READ THIS ********** Drama Zone is now a featured forum **********

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As we do every year, we have started re-evaluating our forums on the site. I know that many of you perceive the site to be the "Fan Zone" and that's it, but there are a lot more active forums than just the Fan Zone. Fortunately, a lot of users use the New Posts link at the top under the blue menu bar to read new posts from all forums, so new threads and posts in all forums, including those with few new posts each day, are seen, read and replied to by many users.

One of the first changes to be made was the renaming of the Rant Zone forum to the Drama Zone. In the past, we named the forum the Rant Zone because we simply had no better name for it. The Cowboys were performing badly on the field which made all of us unhappy which led to a lot of constant negativity in the forums.

Negativity in itself is not a bad thing as we all need a place to vent from time to time. However, it reached a point where anyone who would dare look for a glimmer of hope and post something positive would be attacked by a consistently negative group of users in order to get them to stop posting anything positive. This is where we drew the line and decided to do something about it.

We originally started locking or deleting those threads, but we really felt that upset fans had every right to be upset and to vent and share their frustrations with other fans. We just needed a way for them to do that without preventing or harassing the fans who accepted the team was bad and preferred to focus on the positives instead.

This is when we created the Rant Zone. Of course the name of it carried negative connotations, but it was the best generic name we could come up with given that most of the threads being moved there back then were indeed mostly rants by upset fans. Despite the claims of some users, we did not move every negative thread to the Rant Zone. Even when people would complain the Fan Zone was positive-only now their thread would be surrounded by a lot of negative threads in that very same Fan Zone forum.

Now that the team is doing better, the negativity with regards to the team has declined. It is still there, some of course by users with their own agenda either against the team, the site or other users, but the quantity has decreased considerably. That said, this is where the media has decided to take full advantage. Throughout the summer, it seemed like every week, a few news sources were writing articles saying things like, "Elliott situation still not over with the NFL." That's basically like having someone come to you at work each day saying, "It's still not time to go home yet!"

The reason the media does this, especially against the Cowboys, is because they are the one team whose fan base will flock to negative Cowboys articles to defend and justify, while haters of the team come to gloat and harass Cowboys fans. Even worse, this year a wider segment of the media has resorted to click-bait headlines in an attempt to make it seem like there is new information when there is none.

Now that the Cowboys are good again and they have young and upcoming popular star players on the team, the media has shifted to a whole new level in click-bait and article saturation. The problem is that even knowing this, we (the fans) still want to read about it and discuss it. If this was just an article every few days, it would be no big deal, but these days, every topic, good or bad, is going to have at least one, if not more, article written about it on every sports site. On top of that, the writers sometimes try to approach it from a different angle hoping to get referenced and linked to more which makes it harder and harder to merge those threads into a single mega-merged thread.

This is why we decided to launch the new Drama Zone forum. Yes, we renamed it from the Rant Zone, but that's because the bulk of the threads that existed in the Rant Zone, most of them older by now given the improvement of the team, fall under the purpose of the new Drama Zone forum.

So how is Drama Zone different than the old Rant Zone?

First, we basically isolated the Rant Zone forum with the intent of "it's there if people want to read and post in it badly enough to go find it each time they visit." The new Drama Zone forum on the other hand is going to be one of our featured forums. You may have already noticed we have moved the Drama Zone to the third slot on the home page. In addition, the Drama Zone has been added to the top blue bar menu for quick access. Another thing we are doing is like the Fan Zone, we will continue moving Newsfeed Zone threads (article links) into the Drama Zone like we do the Fan Zone.

Just to be clear, the Drama in Drama Zone is for the topic, not the user who posted it. In some cases, a non-drama topic can descend into an endless drama-based debate and the thread may either be cleaned (posts deleted) or moved to the Drama Zone if we feel the thread has served its purpose in the Fan Zone.

Our goal is for the Drama Zone to be very active on the site, not just a black hole to get rid of threads. As such, we will be more aggressive in some cases of moving threads from the Fan Zone to the Drama Zone because we want both forums to be active and popular with the users here. That said, we also want to provide fans who don't care for the drama or who would rather focus on the positive areas of the team and upcoming season with a way to do so.

No one likes change, but sometimes it is a good thing. A lot of users I am sure think the staff is full of people who unconditionally love everything about the Cowboys, but that is very far from the truth. We were all Cowboys fans long before CZ existed and just because we moderate the site using our Forum Rules does not mean we always disagree with what was said in posts we moderated.

We are all fans just like you and have our opinions just like you, with some positive and some negative. We enforce the rules because they have been shaped over 13 years by a lot of great people and they have helped keep the site a great and friendly place to discuss the Cowboys. It is not always smooth of course, but with the current state of the internet and the ugliness you see on other discussion sites, I think we have done a pretty good job and I hope most of you feel the same way.

Going forward, I hope you will make the Drama Zone one of our most popular forums on the site and make it a part of your read and post list when you visit the site!

As for what's next .. other forum changes are being considered, but there are no planned changes yet.

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