Are Cowboys still America’s Team? Primetime schedule says yes

Getty Images

A whole generation of Cowboys fans have no idea the Cowboys used to consistently contend. Their team, of course, hasn’t reached the NFC Championship Game since 1995.

That was the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl season.

In the past 24 seasons, only Dallas, Detroit and Washington have failed to reach the NFC Championship Game.

Yet, the Cowboys remain America’s Team.

They annually have the highest regular-season ratings, which is why the networks fight over them. In 2019, 12 of the 50 most-watched programs on television involved the Cowboys.

In 2020, the Cowboys again have five prime-time games. That means every single season since 2006 when NBC got Sunday Night Football and the NFL began playing Thursday night games, Dallas has had at least five prime-time games.

The Cowboys are the only team in the NFL to claim that 15-year streak, according to Mark Lane of WFAA. (The Patriots, of course, have had more prime-time postseason games the past 15 seasons.)

So how do the Cowboys retain their popularity despite the lack of a Vince Lombardi Trophy since 1995. Mike Florio posed that question to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones during Friday’s #PFTPM.

“Well my hat’s off to the original owners, the Murchisons [and then] the Brights,” Jones said. “My hat’s off to Tex Schramm and Tom Landry. My hat’s off to Roger Staubach and Bob Lilly. I just think they did such a great job early on with those long extended periods of playoff appearances, Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl appearances. Obviously, great personalities. Captain America, who went to the Naval Academy, Roger Staubach, I think his bust is still the most visited bust in the Hall of Fame in terms of what people have interest in. Certainly they set the foundation. Then, of course you know my father Jerry is nothing short of Barnum and Bailey in terms of not wanting to drop the ball and leave the team in a better place. He certainly has really led our organization in terms of really not wanting to drop the ball there whether it’s the coaches; whether it’s the coaching staff; whether it’s the players. Hiring a Deion Sanders. Bringing him in to play for the Cowboys. I just think we do make it interesting.”

24 responses to “Are Cowboys still America’s Team? Primetime schedule says yes

  1. They really never were because Art Rooney did not want that name when NFL Films asked him to call the Steelers America’s Team in the 70s for a documentary.

  2. Did you ever think people tune in to the Cowboys to root for them to lose? I know I do because they are the self-proclaimed America’s team and a lot of people outside of Texas feel the same. Being irrelevant does not symbolize America!

  3. The media is the only reason why they are America’s team. For the real football fans.. they are just as over rated as always. The media loves to talk about JJ… Time for this to end

  4. Networks still living off the early 90’s Cowboys, however its fun watching them underachive for over 2 and a half decades now!

  5. Prescott’s 150 million in endorsements should answer that question. Jerry mist be getting a cut, otherwise…

    But Jerry is Jerry and he has built up Dak so much that even Dak thinks he’s worth 40 MORE million a year. He can retire RIGHT NOW (from a 4th round rookie deal) because of this whole ‘America’s Team’ thing. Yet he wants more. Greed never wins…

  6. It could also be that people tune in to root against them because of their obnoxious fans.

  7. Running on fumes and riding past glory. They haven’t done squat since Jimmy Johnson got ridden out of town by Jerruh’s ego. After the team he left them with aged out, they’ve cratered.

  8. Just because the league is forcing a team that hasn’t won anything in 25 years down our throats doesn’t mean we like them!

  9. America didn’t make the schedule the league did so why are they America’s team did they take a survey?

  10. Why do the other owners allow the Cowboys to “own” Thanksgiving, instead of moving the game around? This is one of the reasons they have the delusion that they’re “America’s Team”.

    What are the other owners getting in return for giving them that ridiculous monopoly over one of our 2 biggest holidays?!

  11. They’ve been able to do it because the NFL keeps putting them on. The NFL could start putting the Lions in 6 prime time games a year and after 7 years they would be ultra popular …

  12. The comparison to Barnum and Bailey is spot on. After all, Jerry is a clown. Just look at the coaches he has hired over the last 25 years(except for Parcells whom he drove away).Any wonder the franchise is mired in mediocrity?

  13. Truly baffling. Really. The NFL worries so much about “fairness” yet some teams get multiple home prime time games and others are forced to play on the road and on short weeks to accommodate ratings for fan favorite teams.

  14. Steven’s correct to some degree, but he downplays the role of Jerry who, above all, keeps the Cowboys relevant. His power within the league keeps the Cowboys in the spotlight, from the amount of cash he has directly/indirectly made for the league since he became owner to keeping his team in the NFC East (which makes no sense).

    The America’s team thing is largely a myth, but they are a top 5 team as far as fan base, with a good international presence. I have no problem with all of the prime time games, I just wish they didn’t get so many 4:15 games. It seems like every damn week they are the only choice on after the 1 pm games.

  15. what would the nfl be without AMERICAS TEAM…their not the only choice…people choose to watch them instead of their own team because u either love r hate them ur always gonna watch AMERICAS TEAM…dnt hate cause nobody is talkin bout ur team…im sorry for that…hahaha

  16. The NFL is about ratings and revenue, like them or not the Cowboys deliver both in spades

  17. and why do all the networks want AMERICAS TEAM cause they r the biggest draw of any other team in they nfl..even though they havent been relevant in the last 25 years…haha

  18. You would think they would sign Cam and breath some life into that boring QB slot.

  19. You put a team in prime time more than any other team and that team is going to get higher ratings than any other team. The cause is being conflated with the effect.

  20. For the totally clueless and ignorant..

    America’s team was never, I repeat never self proclaimed by the Cowboy fans, Cowboy media or the club itself..

    The moniker came about by NFL films following the 1978 season, In 1979 when putting together each teams season in review, Steve Sabol himself explained that Cowboys fans were in abundance on all road games and at the team hotel, so naturally when the season in review video was complete he felt it was only natural to dub them America’s Team..

    Now you know the rest of the story

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.