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Why Your Team Sucks

Why Your Team Sucks 2021: Dallas Cowboys

OXNARD, CA - JULY 24: Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys welcomes fans to training camp at River Ridge Complex on July 24, 2021 in Oxnard, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Some people are fans of the Dallas Cowboys. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Dallas Cowboys. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Dallas Cowboys.

Your 2020 record: 6-10. Here was a team that was absolutely loaded on offense playing in what would go down as the worst single-season division in the history of football, when OH SNAP!

[No Country For Old Men voice] Look at that fuckin’ bone. Now I feel terrible for Dak Prescott’s skeletal system, but what followed in its wake was tremendous content. The Cowboys won that game against the Giants, lost six of their next seven, and then won three in a row after that to remain a game away from somehow winning their frayed asshole of a division. All they had to do was beat that same Giants team and hope the Eagles could beat a WFT team that had swept them by a combined score of 66-19. Let’s see what happened!

For the entirety of my adulthood, the Cowboys have been the living embodiment of this gag. Their objective every season is to be the loudest guy getting his shit ruined, and boy are they GOOD at it. I wonder how they’re able to pull it off so consistently…

Your coach: ENGAGE TACTICAL BEAV!

That’s former Green Bay foot massage recipient Mike McCarthy, who’s already on the hot seat. Pity the hot seat. If you don’t think McCarthy earned the scorn, please consider the following:

  • He’s Mike McCarthy
  • His players were ready to mutiny after he’d been on the job for six weeks
  • He hired Hot Sauce Nolan to be his defensive coordinator and the Cowboys immediately surrendered nearly 30 points a game
  • He fired Nolan this offseason and replaced him with the man whose Falcons blew a 29-10 lead to Dallas less than a year ago
  • He justified a disastrous fake punt by noting that it would have worked in an alternate dimension
  • He won his players back by smashing a bunch of watermelons in front of them, Gallagher-style. WE ALL LOVE THE HILARIOUS STYLINGS OF GALLAGHER DO WE NOT?!

“We had to actually take our own watermelons with us, because it’s a little harder to find big watermelons in Minneapolis this time of year than Dallas, from what I was told. So a lot of planning goes into that. Very well received. We had a great time with it.”

I love a coach who spends more time studying how to ship watermelons domestically than he does getting Zeke Elliott the ball.

Do they have a Guy on the coaching staff? Indeed, Kellen Moore is still here as your offensive coordinator. Will Moore take over as interim coach in December and then become Jerry Jones’s sock puppet for the ensuing decade? Of course not. JUST KIDDING I’D WAGER MY CHILDREN ON IT.

Your quarterback: I’m sorry but that information is hippo.

That’s Dak Prescott, who watched his ankle pull a Kit Kat, sat on IR for the bulk of the season, had to wait until March before the Cowboys finally paid him, and then celebrated by becoming a living piece of biohazard roaming around the practice field. AS ONE DOES. Just thinking about a totally avoidable Ben DiNucci start in October is giving me a hard-on. I could break Dak’s OTHER ankle with this bad boy. Or maybe I’ll stick it in his brain to get the Cole Beasley out of it.

Oh and he’s already hurt.

What’s new that sucks: Former Falcon Keanu Neal is here to help fulfill Dallas’s annual quota for personal fouls. And hey, who’s excited to pin their entire defensive turnaround on Randy Gregory, a man who gets suspended more often than Beth Harmon did?

Leighton Vander Esch and his Gossip Girl–ass name won’t stop getting hurt, so the Cowboys drafted Micah Parsons to take his place. Now, the Cowboys are shockingly good at drafting players, because the Double J secretly isn’t allowed to decide anything in their war room. That said, every defensive star they bring into the fold has a delightful knack for developing persistent leg injuries and/or a nasty cocaine habit. Can’t wait to see which one Parsons ends up with!

What has always sucked: I spent the majority of the 2020 NFL season happily watching games played in empty stadiums. There were no big crowds, but there was also no guilt. Of course, there was one inevitable and depressing exception to that:

“Would one of y’all please pass the COVID?”

