The pains of being a Cowboys fan

My name is Natalie, and I have a problem.

I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan.

It’s a rough truth to admit and reality to face. Sure, there’s some pride involved, but where does that pride come from now? Yes, still from the 1990s—you know, the last time we really knew what it meant to be a winning team.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that our quarterback is out (again) because of another broken bone. I’m not positive of this, but I really think they need to look into Romo possibly suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta. Just a thought. It would explain why he seems to end up sidelined each time he gets touched. We’re starting the season with a fourth-round draft pick who was good in college but still has a lot to learn about playing with the big boys.

And for some reason, I still have hope.

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How dem Boyz make me feel most of the time

When I was a teacher, I used to take part in season predictions with the social studies crew, and I always overestimated how good we would be. I don’t know why I continue to believe in these guys, but I’m never quite ruling out the Super Bowl—even though they usually act like they’re opposed to winning playoff games. Season after season, they make us believe that things are different and that they’ve really changed, but then they leave their overly optimistic fans crushed with disappointment.

And for some reason, I still have hope.

Years ago, I worked in promotions for the Cowboys, and I was able to attend all of the home games (back when they were at the beloved Cowboys Stadium before the whole implosion thing), and I remember getting even more excited being so close to the action and meeting some of the players at events and thinking, “Yes, this is the year.” It’s been eight years, boys, and I’m still waiting.

And for some reason, I still have hope.

Then there was that morning two seasons ago when I was unknowingly running down Jason Garrett’s street, and he was getting in his car right as I ran by and said to me, “Well, that’s inspiring!” I think I said something like, “Thanks, now go coach ‘em up,” and I became even more hopeful in that moment that he really would lead them to success that season. We won the NFC East, beat the Lions in the wild card game and then lost to the Packers in the divisional playoff game (it was a catch). It was a sad ending to what seemed like a promising season.

And for some reason, I still have hope.

The Cowboys remind me of the guy who led me to believe he was going to ask me out (and told all of my friends he was going to) but then went out with my friend, instead. He had gotten my hopes up and then let me down. Just like the Cowboys do every season.

And for some reason, I still have hope—and I’m going to have that same hope going into this season and every season after this one.

I think it’s important not to give up on your people. I know the Cowboys have a lot of issues (both on and off the field), but we can’t just turn our backs on them when things start to go south. If we don’t believe in them, who will? They’re people, just like us, and they need others to walk alongside them through the good times and the bad times—people to cheer for them when pretty much everyone else seems to be booing.

Romo is out. Dak is up. Dez is good. Jerry is still around. Troy is still providing obvious commentary. The haters are still hating. We open the season in two weeks against the Giants with a lot of eyes on us that are wondering what we’re made of with a bit of adversity thrown in.

And for good reason, I still have hope.

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