Every few months or so, we come across a survey that claims to have determined who is the NFL's most popular team.
We always figured this was just a way to rile up Dallas Cowboys fans (this is not difficult), a notable example coming last December when a poll found that the Packers had discount-double checked the Cowboys out of the title of "America's Team."
But in the latest study to hit the mainstream, the Cowboys have gotten their mojo back. According to ESPN Sports Polls, 8.8 percent of fans root for Big D on Sunday, good for No. 1 on the list.
According to ESPN, Pollsters conduct 1,500 monthly telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of Americans age 12 and older. They have reached 390,000 Americans since 1994 via land lines and cell phones, in English and Spanish.
We have a feeling Shahid Khan won't like what he sees here, as it appears the poor Jaguars will be going stag to prom again this year. In a related story, Justin Blackmon has called his agent three times since the beginning of this story to find out if he can file for free agency.
So what can we take from this list? Well, winning Super Bowls will certainly boost your popularity. The Packers, Giants and Steelers have all hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in the last five years, while the Patriots have won three rings and appeared in two more Super Bowls in the past decade.
The Cowboys haven't sniffed the Big Game since the 1995 season, but they've undoubtedly been helped along by history and an unending parade of primetime showcases. And as much as Dallas fans hate to hear it, kudos to supporters of the Eagles, who cracked the top 10 without a single Super Bowl triumph.
That is what you call a backhanded compliment.