This year is gonna be a race to see if Dak can give Cowboys fans the Delta Variant before they can give it to him. But this is the Cowboys’ raison d’être. This is what Jerry Jones builds his workday around: making sure that everything he owns and everything he does is noticeably pointless and/or evil. It’s why the Cowboys are the most valuable team in sports despite never winning a fucking thing. It’s why they hand out COVID like it’s a fucking Top Round coupon. It’s why Jerry’s Legends group is the most expensive line item in the budget of every other professional and of collegiate sports team, and of the 2028 L.A. Olympics. It’s why Jerryworld was strategically located in the middle of a traffic jam. It’s why Jerry never misses a chance to do some war profiteering while cackling like an olde timey bank robber in the midst of it. NYEEEEHAW!

And it’s why the Cowboys are the perfect fit for the Metroplex, and for Texas as a whole. It’s not enough for Texas to fuck itself on an annual basis, which it does with appalling ease. No no, Texas has to fuck the REST of us just to get its point across. It’s why I can’t watch a primetime NFL game without the threat of seeing Jerry leering out of his luxury box with his Botoxed face reflecting more light than a fucking glacier. It’s why I see more people wearing Cowboys swag outside of Texas than in it. It’s why Texas’s main export is oil fires. It’s why Greg Abbott is gonna run for President. It’s why Texans co-opt the violent racism of the rest of the South and the urbanite corruption of the North to suit the Texas brand. We need to kill Texas before it kills us, and that’s a fact.

As for Dallas itself, it’s basically Oklahoma. Worthless.

Ratto says: Didn’t make the playoffs in the worst division ever. Jerry Jones remains the container pictured in Comrade Roth’s Gross Gas T-shirt. Michael Irvin has become the team’s celebrity scold, and his bete noire Cole Beasley is the former Cowboy who will be placed in the team’s Ring of Honor not as a name and number but as a hunting trophy where the team mounts his head on the stadium facade. BEST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: Azur Kamara because of the obvious connection.

What might not suck: The wideout corps is astonishing, which’ll make it all the more enraging when McCarthy dials up a four-yard button hook for Blake Jarwin on every third-and-long.

HEAR IT FROM COWBOYS FANS!

Dennis:

Jerry.

Matt:

Is Jerry still in charge of this team? Then we’re fucked.

Teddy:

Fuck this team with Johnnie Walker’s dick.

Lisa:

While Texans were freezing to death in their homes, guess whose natural gas company was profiting? That’s right, Jerry Jones owns Comstock Resources, which made millions due to natural gas pricing surges during the disaster.

Sean:

Telling people I’m a Cowboys fan is more ostracizing than telling people I’m a lawyer. And I did insurance defense. 

Evan:

We are forever cursed as long as Jerry is alive and I’m certain he will outlive me. I’m 32.

Mark:

They haven’t even gotten to a conference title game since 1996. I hate everything. I hate my team.

John:

The way Jerry calls Oxnard, CA “Ox-nerd”. And Mike McCarthy weighs more than an F-150.

Steven:

They’re still basically the Lions of the south, but at least Cole Beasley is embarrassing someone else’s fan base. 

Eliot:

Dak Prescott, asked to comment on a rattlesnake biting him and poison currently coursing through his veins, assuring certain death within minutes: “You know, it’s just not something I’m focused on. A lot of people have different opinions on this sort of thing. I don’t want to step on anyone’s beliefs about venom. There’s a lot of information out there, but really, I just think it’s a distraction. I’m here to help this team win football games. Anything other than that is for other people to comment on. We’re just looking forward to this season.” 

*Dak dies, Jerry Jones preserves Dak’s body and puts it in glass like Vladimir Lenin and charges people $80 to view it at The Star in Frisco*

Patrick:

The worst part is that I’m genuinely torn as to whether he’s refusing the vaccine or he actually got it and is scared to say so in fear of alienating our insane reactionary fanbase.

