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How Many Dallas Cowboys Blogs and Sites Are There in 2011?

Five years ago today was a Sunday, and the Cowboys were preparing to play the New Orleans Saints at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport the next day. Several of us on the old forums at DallasCowboys.com had become engaged in a trivia contest, which prompted an idea—how about a Dallas Cowboys blog that focuses entirely on trivia questions?

Figuring this *great* idea would last about two weeks or so, I moved forward with it.

Understanding that nobody cares, that was the origin of Know Your Dallas Cowboys, which launched on WordPress.com five years ago on August 20. Two days later, I registered the domain name, and this site has been up since then.

So how has it gone? The good part includes 881,000 page views over five years, meaning an average of about 14,700 page views per month. That pales in comparison to many of the largest sites, but it’s more than I would have figured five year ago.

I’ve had 3,274 comments on the site, but that’s actually the bad part. That means for every 269 page views, I get one comment. Not exactly stats of a successful site, but whatever. I didn’t say it was a successful site. I just haven’t ever killed it.

When I launched the blog, the two big private blogs were Blogging the Boys and The Boys Blog. Rafael Vela of The Boys Blog moved to Blogging the Boys for a time before setting up a new site at Cowboys Nation. The latter site quickly asserted itself as a major go-to source for Cowboys analysis.

Social media was not as big in 2006 as it is now. Few used MySpace to draw traffic, and micro-blogging had not yet taken off. A big source of traffic for smaller blogs was through the various forums. A common practice was, and is, to slip a link to an article in the signature area or to include the link in a post itself. It was a good way to draw the ire of forum moderators, and I assume it still is (I’ve since reformed).

Most newspaper articles and columns were available online, but since 2006 several have added blogs in addition to what is available in the newspaper. This has been true of the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and the San Antonio Express News. ESPN also now has a site devoted exclusively to Dallas, and that site includes a blog about the Cowboys.

In 2007, I posted an article asking how many Dallas Cowboys blogs there were. I included 18 private blogs along with blogs from the Dallas Morning News Cowboys blog and the blogs from the official Dallas Cowboys site.

I have updated my list of links to include new blogs and to remove defunct blogs. It is difficult to say, however, how many blogs there are now because some appear exclusively on Facebook or on similar platforms. It is also not as easy to distinguish between a blog and a forum because in several instances, sites function as both.

Anyway, here is my effort to summarize the state of the Dallas Cowboys blogosphere (using a 2006 term) as of 2011.

The Big Boys

Blogging the Boys

Blogging the Boys was big in 2006 and it has continually grown since then. Even minor posts on the site will attract dozens of comments, while more popular posts attract hundreds. Moreover, individual fans are able to write their own blog posts, and those blog posts also attract many visitors. If a little blog wanted to compete with BTB…

Well, a little blog can’t compete with BTB. In fact, I am not sure how well mainstream media blogs (ESPN, DMN) compete with BTB. According to Compete, BTB has averaged 290,660 visitors per month during the past year.

Moreover, BTB to an extent has become mainstream media. Contributors on the site write the preview magazine for the team from Maple Street Press, and it might be one of the best preseason sources available.

Cowboys Nation

I’m avoiding too many comparisons here, but while Blogging the Boys sets the standard for blogging as a site, Vela sets the standard for individual bloggers anywhere. Quite frankly, none of the big names in the media come close to providing the insight that Vela provides.

Case in point: In 2009, the Cowboys started using an unusual defensive alignment. My little brain saw that the linebackers were stacked in an unusual manner, but I didn’t know what the team was trying to do. Vela then wrote a post explaining that the team was using a form of the old 46 defense that Wade Phillips had learned from Buddy Ryan in Philadelphia. None of the media guys caught this, nor did any of the commentators on the official team site.

His stuff is always must-read.

True Blue Fan Club

The team revamped its forums in 2008 to develop the True Blue Fan Club. Most posts will attract dozens or hundreds of comments, and the conversations in the comments section are usually the most interesting. The forums are heavily moderated, but few sites have as many comments.

Professional Newspaper Blogs

ESPN Dallas Cowboys Blog

Just when you thought ESPN could not steal another former Dallas Morning News reporter, Jean-Jacques Taylor jumps ship to join Calvin Watkins, Todd Archer, and Tim McMahon.

Dallas Morning News Cowboys Blog

The defection of the aforementioned reporters from DMN has really hurt the quality of the DMN Cowboys blog. Posts by Rick Gosselin and Tim Cowlishaw (and perhaps David Moore) are worth reading, but I could do without several of the others.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Cowboys Blog

The Startle-Gram blog isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t invite commentary in the same way that the newspaper’s columns do. Clarence Hill is a good writer, though, so the blog is worth reading.

San Antonio Express News Cowboys Blog

Tom Osborn’s blog is much like the one from the Star-Telegram.

Private Network Blogs

Another way to boost site traffic is to join a network of blogs. I tried it with Most Valuable Network, but that experiment failed miserably. Others seem to have had more success.

