Three names sum up my first experiences with the Dallas Cowboys: Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. These three football legends introduced me to a sport that I cannot get away from.
I still remember watching Super Bowl XXVII, when the Cowboys blasted the Buffalo Bills 52-17. My mom decked me out in a Cowboys shirt and hat. With each touchdown Dallas scored, I became a little more of a fan.
The next year was more of the same. I convinced my mom to buy me a couple of Dallas Cowboys buttons to put on my shirt, and I wore them with pride. While Super Bowl XXVIII wasn't the offensive spectacle that the last one was, it helped show me the payoffs of being a loyal fan. Those moments with my mom are moments that I will always cherish, and they happened because of the team in silver and blue.
While many of you will cry band wagon fan, let me tell you, I have continued to cheer for the Cowboys. I sat and watched as Super Bowl quality teams turned into 5-11 teams. Each year, I hoped that it would be the one where my boys turned it around.
When Bill Parcells was announced as the next head coach, I felt the old pride come back. Parcells was a coach who was known for turning around poor teams. He would bring Dallas back. I watched Parcells try to turn around my team, but he could never get over the hump.
While Parcells may not have turned the corner for the Cowboys, he did lay a foundation for Wade Phillips. Now Dallas is gathering a new group of potential superstars. Where there was once Troy Aikman, now we have Tony Romo. Emmitt Smith has been replaced by the two-headed monster of Marion Barber and Felix Jones. Michael Irvin is the only former headliner to not have a solid replacement.
As with every Dallas fan, I have high expectations when every season starts. This season will be no different.
*Stats from DallasCowboys.com