Something happened to me Thursday night that felt like a cosmic shift in my sports universe.

 

After watching two-thirds of the first round of the NFL Draft in Azle at my uncle's house, I headed back to Graham in disgust but soon found sports satisfaction when I turned on the car radio and tuned into the Texas Rangers' broadcast.

 

To preface things, I have been a Cowboys fan since I could speak.

 

Watching the Cowboys during Sunday lunches in the living room after church are where some of my fondest memories derive.

 

I have every Cowboys Super Bowl victory on DVD and I've missed only three Cowboys games in the last five seasons including the preseason.

 

They have always been my favorite sports team to watch out of the three sports (basketball, football and baseball) that I follow closely.

 

My disgust Thursday night came when Cowboys' owner and general manager Jerry Jones traded the 18th pick in the draft for the 31st and 74th picks, getting little value for dropping down 13 picks.

 

It was another case of the Cowboys disappointing their fans and trying to get cute on one of the most important days of the season.

 

Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers were busy beating the Minnesota Twins 2-1 in a game that they probably should have lost.

 

The night before, the Rangers beat the Angels 11-3 in a game that ended at midnight central time before immediately hopping on a plane and getting to Minnesota at 7 a.m.

 

Suddenly I realized that I had become a bigger Rangers fan than Cowboys fan, and for a moment I was unsure how it had happened.

That split second of uncertainty was soon vanquished by a moment of clarity.

 

The Cowboys are currently in a perpetual state of mediocrity, while the Rangers are tied for the best record in the American League.

More importantly, the Rangers represent a team and environment that is solely dedicated to winning, while the Cowboys are worried about appearances and blame.

 

Texas has long been a football-loving culture, but assuming that I am not the only person who likes winning, professional football in North Texas could be taking a backseat to Rangers' baseball in a few years.

 

It might be different if the Cowboys were actively trying to win, but as it is, the team is just trying to find new ways to sell merchandise and raise concession prices for the corporations and executives who can afford to buy season tickets for the purpose of impressing clients and employees during business trips and company outings, paying closer attention to the barely-clothed dancers hanging from the rafters than the actual action on the field.

 

Meanwhile across the parking lot, there is a successful team with a stadium full of blue-collar fans who will gladly show up to 81 home games and spend all of their weekend money on something they can be proud of.

The problem is that through all of the mediocrity involved with the Cowboys, the pocketbook of the big man in the luxury sweet is still being lined with million dollar bills.

 

That being said, enthusiasm cannot be sold, and the enthusiasm of the area is clearly slipping out of “Jerry World” and making its home in the Ballpark commonly referred to by Rangers' fans as “The Temple.”

 

The Rangers are now drawing some of the top attendance numbers annually in the MLB and are breaking new attendance records every season.

 

The groundswell is growing with the Rangers while the support for the Cowboys is becoming a status symbol.

 

With all that said, there is plenty of sports love among fans in the area to care equally about their football and baseball teams.

 

But, when normal people with normal lives want to be physically and monetarily involved in supporting one of the local professional teams, they will be wearing red and blue more and more every year.

 

In a few years, that may force Mr. Jones to rethink some of his priorities.

 

Meanwhile, I, like many others, will have my eyes glued to the two-time American League Champion Rangers.