The Landry Hat

The Landry Hat at one time had a single author. It has since grown to several authors, and it appears to be the biggest site on the FanSided network. It has grown tremendously in the past couple of years and now attracts about 16,000 visitors per month, according to Compete. That is bigger than all of the private sites other than Blogging the Boys.

Cowboys Gab

This site was launched in 2007 and is part of the Sports Gab Network. The authors typically update it once a day.

Blogs by Individuals and Small Groups

As I noted, individual blogs come and go, but several of us have stuck it out for several years. I am not going to comment much about the blogs below, but I have verified that they are all still posting actively. I am listing them in alphabetical order.

Cowboys Sports Blog

Fairly new site with periodic updates.

Cowboys Locker

This blog has been around for some time, and it is part of a network that includes blogs from every team. The site does not list an author, though, so it is not clear who creates the content.

CowboysBlog.Net

This site has been around on different platforms since 2003, and the authors have resumed posting recently.

Dallas Cowboys Books Blog

Fred Goodwin has what must be one of the largest collection of Cowboys books anywhere, and he has had blogs on several platforms. His site on Facebook has more than 2,000 “likes.”

Dallas Cowboys Brasil

This is a blog based in Brazil. Wish I could read the entries without relying on an online translator.

Dallas Cowboys Nation

This site has been around for few years, and the author updated recently after a long break.

Dallas Cowboys–America’s Team

Poke’s site has been up since 2005, and he recently posted an update.

DCFanatic

No site offers more media than DCFanatic. He also has regular shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Defending the Star

Very good blog that launched in 2009.

Lone Star Struck

This site first made its mark with its graphics designed primarily for MySpace.  The site has a number of features, including Legends of the Star.

Silver and Blue Blood

My favorite post from this site: JoneSpeak.

Under the Arches

This site includes regular updates (often in the form of AP stories) and also has a forum section.

Forums

Some of the fan forums have  shut down recently, which is unfortunate. Here is a list of those remaining:

Cowboys Zone

The Dallas Cowboys Forum

Dallas Cowboy Fans United

Cowboys Authority

YouTube

Here are a few channels that focus on the Cowboys:

The Dallas Cowboys Show (John Shango)

CowboyTD

True Blue Frog Show

Meet Some Famous Cowboys at Book Signings

Three former great members of the Dallas Cowboys are going to appear at locations around the Dallas area to sign copies of Jeff Sullivan’s America’s Team: The Official History of the Dallas Cowboys. Here is a list of those appearance:

Charles Haley

11/17 from 4-6 p.m
Walmart Store
1521 North Cockrell Hill Rd.
Dallas, TX

Pro Football Hall of Famer and Five-time Pro Bowl selection Charles Haley is the only NFL player ever to win five Superbowls. Amassing 100.5 sacks in 12 NFL seasons, Haley played for the Dallas Cowboys as Defensive End from 1992 to 1996 helping the Cowboys secure three Super Bowl championships, including the back to back 1992 and 1993 NFL season championships and earning NFC Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Pro selection.

Drew Pearson

11/22 from 4-6 p.m.
Walmart Store
4801 South Cooper Street
Arlington, TX

Dallas Cowboys legendary wide receiver Drew Pearson, played for America’s Team from 1973 to 1983 earning 50 touchdowns, 7,822 yards, and 489 receptions, and three Super Bowl appearances including the Super Bowl XII championship. Named to the Top 20 Pro Football All-Time Wide Receivers Pearson, a/k/a “Mr. Clutch” (named for his numerous game winning plays) is widely considered one of the greatest Wide Receivers in sport. In his ten year career Pearson was selected for three Pro Bowls and three First-team All-Pro selections, as well as leading the NFC in pass receptions and serving as Cowboys Offensive Captain.

Jay Novacek

12/2 from 4-6 p.m.
Walmart Store
2225 W Interstate 20
Grand Prairie, TX

Five time Pro Bowler and former Cowboys Tight End Jay Novacek was a major contributing factor in his three Super Bowl victories with Dallas Cowboys: 1992, 1993, and 1995 seasons. In his 11 seasons in the NFL, Novacek caught 422 receptions for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Thanks to those who participated in the giveaway for Sullivan’s book. I have notified the three winners, one of whom was a former player for the Cowboys. For the contest, I asked participants to list their favorite moment in the team’s history. Below is a sampling of responses:

As a former player, the opening night of the 1983 season, on MNF, against the Redskins. We’d just lost to them in the NFC Championship game at the end of the ’82-’83 season.  We were down 23-3 at halftime–the temperature was about 90 degrees–we toughed it out and cameback to win 31-30.  The the same game that Redskin’s Darrell Green’s speed came into prominence, when he ran down Tony Dorsett to prevent a long touchdown run.

* * *

Three Super Bowls in four years (’92, ’93, ’95)…Emmitt Smith breaking the all-time rushing record.

