What's Trust Got to Do With It?

December 28, 1996 was a long time ago. A listing of the ways the world has changed since then would be long, would leave something out and would be pretty silly since you're reading this on the kind of website that barely existed back then. The only other difference that's germaine to our discussion here is that the Cowboys were a team that won playoff games until that date.

You probably knew that already, and have probably felt the bile in your throat at the end of every year that's passed without a playoff win since then. That's being a fan. It's not always fun, it's not always easy but that's the deal you make when you sign up for following a sports team and caring about how they do when they take the field. The other half of the covenant, if you're lucky, is that the team you root for tries its level best to win games and make you happy.

No one can accuse the Cowboys of doing something less than that. The millions poured into the team, the moves to acquire talented players via free agency and trade and the construction of JerryWorld are clear signs that the Cowboys are willing to do whatever it takes to win. You may quibble with the choices they made, and probably should quibble with the choices they made, but you can't say that the Cowboys haven't held up their end of the bargain.

Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News doesn't seem to agree with that sentiment. His Wednesday column accuses the Cowboys of not doing enough to reward their continued and rabid fan support. 

It's not up to me or you to believe in the Cowboys. It's up to the players and coaches to earn your trust. Thus far, they haven't done it.

That's just wrong. It is up to me, you, Jean-Jacques Taylor and anyone else who chooses to believe in the Cowboys to believe in the Cowboys. Since Taylor chose the word believe, it's hard not to take a religious angle on analyzing the relationship.

If you're the sort of person who believes in a higher power, the sort who prays and lives life as best as you can, you're well-aware that your belief is often a one-way street. Sometimes the world smiles upon you and sometimes it turns out to be a painful mess, but your belief likely comes from a place that's relatively unaffected by the day-to-day fluctuations of life. It's deeper than that, which is why people spend so much time questioning matters of faith. 

Now, it seems fairly silly to equate rooting for a football team with believing in God, but that's the word Taylor chose. All Taylor's saying is that he wants the Cowboys to win, same as any fan, which has nothing to do with belief, faith or trust. Those things have to do with people, institutions and more cosmic matters.

When it comes to football teams, liking them is enough and that's a totally personal decision.

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