IRVING, Texas – During Saturday’s NCAA Final Four at AT&T Stadium, the image of Jerry Jones was flashed on the gigantic TV screen that hangs over the court – and doubles it in size.
About 80,000 basketball watchers were in attendance and more that a few of them booed the image.
Proving … What? That every story needs a villain? That hooting at the man in his own building will inspire him to be a better host? That a spring day featuring college kids playing basketball still has something to do with his Cowboys?
Here’s what it proves for certain: The Dallas Cowboys, in terms of popularity and recognition and People Who Care remain "America’s Team."
You boo Jerry because you know him, because you know his team and because you care about it. … Care because they’ve won Super Bowls and care because they haven’t.
And it’s not only your sore throat that establishes this; it’s also your poking fingers.
The analytic website fivethirtyeight.com compiled Google search figures going back 10 years for each major North American professional sports team.
The Cowboys rank first among all NFL teams. The gap between the Cowboys and the second-ranked Packers is the biggest gap between any two NFL teams. Including all professional North American teams, the Cowboys rank third in Google searches behind only the Yankees and Red Sox.
This can include searches for thrilling notes from Cowboys history and goofy jokes about Tony Romo and tragic events featuring Josh Brent and the late Jerry Brown. This is about "Hail Mary" and Cowboys Cheerleaders and even AT&T Stadium itself.
The Cowboys are a beloved team, a special love-to-hate team, a team that motivates your passion even in the spring, even at a college event, even at a basketball game.
Just as that big TV hangs over the stadium floor, mediocrity hangs over Jerry’s Cowboys.
And yet, as proven by both your boos and your clicks … You care.