* * *

when we won all or super bowl

* * *

I have so many. I think the one game that stands out was the 1980 divisional playoff game in Atlanta. We were always plaing catch up and late in the 4th we were down 27- 17 with just over 6 minutes, I believe. Danny White threw 2 late TD passes to Drew ‘Clutch’ Pearson and we pulled it out, 30-27.
A game of lesser importance occured in our silver anniversary season when we hosted a Sunday Night game against the miserable, lowly Saints. We were down 27-6 in the 4th. We had never lost to New Orleans if my memory serves me. Well, we marched down the field and pulled within 7 with little time on the clock. The Saints took over inside their 10 and on 3rd down Ken Stabler was looking to throw from his own endzone when our D-line put the pressure on him. Randy White jumped on his back and I remember screaming “”the ball – FUMBLE!”” Jim Jeffcoat had recovered and we sent the game in OT where Septien won it for us, 30-27. Speaking of the Saints, a year earlier in an afternoon contest we barely beat the Saints again when we had to rely on a SAFETY to beat them by one, 21-20. Lol you see, we always pulled the game out. I could go on and on. Like in 1985 the giants and we were playing for the NFC division title. Again, another miraculous play helped us win and take home the division. Too Tall, who should be in the HoF, batted down one of his patented balls and it landed in Jeffcoats hands and he raced 65 yards if I remember for the score. We pulled that game and a division we weren’t supposed to win, 28-21. The memories, I will never forget. I have so many more but those are some of them that come to mind! 🙂

* * *

Super Bowl VI Winning the “big one” after years of not even close to oh so close.

* * *

There have been so many, but one of the favorites is the first Super Bowl win. I was so tired of hearing how they couldn’t win the “big one.” And I will always remember the “Hail Mary” pass. I just sat there with my mouth open, jumping up and down. I could go on and on.

* * *

There are many, the sole win in the 1-15 season being against the redskins; the first Superbowl of the ’90s; the Tripletts; Emmitt’s game against NYG with a shoulder separation; Emmitt setting the rushing record; Irvin and Emmitt’s HOF speeches;  Deion’s punt run back, think also against the Giants where he ram back and forth for what seemed like minutes befoer breaking a seam and scoring; Witten’s losing his helmet and still going and gaining more yds with defenders hanging off him; Ware’s 20 sack season; just can’t pick only one.

* * *

1992 NFC Championship.  The play where Alvin Harper takes the short slant and rumbles deep into 49ers territory to clinch the Cowboys first trip to the Super Bowl since the ’78 season..  Since I was only 3 years old in 1978 it was my first experience seeing the Cowboys at the top of the hill.  Will never forget it.

* * *

Beating the 49ers in the NFC Championship game in 1992. The memory of the Catch, and Danny White’s fumble on the ensuing drive was finally wiped away. Watching Alvin Harper take the pass from Troy and break away was a truly awesome thing to watch! We were back, finally, America’s Team!

* * *

Super Bowl VI Winning the big one.

* * *

The 1971 and 1977 championship seasons.  1971 was special because it ended the five years of playoff frustration.  1977 was a highlight year for me because I consider that team with HOFs like Roger, Tony D., Mel Renfro and Randy White and several who should be (Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris) to be the best team in Cowboys’ history.

* * *

Cowboys first super bowl VI win 24-3

* * *

the 90s . we were hot. Jimmy Johnson had that team together, along w/ Troy, Emmit and the entire trio. omg they rocked.so many people hated the cow boys because they knew the boys was going to stomp their team. i remember one game the kicker won the game for them. they were a team w/ a responsibality w/ one thing on their mind playing football and winning games. every game i watch is a favorite memory after all this is the BOYS were talking about. there are 2 teams on sunday the { COWBOYS and who ever their playing.

* * *

The back to back superbowls of the 80’s. Watching Aikman, Irving, Smith and the Cowboy Defense was awesome. They just don’t play insync like that anymore.

* * *

The comeback against the Forty Niners in the 1972 playoffs.

Site News and Sports Blog Net

Thank you to all who read this blog and have allowed me to keep it going for more than three years now. 355,000 visits certainly isn’t bad for a blog that focuses so much on the trivial.

I apologize for all the recent changes. Last February, KYDC joined the MVN network, which turned out to be a mistake on my part for several reasons. I had to migrate the contents of the blog three different times in the past year, which caused several problems. MVN recently closed shop, which required me to migrate back to my old platform. In a sense, the blog is right back where it was prior to joining MVN, though the headaches were hardly worth it.

KYDC has joined a new network of blogs, but it will not require me to migrate any of my contents and allows me to retain full control. The network is Sports Blog Net, the goal of which is to “get all the small blogs out to the masses, give new bloggers the ability to get the exposure they are looking for, and give sports fans a destination that they want to visit everyday.” After three years, this is still a small blog, but that’s what you get when the author is as focused on the Dallas Cowboys of the 1960s as he is on today.

For those interested, once the current season is over, I plan to resume the 50 Season Series, starting with the 1985 season. I have some other ideas and would also appreciate any input about possible series we could run on here.