Gas station coffee is made with water and grounds, same as Starbucks, yet some people will choose the pretentiously ubiquitous chain and pay more for a cup than they would for a typical meal.
Superficially, it would seem unwise to select that option for a similar product, but people do so because they get something valuable out of it.
Starbucks patrons get to enjoy the smug feeling of indulging in perpetual trendiness, purchasing hippie Fair Trade coffee and basking in the status gained by carrying around what others know is a $5 dose of caffeine.
On the other hand, the departed Dallas staffers each made an economic decision in the more general sense: They analyzed the costs and drawbacks of both staying and leaving.
Each determined that the potential for improvement at a struggling organization where they could once again do Bill Parcells' bidding outweighed sticking with a recently successful team that, nonetheless, is led by a potential lame-duck coach and contains few existing opportunities to further one's career.
This is true for both the first wave of transfers, including the Dolphins' fresh primary faces like coach and general manager, as well as those who rode the second swell to Miami and got themselves specialty commissions.
All saw something worthwhile enough in South Florida to justify the move.
For one, Jason Garrett's presence means Tony Sparano was not about to get a promotion in the immediate future, neither to offensive coordinator or head coach of tomorrow.
Clearly, his best chance for the top spot on a staff was in a different NFL city, perhaps one where his former boss just got hired as vice-president.
In the same vein, Jeff Ireland also knew there was no hope that Jerry Jones would step down as general manager so he could take the post; that made him vulnerable for a plucking by former co-worker Parcells.
Then there is Brian Gaine, who is now Miami's assistant director of pro personnel; I suppose that would be considered a modest upgrade from the quite similarly titled assistant director of pro-scouting position he held for the Cowboys. His first football office job was with the Jets in 1999 under, to nobody's shock, Bill Parcells.
Meanwhile, Todd Bowles, now the secondary coach for the Dolphins, was passed over in Dallas as the departing Parcells' replacement. Then, he was not chosen as defensive coordinator, as the team brought Brian Stewart from San Diego to take that role and be reunited with Wade Phillips.
Those snubs made Bowles receptive to moving. Take into account that he was also given the title of assistant head coach in Miami, and it's clear why he was easy to lure.
New Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni was in a similar situation: There was no way for his career to grow with the Cowboys when there were only a handful of slots to which he could potentially advance, none of which were vacant.
Now, he has a more crucial duty in addition to the fact that he's again wearing the same colors as Parcells.
As for Kacy Rodgers, this is a sideways move, as he will serve as Miami's defensive line coach, the same responsibility he held in Dallas. It is a case where the draw was working under his former supervisor, who is presently serving as a rather prominent executive for the Dolphins.
While some may be surprised by this flight southward, less in regards to latitude and more in terms of standings, there is obviously something attractive about Miami's current situation.
Aside from the reality that they are virtually guaranteed not to have a worse '08 than their '07, Parcells has a history of quickly turning around franchises that employ him, including, um, the Dallas Cowboys.
Coaches want to get on board with the Dolphins thanks to the possibility of rising with the tide, not to mention the prospect of collaborating with a respected former leader.
Combine that with an understandable lack of openings in Dallas, and you get a portrait of a situation where employees are willing to jump from a three-loss team to a one-win franchise.