MJ:

Garrett Gilbert time y’all!

Jerry (not that one):

It’s a HIPAA violation to watch this defense attempt to keep an opponent under 30 points. Given that Jerry Jones clearly thinks Johnnie Walker is a superfood, I’m shocked this team’s vaccination numbers are as high as they are. 

CeeDee Lamb must be placed in a bubble to be protected from unvaxxed teammates at all costs.

Jaime:

Dallas as a whole is forever reaching for the title of the worst place in this godforsaken country. The ‘burbs are a breeding ground for the Alt-Right so much so that whenever a 1/6 rioter is captured the bet isn’t IF they’re from the Dallas area, but which of the many white flight burbs they’re from. The population booms here with new shitheads from all over flocking to drive home prices into the stratosphere, but the specter of new liberal elites arriving from the coasts dies once you realize it’s the Not In My Back Yard segregationist types. The Orange County to Frisco pipeline is alive, well, and breeding the next generation of hate.

What’s funny is that central Dallas will sit around and feign disgust at what the burbs are up to, while systematically destroying traditional Black & Brown neighborhoods with gentrification just to build sub-par restaurants and nightlife defined by patios where yet another Nashville reject covers “Neon Moon.”

This fanbase somehow has escaped Shea Serrano or Ted Cruz jumping on its bandwagon. 

Phillip:

Recently my wife and I were talking when the Cowboys came up. She made the observation that I don’t seem as interested in the team as I used to be, and that she’s glad that losses (of which there have been plenty) don’t affect my mood as much anymore. I then proceeded to challenge this statement because I am a stupid, broken, dead-inside man.

This is where I admit that I’ve been to AT&T Stadium once. For Alabama v. USC in 2016.

Matt:

I got three Super Bowls during my high school years. Figured it would keep going like that forever. Now, I’m divorced, pudgy, and we’ve won four playoff games since I graduated high school 26 years ago. This is the worst frontrunner/bandwagon team in the country.

Emma:

I’m a Cowboys fan, so I’ve achieved a level of self-loathing usually reserved for big four consultants and former high school debaters.

As an Indian kid in Texas, I don’t really need think I need to elaborate on all the ways in which Cowboys fans are bass-ackwards racist pieces of shit, but elaborate I will. My first Cowboys game in Jerryworld I pulled up in my Witten jersey (don’t @ me) and was immediately greeted with “namastes” and atrociously bad Indian accents. At all of nine years old, I thought this was a form of camaraderie. It was not.

I’m not realizing this has become me ranting about everything except the Cowboys’ constant cycle of supremely high offseason hype, coaching changes, a lackluster season start, followed by a spectacular midseason meltdown. Anyways, the Cowboys and their ineptitude and their racist fans can get fucked.

Richard:

Jerry managed to profit from the ice apocalypse that killed dozens of people in the middle of a pandemic. At least we’re going on Hard Knocks. Last time that happened, we went 9-7 and didn’t make the playoffs. This year, we can look forward to going 9-8 and missing the playoffs. 

Teddy:

40% of Cowboys Nation will tell you right now that Tony Romo is still a better option under center than Dak.

Eric:

I abhor Jerry Jones for all the usual reasons, which made Dak Prescott winning a years-long negotiation against him one of the rare spiritual highlights of being a Cowboys fan.

Matthew:

I didn’t think it was possible for the Cowboys defense to be that bad last season. I didn’t think it was possible to let OBJ run ten yards backward and 52 yards forward for a touchdown. I didn’t think that in the very next play you could block an extra point and turn it into a two-point conversion FOR THE KICKING TEAM. 

Chris:

My father would put his massive 1970’s style headphones on my mom’s stomach during radio broadcasts to start prepping what he envisioned as the beginning of the next generation of Cowboys fans in our West Texas family. I never even had a choice. And his indoctrination experiment worked. I still subject myself to pain and misery every damn Sunday.

