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mesaSteeler
01-29-2011, 08:03 PM
Taylor: Cowboys fans wish their team could be the Steelers
Photo: DMN FIle/DMN File
http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/jean-jacques-taylor/20110129-taylor-cowboys-fans-wish-their-team-could-be-the-steelers.ece
By Jean-Jacques Taylor

jjtaylor@dallasnews.com

Published 29 January 2011 02:59 PM


When my family moved from Buffalo to Dallas in 1975, it was easy to trade the Bills for the Cowboys.

The Bills had O.J. Simpson – I proudly wore a blue No. 32 jersey to Daniel Webster’s third-grade picture day – but not much else besides quarterback Joe Ferguson. Dallas had Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson.

More importantly for an 8-year-old, the Cowboys were winners. They had won a Super Bowl.

Five months after arriving in Dallas, the Cowboys played in Super Bowl X against the Steelers, validating my transferred loyalty.

I already hated the Steelers. In 1974, they had beaten the Bills, 32-14, in Buffalo’s first NFL playoff appearance. The Steelers won Super Bowl X, 21-17, and I lost a 50-cent bet to a kid who was a Steelers fan.

The additions of Tony Dorsett and Tony Hill and the emergence of Randy White, Harvey Martin and Doomsday II made the Cowboys among the best teams in the league, making me root even harder for Dallas.

Then the Steelers beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII. And when Pittsburgh came to Dallas in 1982 and ended the Cowboys' streak of 17 consecutive season-opening victories with a 36-28 butt-kicking – they led 33-14 at one point - in front of a national TV audience, my frustration and hatred reached an apex.

After all, the Cowboys were supposed to be the good guys with their white uniforms and the blue star on the side of their silver helmets. The Cowboys of my youth won with the Shotgun and the Flex defense.

They had style and flair. They were America’s Team.

Pittsburgh was all about The Steel Curtain and a physical approach designed to ultimately make an opponent submit.

Mean Joe Greene. Jack Lambert . Mel Blount. The Steelers were an intimidating lot, and when they beat the Cowboys seemingly every time they played, it validated their style.

A lot has changed since then.

As a professional journalist, long removed from my days of worshipping the Cowboys, the Steelers are one of the NFL teams I respect because they have found a way to achieve long-term success in a league that uses draft order and salary cap to create parity.

As much as Cowboys fans are loathe to admit it, the Steelers represent everything the Cowboys wish they could be.

The Steelers, making a Super Bowl appearance in their third consecutive decade, have six Super Bowl titles, more than any other franchise. They will earn a seventh with a win over Green Bay on Sunday.

Pittsburgh, tied with Dallas for the most Super Bowl appearances with eight, is going for its third title since 2005. The Steelers didn’t start any of those seasons as the Super Bowl favorite necessarily, but their emphasis on defense and running the ball means the Steelers always have an opportunity to win.

Since 1997, the Cowboys are 112-112 with four seasons of at least 10 wins and one playoff win. Pittsburgh is 139-85 with eight 10-win seasons in the same span.

No player is ever bigger than the team, which is why the Steelers let Plaxico Burress leave and traded Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round pick, while the Cowboys have added selfish divas such as Terrell Owens and Pacman Jones over the years.

Traditionally, Pittsburgh gets rid of players – even a Hall of Famer such as Rod Woodson - a year early rather than a year too late. And they’re never going to spend lavishly on free agents because they believe in the organization’s ability to draft good players

The Steelers do things a certain way, which is why they have had only three coaches since 1969. Jerry Jones has had three since 2006.

Pittsburgh has an identity. The names change, but the approach never does. The owner provides cash and stability. The GM picks the players, and the coach runs the team.

It has been that way for more than 40 years.

It’s why I hated the Pittsburgh Steelers as a child and respect them as an adult.

(Actually 30 other teams wish they were the Steelers. I except the Packers because I do respect their team and fan base. - mesa)

Third Rail
01-30-2011, 03:01 AM
LOL, this article is great. Here's to hoping the Clownboys have 10 more seasons like their last one.