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Nielsen Says The Cowboys Are America's Team

Every now and then, someone tries to tell me the Cowboys aren’t really the most significant team in the NFL. Fortunately, it’s usually not long before a study like this comes out so I can have some handy evidence against them.

The Nielsen Sports Media Exposure Index measured all 32 NFL teams in four categories during the 2009 regular season: local team ratings, gross national TV audience, online buzz volume, and monthly unique audiences to official team websites.

So, Nielsen essentially compiled the amount of attention — online, on national TV and on local TV — each team in the NFL gets, and the Cowboys, unsurprisingly, rank first.

They rank first with a total score twenty-three percent larger than the second place team (Pittsburgh). More people watch the Cowboys in national games than any other team and more people look for Cowboys news and stories online than any other team (I suddenly became very nervous about writing here). Of course, that's not just Cowboys fans, it's the sheer number of people who watch football games just because the Cowboys are in the game, regardless of who they root for.

Either no one is America’s Team, or the Cowboys are America’s Team. Any other opinion is invalid (other than maybe whoever is playing the Cowboys that week).

Also, this indicates yet another strange difference between following the Cowboys and Rangers. Despite playing right next to each other, it’s just an entirely different experience. Not only in how different they are in terms of national relevance or what sort of history of success their fans have to look back on, but in their primary rivals. You think the Angels and Mariners would rank 2nd and 7th on a baseball list like the Giants and Eagles do? I’m not sure where the Redskins ranked, but I’m sure it’s a lot higher than the A’s would.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.