Ask Cowboy Nation

Hi folks. I come here with the full knowledge of the hate that you have for the Dallas Cowboys. But I come in peace. Having spent the majority of my life right here in the great city of Charlotte North Carolina, I can't say that I understand the hate. Maybe it's because a lot of Panther fans used to be Redskin fans before you got your team. I'm sure you will have no problem letting me know all the reasons you hate the Cowboys in the comment section. But hey, that's what makes it fun right?

So as you can see from my screen name "Tarheel Paul" I take a lot of pride in being from the great state of North Carolina. I love it here. It's my home and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

To some of you I am the Cowboy fan you love to hate the most. I'm the guy that grew up and still lives in Charlotte but roots for the Dallas Cowboys. Many people consider folks like myself the worst kind. "Bandwagon" fans. Well, that couldn't possibly be any further from the truth. Because lets be honest. Exactly what have the Cowboys done in the past 10 plus years to deserve any bandwagon fans? The answer is nothing. Everyone from this area knows that back in the day here in Charlotte you only had a couple of choices of what team you were going to pull for. On TV you got the Cowboys, Redskins, and Falcons. So most people pretty much chose one of those teams. My dad was a Skins fan so me and my brother chose the Cowboys. Little did I know when I was in the 3rd grade I would be starting a love affair with an NFL team that would give me the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

When the Panthers came to town I was just as excited as anyone else. I can remember their first game. Against the Falcons at the Georgia Dome when Frank Reich went deep to Willie Green at the end of regulation to force the game into over time! I was jumping around my living room as if Troy Aikman had just hit Michael Irvin for a touchdown. The Panthers became my second team. Then we get to the game everyone remembers. The 1996 playoff game when my beloved Dallas Cowboys came to town to take on my home town team the Carolina Panthers. I wasn't confused at all. I knew I would be pulling for the Cowboys. But it was weird because it was the first time I had ever had to actually root against the Panthers. Of course we all know how that game turned out. The Panthers pretty much destroyed the Cowboys on that night.

That's when I learned how much the Cowboys were really hated in these parts. Not that there was ever a doubt but that was the moment when I knew I would be a Cowboy for life. The other team (Panthers) that had managed to catch my attention was then shoved out the back door. Now don't get me wrong. I don't hate Panthers. When they are good then it's good for my city. If you live in Charlotte you know exactly what I'm talking about. The city lights up. It's a happier place to be. But even though it would make my life so much easier to be a Panther fan I just can not an will not ever do it. I don't have it in me. I will never abandon my Cowboys no matter how much they suck. I've been through 1-15 seasons, to 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, to 3 straight 5-11 seasons with the great Dave Campo and Quincy Carter, to the present years of mediocrity. So it's safe to say I'll be a Cowboy 4 life.

Now that I have that out of the way. Let's talk about this weeks game. As you might imagine I follow the Panthers closely if for no other reason than by default. Yes you guys are off to a rough start but it's not like you have lost to the sisters of the poor. Seattle is tough as nails. The Giants are the Giants. The Falcons are undefeated and The Bucs, well, they're the Bucs but they are much tougher that what people thought. So I don't see the Panthers as doom and gloom.

You guys have some players. Luke Kuechly is a future beast that has just now started to sprout his horns. If Rivera doesn't keep him in the middle then, well, he should be ashamed of himself. I really like Frank Alexander too. I think he's been your best dlineman thus far. That's not to take anything away from Charles Johnson. When he comes to play he's as good as there is on the end. Thomas Davis. I admire the hell out of that guy. You can't help but pull for him. Beason is just having a rough time this season and James Andersen is as solid and reliable as you can get.

Now this brings me to your secondary. This is, in my opinion, the weakness of your team. Captain is actually balling out but Gamble seems to be having a tough go. Norman is just a rookie who will get better over time but the safeties are just bad. I'll leave it to you guys to let me know if Haroki and Godfrey are as bad as they appear to be.

Offensively I of course worry about Cam the most. I worry that he might find out that Greg Olsen is really good and he's wide open a whole lot. I worry that he might have figured this out over the bye week. Smitty is Smitty and I would take him and his bad ass attitude on my team all day every day. Brandon Lafell seems to be coming along. I won't bring up Deangelo because I just don't get it. I know he can be really good but then it's like he's never played football. I know Stewart and Tolbert can be beast like if Mr. Chudzinski will allow them to.

So you guys have weapons. You have talent. You are much like the Cowboys in many ways. Especially in the way that it seems like there is always something. Always something that keeps you from winning. Something crazy or ridiculous. But it always happens. Trust me. Just when I think I've seen it all the Cowboys find a new way to lose.

You might be catching our defense at a good time. Mo Claiborne and Mike Jenkins are banged up and are getting MRI's. It's nothing serious so expect at least one of them to play if not both. We are really deep at corner with Brandon Carr, Claiborne, Jenkins, and Orlando Scandrick. Sean Lee is just unbelievable. And Bruce Carter seems to be the perfect compliment on the inside. Demarcus Ware is a future Hall of Famer and we are hoping to get Anthony Spencer back this week. Having him back is very important against the Panthers and the read option. I'm not going to talk about the dline because I'm hoping to keep that a secret.

Offensively I'm almost positive Demarco Murray won't play so Felix Jones will get the start. He was really good last week. Rushing for over 90 yards on 14 carries. But remember the names Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar. I'm sure you've never heard of either one of them but Cowboy fans have. And we are excited about them getting a crack at it. I think it's going to be tough on you guys to match up with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten. The oline, which has actually got a lot better in the last two games against the Bears and the Ravens, seems to really be coming along. Your boy Mackenzy Bernadeau has been exactly what you said he would be. A turnstile. But he did play better last week. He only gave up 1 sack instead of 5.

Tony Romo gets his own paragraph. He's our guy. Well, most of us anyways. There are some people that will never accept him. And that's fine. He deserves some of the crap he gets but not most of it. One of your front page writers hit the nail on the head when he said he gets a lot of crap because he's the qb of the Dallas Cowboys. I couldn't have said it better but it comes with the gig and he'll tell you that. He's ALWAYS played really well against Sean McDermott led defenses. So I'm really hoping he bucks the trend of at least 1 turnover in every game this year.

So that's it. Let me have it. Any questions at all. Trash talking is expected and accepted. My Blogging The Boys brothers will be here to chime in and help me duck and dodge the tomato's that will be thrown at my head.

Thanks in advance and Go Cowboys!

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