Sam:

I KNOW we’re never going to make a deep playoff run, I KNOW we’re never going to have a defense worth shit (our refusal to pay for CB/safety play, which analytics shows are the most
important parts to a modern NFL defense, is infuriating), and I know we’re never going to realize Dak’s promise so long as the sex-addled, sclerotic Jerry Jones is the great helmsmen
of the team.

There’s JUST enough there—an exciting offense, a likeable QB, his vaccine opinions aside—to keep me invested in the Ponzi scheme that is modern NFL. But I know the highlight of my season tops out at a single playoff win, if that.

Fuck Jerry Jones, fuck Chris Christie, fuck the star– who gives a shit.

David:

As god awful as last season was… with Dak getting his very own Theisman moment, and Beav’s grim death march of fourth down conservatism ruining every shot at an upset when the team actually played competently for a quarter or so, and everyone shooting themselves in the foot on the last day to finish third in the worst division in the history of the league… 2021 will be worse. Why? Because this time the agony drags out for an extra week. Fuck me with a pointless chip shot field goal when trailing by 14 points.

On the other hand, ex-Cowboy disappointment Cole Beasley might end up on a ventilator, so there’s that to look forward to.

Jacob:

In 2015 we could’ve drafted Jalen Ramsey and Derrick Henry with our first two picks. Instead we drafted Zeke, who is nothing without an All-World offensive line, and Jaylon Smith who couldn’t feel one of his feet at the time. Jerry Jones recently said he would do anything to win a Super Bowl, but one of those things is obviously not hiring a GM.

Josh:

I am 32 years old. The first Cowboys season I can actually remember watching was in 1996. You know, the season after they won their last Super Bowl. I have never even seen this fucking team in an NFC Championship Game, let alone the Super Bowl. 

AND YET! Accusations of being a bandwagon fan have rained down on me my entire life. I am not from Dallas. I am not from Texas. But I inherited a love of this shitty team from my dad, someone who actually lived and grew up there. 25 years of Cowboys watching has given me a grand total of four playoff wins. And one of those four happened in my first fucking year of being a fan. The Bucs won that many over the course of one month earlier this year. Bandwagon fan? IN THIS ECONOMY?!

Fuck Jerry Jones. Fuck Jason Garrett. Fuck the weird ass shiny/wet football in Seattle almost 15 years ago. Fuck the Giants. Fuck the Eagles. Fuck the Steelers. WFT? I really don’t care about you enough to actually hate you.

Dez caught it.

Sam:

I’m a Cowboys fan who was born in 1998. This means I get associated with all the entitled weirdos like my uncles who never stop talking about Troy Aikman, but without ever experiencing any kind of meaningful success. Never seen the team in a conference championship game, much less a Super Bowl. Every time I allow myself to get slightly hopeful, Jerry does something either hilariously stupid or incredibly ghoulish and I feel ashamed to have a connection to this horseshit organization.

Still winning it all this year though, GOD’S FAVORITE TEAM BABY.

Brian:

This is hard for me, because, contrary to what other fans think, there is a lot to like about the Cowboys. It is BY FAR the most diverse fan base in football. Have you ever met a black Patriots fan? Me either. Bomani Jones has said that the tailgate outside of AT&T stadium before a Cowboys game is the most diverse place in America, and this is true. You’ve got your Mexican Americans, you got your black folks, you got your dip-spitting white boys, your Asian-Americans. Everyone loves Dallas. I have a friend who has been a season ticket holder in the 400 level since the inception of the stadium, and has met Jerry Jones a few times, and by all accounts he is always a polite, charming, and charismatic person. Dak seems like a good guy, too. 

But LORD, fuck this team.

Fuck Dallas, which is full of the most superficial, pretentious people who all pretend they have money when they live at home with their parents and finance cars at 25% interest. 

FUCK Zeke, who gets blackout drunk, beats up his girlfriends (plural) and then forgets that he did it. 

