"They appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars," said narrator John Facenda in a 1978 NFL Films-produced highlight video. "They are the Dallas Cowboys, 'America's Team'."
Thirty-four years later, we still use that nickname to describe the Cowboys, and it's still at least somewhat accurate. Harris Polls continually find there are more fans of the Cowboys than of any other NFL franchise.
But those with the most admirers often also have the most haters.
The Washington Redskins are slightly less admired, but probably also slightly less hated. That's why the majority of fans living in every single U.S. state outside of Texas will be cheering for the Redskins when the two teams meet with the NFC East title on the line Sunday night.
As of 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, a poll conducted online by ESPN SportsNation had every state and district outside of Dallas' home in Washington's corner, with 73 percent of the worldwide popular vote going to the 'Skins.
Only in neighboring states New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas does Washington's approval rating drop below 70.
This doesn't change the fact that Dallas probably has more fans, but it does indicate—yet again—that those who are neutral or cheer for someone other than Dallas are likely to root against the Cowboys.
Why? Well, they've won more games than any NFC team since 1970 and they've been to more Super Bowls than anyone except the Pittsburgh Steelers. And then there's that air of superiority—that bravado. There's Jerry Jones. And there's the fact that we're arguably over-saturated with Cowboys coverage.
Even the original reference to Dallas as "America's Team" noted that how often they appear on TV factored into the 'Boys earning such a hefty moniker.
So what do Bleacher Report football fans think? Who are you cheering for on Sunday? Vote in our poll and stay tuned for plenty of Cowboys-Redskins hype/coverage between now and the end of the week.
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