Background: The Cowboys are a marquee franchise that has won multiple Super Bowl rings. They have a flamboyant owner who pushed the NFL into the modern marketing era. The team will soon be moving into a $1 billion plus stadium. The Cowboys have successfully defined what pro sports should be in the South – fun, glamorous, exciting, and always a great story.
Team Identity: Not only are the Cowboys a league-wide favorite, they also mirror their town and their state. Texas believes it is bigger than life, bigger than the USA itself. The Cowboys represent that belief. They are winners with style.
If you doubt the power of the Cowboys, look at last season. The team took the league most reviled player (Terrell Owens) and made him fun again. The team also made a Hall of Fame coach look average. By NFL standards, Bill Parcells is one of the greatest ever. By Cowboys standards, he was a failure. So just as Texas is bigger than the USA in the eyes of its resident, then the Cowboys are also bigger than the NFL - just the way they want it.
If that isn’t identifying with your fans, what is?
2007 Storyline: What team can replace a Hall of Fame coach with a career afterthought coordinator and have its fans more excited? Ah, the marketing genius of Jerry Jones! Stunningly, this year’s Cowboys team has almost as much hype as the Cowboys team the repeated in the Super Bowl under Jimmy Johnson. Time to start fitting Jerry Jones’s next Super Bowl ring!
Expectation Meter: No one seems to be concentrating on the fact that Wade Phillips has a so-so track record as a head coach, that Tony Romo is still unproven as a QB, that the defense is questionable, and that the offensive line still has trouble protecting or blocking.
Jones has gone “all in” with this year’s Cowboy team. He likes his personnel. Now, he is back in control with easygoing Wade Phillips being a nice change from grumpy Parcells. Jerry is betting that looser reigns will allow his Cowboys to take the next step towards the Super Bowl.
This team better win. TO quickly becomes a clubhouse nightmare when he isn’t winning. Wade Phillips seems incredibly ill-suited to handle this kind of situation.
Despite all the good feeling in Dallas today, the reality is that the 2007 Dallas Cowboys are on a real short leash. Anything less than a Super Bowl win, a Super Bowl appearance, or a strong Super Bowl run, will lead to major changes in the off season. TO, Romo, and Wade Phillips might all be history. Jerry Jones will be calling Bill Cowher – count on it. Remember, he's got a billion dollar stadium to fill in a couple of years.