DAVID GREENE, HOST:
OK, let's stay in Texas now, where after two decades of futility, the Dallas Cowboys are back on top of the NFL. And commentator Frank Deford says, love them or hate them, this is a good thing.
FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: Admit it. Even though you may despise the Dallas Cowboys with every fiber of your being, you're glad to see them back as a powerhouse, aren't you now?
No, the Cowboys were never America's team any more than Anthony Weiner was America's congressman. If there ever was an America's team, it would be itty-bitty, little Green Bay, stuck way up there somewhere owned by the salt-of-the-Earth citizens themselves. Instead, more than a team, the Cowboys have rather resembled a national provocative institution, like the American Civil Liberties Union or the National Rifle Association or the Academy Awards.
But now - holy Roger Staubach - the Cowboys, who only won four games all of last season, have now won 11 in a row. And not only do they have the best record in the NFL, but better even than the Golden State Warriors and every other team in the NBA and the National Hockey League to boot. In other words, lo and behold, but the Cowboys are certifiably America's winning team. Live with it Cowboy-phobes.
Dallas has arrived at this exalted estate thanks primarily to an elite offensive line and two rookies who operate in the warm bosom of his comforting shield. Ezekiel Elliott is the new star running back, while somebody named Dak Prescott, whom the Cowboys drafted in the fourth round after all the supposedly ace quarterbacks had already been taken, is passing fancy.
This, too - even before this lollapalooza of a season, the Cowboys were ranked as the most valued sports franchise in the world, at $4 billion. Jerry Jones bought them for 140 million back in 1989. He is indisputably a business genius, but he often screwed up his team, thinking he could be a multi-tasking genius of a general manager, too.
Evidently Jones had never heard the story about the new owner asking his GM how he could help. You're an owner, replied the general manager. Own.
The word is that Jones is more amenable now to letting his scouting experts make personnel decisions. Just own, Jerry - just own.
GREENE: And Frank Deford just owns the first Wednesday of every month on our program. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.