The Dallas Cowboys are off to a fast start and area fans think they are for real.
After rallying to beat NFC East rival Philadelphia on Sunday, the Cowboys are 4-1 under first-year coach Bill Parcells.
“They’re back and they’re going to make it to the playoffs,” Portales’ resident Candra Reynolds said.
Reynolds and Portales’ Jeff Hardts said they’ve been fans through thick and thin — through the dynasties and the 1-15 record in 1989.
“My mother is the biggest Cowboys fan,” Reynolds said. “She’s all decked out in Cowboys clothes on Sundays.”
Under the guidance of turnaround artist Parcells, the Cowboys are in first place in the NFC East Division, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Washington Redskins and two games ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.
“My most memorable moment of my life was when my father-in-law and mother-in-law and I went to a Cowboys game before he passed away,” said Jerry Ferguson, manager of the NAPA auto parts store in Portales. “I drove down in my truck to Dallas and we had seats at about the 45-yard line. They beat the Arizona Cardinals and it was great.”
Dallas has finished 5-11 the last three seasons. Parcells, who also turned around the New York Giants and Jets and the New England Patriots, has turned the Cowboys into a team that has won the close games and expects to win every game.
“It feels good to talk about the Cowboys after so many losing seasons,” Crescent Jewelry sales associate Ben Vasquez of Clovis said. “I have been hearing it from all the fans from the other teams. I think they’ll make the playoffs and then, hopefully next year, they’ll take it all.”
The Cowboys have won four in a row after losing their season opener at home to the Atlanta Falcons 27-13.
“They’re riding some kind of high,” Hardts said. “The mentality is different under Parcells and it shows. Roy Williams is the man for Dallas.”
At Foot Locker in the North Plains Mall in Clovis, the jerseys of Williams, Darren Woodson and Joey Galloway are all selling well, and employees hope to get in Quincy Carter jerseys.
Dallas continues its schedule against cellar-dwellers when the Cowboys play at the Detroit Lions (1-4) on Sunday. The schedule gets tougher soon with games against Tampa Bay, undefeated Carolina and Miami.
“It’s all about attitude,” said David Garcia, manger of Foot Locker. said. “Last year they didn’t have it and now they do. As long as it doesn’t get into their heads, and I don’t think Parcells will let that happen. I used to have people come around and call them the Cowgirls, but they haven’t said much lately.”
“We have a store full of people watching the Cowboys games on Sunday,” said Lenny Conlin, an employee of Foot Locker who is from Philadelphia and is torn between the Eagles and Cowboys. “It’s like a sports bar, without all the alcohol. It’s a SportsCenter here on Sundays.”