Last Sunday, I headed down to San Diego with 5 other friends to watch our Dallas Cowboys play! After 500 plus mile,s and what felt like 20 hrs total on the road (405 and 5 traffic), here I am in front of the keyboard, typing and reliving the longest and most disappointing weekend in awhile.
Let me start off by saying that we have the biggest fan base in all of the NFL, I met fans who drove from Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Montana, Florida and Pennsylvania just to name a few! Sporting their Dallas Cowboys jerseys proudly, flags on their cars just giving thumbs up and holding up the index fingers ecstatic about going to the game. From liquor stores to restaurants and everything in between, San Diego was became Cowboys headquarters for the weekend. Driving around San Diego looking for a Red Box so we could rent Madden 25 to get our game on Saturday night, we felt like we were in Texas with so many Dallas Cowboys fans.
After a long night thanks to Madden, Sunday arrived and everybody in the hotel room was pumped and ready to go. Our checklist included only one item that really mattered; the tickets, LF3 Row 8. We had planned to get to the stadium early to tailgate and socialize with other fans, unfortunately traffic to the stadium was unbelievably bad! 2 hours just to get there: our hotel was 4 miles from Qualcomm stadium! The parking lot reached capacity, so we ended up parking about 2 miles from the stadium and grabbed a cab to get us as close as possible. We reached our seats just as the national anthem was ending. Online, our section said the seats were obstructed view, we weren’t sure why it said it ti’ll a few seconds later when the San Diego Chargers cheerleaders came trotting out and settled right in front of us.
Looking around the stadium it was evident that it was 50/50 Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers fan, but noise wise you could say it was 80/20 Cowboys. Larry Allen was loving the atmosphere (at least in the first half) and he was loving our section, giving us a fist pump a few times. The first quarter showed the Cowboys had some potential, I liked their running game. However, I did not like Terrance Williams’ play: just too many drops.
Why the Cowboys weren’t doubling Antonio Gates is beyond me, they kept going to him and it was still one on one. San Diego got on the board first, but that didn’t stop us from being loud and drowning out the Chargers fans. We knew the Dallas Cowboys would strike back soon.
The second quarter was everything we knew the Dallas Cowboys could be. We watched them march down the field as the crowd got louder and louder with each first down. Then came the Tony Romo to Dez Bryant connection: whole stadium erupted, high fives every where followed by the X. That touchdown revitalized every Cowboys fan in the stadium. Then came the second Romo to Bryant connection, the crowd noise was unbelievable and the quiet Chargers fans made it that much sweeter. After the De-Fense chants, screaming at our line to get it together and trying to get Larren Allen’s attention (which I did once) my voice was starting to go out on me. De-Fense! De-Fense! chants getting louder, you can tell the players were feeding off the energy and sure enough the pick six came. With Sean Lee racing towards the endzone, our section was going nuts, I thought I pulled a hammy just from all the jumping I did and you could feel the stadium shaking like never before. The Dallas Cowboys finally playing to their potential… unfortunately, it was only 1 quarter they were able to do it for.
Halftime came and every Cowboys fan was grinning, smiling from ear to ear and the Chargers fan were uncomfortably silent. We were definitely making it known that this was our new turf, which would end up coming back to us. After halftime, our Dallas Cowboys were nowhere to be found, Morris Claiborne was being picked on and the defense was being picked apart. It seemed like years elapsed before Phillip Rivers threw an incompletion. There was no creativity in the Cowboys offensive play calling, and the passion from the 2nd quarter was gone. The San Diego Chargers were finding their groove and the Dallas Cowboys were not putting up a fight to get it back. The fan support was still there, out cheering the Chargers fans, but the frustration was growing, it is hard to cheer when there’s nothing to cheer for.
Come 4th quarter, we had exhausted ourselves; anger was settling in due to the fact the Cowboys were unable to get anything going. The San Diego Chargers who gave up 4th quarter leads, were locking the Dallas Cowboys down with out much of a fight. Phillip Rivers to Antonio Gates was a hard blow, but the nail in the coffin was Terrance Williams fumble, any life the Cowboys still had left with that fumble: the fans were shocked with disbelief. San Diego fans took back their stadium as Cowboys fan started heading to the exits and suddenly we were outnumbered. The few remaining Cowboys fans that were left in our section acknowledged the defeat and looked forward to getting the win next week. We also shook hands with the few Chargers fans in our section and let them know that they played a good game and it was good win.
My voice was gone by the end of the game, it started with cheers and ended with frustration yells. After the game I just wanted to leave San Diego as soon as possible, but of course there was traffic and what should’ve been a 3 hour drive took 5 hours. Uncle Boots recap of the game was dead on and it seems like the Cowboys play was bad that I also got sick. Sunday will be a tough test, if Phillip Rivers can put up 400+ yards I don’t even want to imagine what Peyton Manning will do. But I actually have faith in the Dallas Cowboys upsetting Manning and the Broncos, they’ve done it before and I hope they do it again, though it will be a longshot.