From America's Team to Anonymity's Team

The Dallas Cowboys and their new $1 billion stadium don't have a corporate naming partner. (My idea looks better by the day.) Or, for that matter, an exclusive date with a TV network for the sparkling joint's NFL debut.

To which I say, fantastic!

Let me repeat the off-season mantra I've encouraged the Cowboys to embrace: Get back to being a successful football team rather than a popular sports brand. Win, and the fame will follow. Yearn for attention sans success, and you become a punch line, another in the herd of America's Top Model wannabes scrambling to get notoriety for doing absolutely nothing.

While Terrell Owens makes news by no-showing Buffalo, the Cowboys - a year after being spotlighted by HBO's Hard Knocks but 12 years since their last playoff win - are justifiably flying under the radar.

When the NFL announced its 2009 opening-weekend schedule of nationally televised games, the Cowboys were left out. No Thursday night kick-off. No Sunday night debut. No Monday night special.

The Cowboys will likely open the season on the road, then unveil their new digs in Week 2. Probably in prime time. But still, surprising yet delicious. (Dallas will host its annual Thanksgiving Day game, this year against the Raiders, and the full schedule will be released in early April.)

Given all the distractions and exposure and style over substance of this franchise the last decade, wouldn't it be nice if we remembered the first game in the no-name new stadium as a win, rather than some grand spectacle?

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