I’m pretty sure that true fans of Dallas Cowboys know how the most expensive sports franchise got its nickname, America’s Team, but for those that do not know, or maybe forgot, here is a short reminder. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a moniker that owner, coach, player of the team gave it, it was received and happily accepted.
Many might think that this nickname came from marketing genius Tex Schramm who was Cowboys president and general manager, but also a Hall of Fame member. After the squad received this moniker, Tex loved it and used it as much as possible to promote this franchise. The truth is that it came from NFL Films.
NFL Films was the company that produced highlight videos for all teams in the league, and in 1979 editor-in-chief Bob Ryan was preparing 1978 season highlights. Ryan needed a title for it, and after watching many hours of footage, he noticed that Cowboys always had a great number of supporters even when playing on other stadiums. There were so many people with Dallas franchise jerseys and hats in stands which led him to the conclusion that this is a team loved in all parts of the country.
“I saw all these fans in away stadiums,” Ryan told NFL Network. “Hey, they’re the most popular team in the country. How can I use that? Why don’t we call them ‘America’s Team’?” On top of that, he prepared opening lines that were narrated by John Facenda saying: “They appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars. They are the Dallas Cowboys, ‘America’s Team’.”
This nickname was often used in 1979 season by many broadcasters so it stayed with the squad and was immediately accepted by both the fans and management.
Another quite extraordinary fact is that this moniker came from the heart of Philadelphia Eagles territory as NFL Films offices were located in Mt Laurel, New Jersey. This, without a doubt, is a Philly suburb and we know the history of these two teams and that there isn’t much love between them.
Well, looking at Cowboys, it is love ’em or hate ’em for most football fans, and this is one of the most polarizing topics in sports. Here is what Bob Ryan said: “It’s probably one of the most high profile nicknames for a team in history. Whenever the Cowboys are playing, the nickname comes up again. I’m fine with it, really. I love the name.”