

Being a Dallas fan is equivalent to being a New York Knicks fan — neither franchise has things work out in their favor.

With the last play of this year’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, running back Ezekiel Elliott lined up in the center position while the offensive linemen took receiver spots. Rather than throw a Hail Mary, the Cowboys ended their year on an embarrassing play — an unbearable incident for Dallas fans.

Many fans took to Twitter after the play, burning jerseys and destroying their televisions because they felt let down again.

The Cowboys have stayed relevant because of the teams they’ve had in the past. They’ve had good teams since the turn of the century that have gotten them to the playoffs, but they never win when it counts.

Dak Prescott is the starting quarterback for the Cowboys and has a 2–4 playoff record. There have been times when Prescott was supposedly a better quarterback than his playoff opponents in elimination games these past few seasons, but he’s continued to lose. Prescott has been a failure, so who knows what will happen this offseason.

Then there’s coaching. Jones’ last hire, Mike McCarthy, called one of the dumbest plays in history — a play I mentioned earlier against the 49ers that resulted in them getting sent home.

Jones has made good and bad decisions in the past 20 years. That said, Dallas has failed to consider one massive factor: Some players don’t have what it takes to play for the Cowboys. Being called America’s team by the media is a lot of pressure, and I believe that has caused them to underachieve as an organization, disappointing their fans.