I’d take solace in the fact that Jerry Jones will be dead soon, and will cede operations to someone who will be more competent. But he’s been strapped up to a blood boy since the Quincy Carter era. 

Fuck this team. Fuck this state. 

Austin:

We didn’t address the secondary. We still have a terrible coach. Our quarterback has a barely functional leg. Jerry Jones is still here.

Jim:

My mom has been a Cowboys fans since the days of Staubach and their runs to the SB in the 70’s against the Steelers. Her lifelong goal has been to attend a game in Dallas. She’s seen them play in DC plenty of times, but never in Dallas. We finally got to go November 10th, 2019, playing your Vikings Drew! I’ll do my best to be concise, but our day went something like this:

1.) Took a shuttle from the hotel to the game. The hotel was 2.1 miles away from the stadium, but it still took almost an hour to get to the stadium because of the traffic.

2.) After getting to the gate, my mother was informed that she could not bring in her purse because it was “too big.” We were offered a locker to stow it in, but it was on the other side of the stadium, and it would have been like $20 to rent it for the game. Also, Mom has had both knees replaced, so walking extensively is not ideal for her. Given this, Mom made the choice to throw away her bag. She began transitioning her stuff to her wallet, when she was told, “Ma’am, I’m so sorry, but I can’t allow that wallet either. It’s also too big.” They even pulled out a little chart with a box stating if it doesn’t fit inside the box, you can’t take it in. My mom’s wallet barely crossed the box border, so into the trash it went. She made do with a plastic bag. She was irritated but surprisingly cool headed, given she tossed about $200 in the trash. I’m about 90% sure one of those workers dug that out of the trash and is currently using them. 

3.) We get inside but realize we entered on the wrong side of the stadium, and now must make our way around to the other side, so we start walking. When we got to the Club Section in the middle of the stadium walkway, we were told not to come through here and go around, that this area was for club members only. I told the large security man about Mom’s knees and that we were just trying to get to the other side, but it didn’t matter. We had to go BACK OUTSIDE, ALL THE WAY AROUND to the other side of the arena.

4.) This journey took a while because Mom had to take breaks for her knees. I offered to get a wheelchair, but she refused. After what felt like an hour, we finally got to our seats. At this point, Mom is pissed, but determined to watch this game. The Cowboys would go on to lose 28-24. On the way out, we had to listen to a bunch of obnoxious Vikings fans (sorry Drew) talk trash and call us sore losers, to which my Mom, bless her heart, responded in kind, “You guys are awful winners.”

5.) The shuttle for the hotel comes in shifts, and of course there’s like tons of people who used it, so every time the shuttle comes around, which takes forever because of traffic, everyone desperately tries to pile in there like it’s the last lifeboat on the Titanic.

6.) Around 1:15am, we finally arrived back at the hotel. Mom is exhausted and very unhappy. I asked her if she’d ever go to another game in Dallas. Her response: “No. No, I don’t need to do that again.”

Fuck the Cowboys and their staff for stealing my Mom’s bag and wallet, and for making her walk up, down, and around that stadium on two replaced knees. Seriously, fuck those people.

Wayne:

I know three brothers who are by far the biggest Cowboys fans I’ve ever met. They are bigger Cowboys fans than anyone I know is of any team in any sport. They wear jerseys and have tailgates every game day.

The oldest brother was outed on Facebook for borrowing girls cell phones, going through them for nudes, texting the nudes to his phone, and then pretending these girls were sleeping with him.

The middle brother was in a human sexuality class and, with a straight face and complete sincerity, said in front of the class that the biggest issue with interactions between men and women is women putting men in the friend zone. 

The youngest brother used to go through trash cans near ATMs in gas stations in Preston Hollow (nicest neighborhood in Dallas, a few blocks from Jerry Jones’s house), find the ATM receipts that had the largest ledger balance, and strategically leave them in his car so girls he took on dates might see them and believe that he had more money than he did. The car was a 2002 Mustang with a busted muffler.

Submissions for the NFL previews are already closed, alas. Next up: New York Giants.