I grew up in Syracuse, NY. I had two good friends of mine that lived down the street. One of them was a year older than me, the other was about 4 years older than me. The older friend was sort of like that big brother/idol. Tremendous athlete. We used to play baseball almost every day we possibly could and I gave up more gopher balls to him than Yankees pitchers give up to David Ortiz. Him being older and so much better than me wound up helping me go to college on a baseball scholarship.
We had actually started playing baseball in my backyard when I was 5 years old. I remember him and his brother were Cowboys fan and I basically joined the club.
I remember my mom, who knows nothing about football, always saying that she loved the way the Cowboys looked. They looked professional and so classy, unlike the other teams.
It also helped that my dad actually liked the Skins at the time. He doesn't even follow pro sports anymore, but back then he hated the Giants and dug the Skins offense, Riggins, and being from Syracuse, Art Monk. I got sick and tired of hearing him brag about the Skins, thus it only intensified my Cowboys love.
I remember thinking Tony Dorsett was a god (well, he was) and loving Danny and Randy White. I also remember Ed "Too Tall" Jones scaring the hell out of me, but thinking I sure was glad he was playing for Dallas. I remember crying after "the catch."
One of the things the "Cowboys fans are bandwagon jumpers" contingent doesn't realize is that the Cowboys were on national TV almost all of the time. Up until Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas came along, I got to see much more Cowboys games than I ever did Bills games. And that's why you see a lot of NY'ers like myself as Cowboys fans.
Anyway, I remember going nuts when Dallas got Hershel, then poo-pooing them when they traded him (boy, I was a young idiot). I vividly remember playing golf with an older buddy of mine who was also a Cowboys fan and him saying to me "the Cowboys look pretty solid this year" in preseason. I agreed with him. That was 1989
Strangely enough, I still had a lot of confidence that Jimmy would turn it around as I had seen SU football get outclassed by his Miami teams. And sure enough they did. I remember the SI commercial for the upcoming football year and Peter King saying something to the affect that "the Cowboys are the one team I think that's going to make the jump to the Super Bowl." That was 1992.
I remember the '92 NFC Championship game and the Cowboys finally beating one of the teams I hated most, the San Fran 49ers. Another thing I enjoy about that game is Moose Johnston, a former SU player and idol of mine, manhandling the Niners, especially Bill Romanowski.
And then Jimmy saying afterwards "How 'bout them Cowboys!" which is a mantra that so many people use for their team, but it only rings correctly when it comes to Dallas. Strangely enough, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Dallas would destroy the Bills, which they did.
I remember going to a huge Super Bowl party for that Super Bowl. The place was filled with about 50 Bills fans and myself. Funny enough, 5 years ago none of these "Bills fans" could tell you who the starting QB was. Talk about bandwagon jumpers.
Then there was the game, Dallas crushing Buffalo and me and another friend were celebrating like crazy. My old man telling me to pipe down to not rub it into the other people's faces, but we continued celebrating like crazy. We were the only ones left at the party at some guy's house we didn't even know when the final second ticked away.
There was '93 where I freaked out about Emmitt's holdout. Then the Cowboys got back on track and didn't miss a beat. They played the Bills again and it was on my then girlfriend's birthday and she wanted to go out, which we did, but I made sure to catch the game. I remember Emmitt taking over the game almost single handedly and then getting laid. Doesn't get any better than that.
Then there was Jerry picking up Deion and seeing Jerry Rice whine like a little girl and then forever solidified my odd hatred for the man. Of course there was Barry's incompetence and I was just relieved to see them win a Super Bowl.
From '96 to '99 I had a hard time following them since I was in college and was a busy and broke college kid.
Then came 2000 and the Dave Campo era. I was still broke and busy, so I didn't miss much. Come 2002 I was stoked about the Cowboys until the game against the Texans. After that game I was so harrassed that it actually made me a bigger and more intense fan. I even predicted that Bill Parcells would be coaching the Cowboys next year. All of my friends had the same reaction, they had that slight hint of fear that it could happen but then tried to laugh it off saying it would never come into fruition. I got the last laugh at that one.
And that's what I'm left at now. A 7-4 team with a lot of things I like and a promosing future.