America's Most Wanted Team

BLEE-ve It!

Ding-dong, the witch is gone.

This past weekend, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys.

17-10. That drops the 'Pokes to 4-5 and into third place in the NFC East.

It's become official. Dallas isn't a Super Bowl contender any more.

But that doesn't make watching them lose any less fun. It's purely personal--there isn't a team that deserves to be hated more.

Just to name a few reasons why:

Wide receiver Michael Irvin is a jerk on the field, taunting his opponents and screaming at officials. He's not so good walking off the field either. On a live national-TV interview, he started spewing four-letter words, including ones which have other meanings such as "to copulate" and "manure."

Believe it or not, he's even worse off the field. Unless you think that allegedly getting caught in a hotel room with a couple of hookers and a nice plate of crack is no big deal.

At least Dallas has great front office leadership. Owner Jerry Jones has been a model of good citizenship except for the time he allegedly went to a bar, got hosed and then groped a woman who happened to be a Dallas radio personality.

Hmm. It can't get worse, though Don't let two bad apples spoil the lot. Well, defensive tackle Leon Lett is currently serving his third drug suspension. Erik Williams has been charged with more crimes than any current NFL player (including allegedly going statutory with a 14-year-old). And Broderick Thomas was charged with two illegal possession of firearms and a DWI last year.

This shouldn't become a laundry list of Cowboy transgressions, however.

I mean, the fact that defensive line-man Shante Carver, defensive back Clayton Holmes and wide receiver Cory Fleming have combined for five more drug suspensions is irrelevant.

Or is it symptomatic of a team that's out of control? These players have lost their touch with the real world, and this comes straight from the top.

Jones has shown his flagrant disregard for the league and its rules. He signed huge contracts with Pepsi and Nike in direct violation of league policy.

He even advocates teams regulating drug transgressions on their own. Gee, I wonder why.

Barry Switzer, the head coach, was busted this summer trying to take a bag with a loaded .38 in it through the radar detector at DFW Airport. Maybe he was just pretending to be Passenger 57.

Or maybe he's just as out of control as his own players. They have no respect for him or his authority. A recent New York Times article quoted several players as saying they were concerned about Switzer's mental state because he started talking incoherently about his off-field activities, which allegedly included staying up late in bars and cheating on his wife.

Of course, they could just be getting back at him for not letting them peddle cocaine like he allegedly let his players at the University of Oklahoma do.

At least Barry has been a powerful proponent of better education. How, you wonder? Well, he was quoted before the Cowboys-Redskins game earlier this year as saying "Our goal is to score 27 points. If we can get two touchdowns and three field goals, we've got our 27."

Unless they've implemented a three-point conversion, this is proof that Barry is a brave crusader for more money spent on education! He's not afraid to make himself look like an ass as long as he delivers the message that America can no longer let other countries' kids beat us in math any longer! And if they do, just shoot 'em!

Not every Cowboy is bad. It really is just a few of them who make the entire team look bad. The problem is that the owner and coach aren't willing to cut those players loose. First of all, they have some issues themselves. Second, they care more about winning than they do about sending the right message to players and fans.

It's shame for players such as Daryl Johnston, Bill Bates and Emmitt Smith to be associated with these other guys. This team is an embarassment. And it's not even good enough to justify keeping it intact any more.

The time has come to break up the 'Boys. They are ruining the proud legacy of their franchise. But this is not just going to hurt them, it's eventually going to hurt football itself. And that would be the biggest crime of all.