Dallas Cowboys: Fans know, cheering to lose is hard to do

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys fans who are trying to get the best possible draft pick in the 2021 Draft were in a difficult spot on Sunday afternoon.

The struggle is real for Dallas Cowboys fans. On one hand you have a terrible team with so many key players out for the year there’s no hope on the horizon. On the other hand, you have a very winnable division that guarantees a playoff spot to the least terrible team.

Accepting what’s in Hand No. 1 offers a top-5 draft pick and a more favorable schedule next season. Hand No. 2 gives you bragging rights but trades in that premium pick for one that’s positioned in the back half of the draft, regardless of final record. What path a fan chooses to pursue is no easy decision to make. And as many of us learned yesterday, following the logical path is much easier said than done when the game is in play.

Cowboys Nation was divided on Sunday. One group of Cowboys fans entered the game hoping they’d win and keep fighting for the NFC East. The other group of Cowboys fans wanted no part of the most embarrassing division crown in the NFL, and wanted to lose.

Team “win baby” was noble and loyal in their support. Team “draft pick” was logical albeit somewhat dishonorable in their immediate and unabashed goals. The two sides are clearly at odds and the infighting of the fanbase has now hit peak levels in Cowboys Nation.

Common ground in the ultimate goal

The ultimate goal of both groups of Cowboys Nation is to win the Super Bowl – that’s undeniable.  And since anything can happen in the playoffs, just getting a seat at the table offers hope, right?

Well, not really. The Dallas Cowboys are a special brand of bad this season. And with Dak Prescott, La’el Collins, and Tyron Smith all on IR and out for the season, realistic hope of “anything can happen” goes right out the window.

Logic and reason have a way of flying out the window when our instinctual fandom kicks in. We’re learning from this the two sides have the same Super Bowl goals in mind, they just have different routes to get there.

The Dallas Cowboys will never have a good offensive line this season, no matter how much they adjust and improve. The same goes for the secondary. Neither unit is talented enough. And if the Cowboys do get to the playoffs, they’re assured to have the worst QB in the entire postseason.   That alone caps the Dallas Cowboys potential considerably. That’s why most fans have made peace that the year is lost, and even if a division like the NFC East is winnable, doesn’t mean a playoff game is.

We’re all Dallas Cowboys fans

Hoping to lose is easy in theory but once the ball is kicked off, the application is hard to see through. Under the table fist pumps could be seen throughout the homes of “team draft pick” yesterday. I dare you not to feel good about Donovan Wilson’s strip sack or CeeDee Lamb’s acrobatic TD grab. Logic and reason have a way of flying out the window when our instinctual fandom kicks in. And that’s OK.

What we’re learning from this is the two sides of the fanbase are far more alike than they are different. They have the same Super Bowl goals in mind, just have different routes to get there.

More from Dallas Cowboys

The win in Minnesota was good to see but it’s important to keep it in perspective: Like Dallas, Minnesota is also terrible. Remember, they only have one more victory than the Cowboys this season so it’s not like the Cowboys really pulled off a statement win or anything. Andy Dalton still only passed for 203 yards against the 27th ranked passing defense. Minnesota has been averaging 267.9 yards passing against them this season and Dalton didn’t even get close to that figure in a playing-from-behind situation. The Dallas Cowboys didn’t suddenly become a contender here.

Even still, if you have a soul in your body you likely found it hard to actively cheer against Dallas when the game was actually happening. No matter how logical losing is in this 2020 season, fandom is inherently illogical and that’s part of what makes it all so beautiful.

Related Story. Cowboys fans should want the crown, not the pick. light

Next. Winning the NFC East would be a costly mistake. dark

It was awfully hard not to cheer for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, no matter how foolish winning is at this point.

  • Published on 11/23/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 11/23/2020 at 17:33 PM