In this week’s edition of Patriots Football Weekly, I’ve got an interview with Albert Breer of The Sporting News.
During the interview, Breer, who left the MetroWest Daily News last year to join the Cowboys beat for the Dallas Morning News mentioned that the Cowboys are covered like no other franchise in sports.
In a followup that didn’t make the final edition of my final PFW column, I asked Breer if he felt that the way the Cowboys were covered by the media in Dallas even surpassed the way the Red Sox are covered here in Boston. I thought that the topic was worth posting here.
Here was his response:
Yes, I do think it is, and for several reasons.
First is the place of the team in the market. I wouldn’t question that the Red Sox are No. 1 in Boston, I just don’t think the gap is as great between the Sox and the other teams here as it is with the Cowboys and the other teams in Dallas. The Cowboys can go 2-14, and they’ll still tower over the Mavs, Stars and Rangers.
Second is the amount of coverage. Here’s an example — The Cowboys held their training camp in Southern California, and traveling people there, as you might expect, isn’t cheap. The Morning News had three beat writers and a blogger there, plus photographers, for all of camp (3 weeks.) Plus, there was a rotation with the three columnists, so one of them was always on the ground on the West Coast. About 10 people travel for the Morning News on every single road trip. And that’s not counting the NFL writer, Rick Gosselin, who does an annual trip of about 10 training camps, and is at a non-Cowboys game every week.
Quite simply, the NFL is king in Dallas and, in general, football rules in Texas to a degree that I don’t think exists here. Just my personal opinion. The Star-Telegram, in Fort Worth, commits similar coverage to the Cowboys, and ESPN has two of its most prominent NFL reporters — Ed Werder on the TV side and Matt Mosley for the dot-com (both DMN-exes, by the way) — in Dallas and covering the club on a near-daily basis. I’d challenge you to find another team in any sport that garners that kind of commitment from a national outlet.
Third is the sheer volume of content. Check the Cowboys Blog at dallasnews.com. I don’t think there’s another mainstream media, team-specific blog in the country that can come close to competing with it. In particular, look at this past offseason — We had 10-20 posts a day, and were generating record traffic even in slow times. As for the print product, there’s an NFL section separate from SportsDay (what DMN calls its sports section) every Monday. And if you look in the offseason, it’s not unusual that Cowboys OTAs (optional offseason workouts) would grab the centerpiece of the section in the middle of May, even with the Mavs and Stars in the playoffs and Rangers season in full swing.
Fourth is the interest in the team. I do know the power of the Red Sox brand, but I would say that their following isn’t what the Cowboys’ is, and for this reason: While Boston transplants are passionate and filling a lot of opposing ballparks, the Cowboys have a rather large faction of fans without having a connection to North Texas. It’s impressive, to say the least. I’ve seen these guys on the road, and even in cities like Charlotte and Detroit last year, when the team bus pulls up to the hotel, it’s like the Beatles just got there.
What do you think? Does what Breer describe about the media coverage in Dallas surpass what the Red Sox get here?