Who Gets More Coverage – The Red Sox or Cowboys?

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?

  • Porter

    I am impressed by the amount of press coverage a club gets that hasn’t managed to win a playoff game in 11 years. That’s really amazing to me. Heck they even had a “reality” show for the try-outs to make the cheerleading squad. Maybe they should concentrate more on the fundamentals of football than on branding issues though.

    • Classless

      While I share your disdain for the Cowboys, you sound a bit foolish ridiculing the coverage of the Cowboys because they haven’t won recently. As I remember, the Red Sox had 86 years of futility. The Cowboys only a decade.

  • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

    Has any team ever skated by on things that happened in the 70’s than the Cowboys? Honestly, all that “America’s Team” crap that started with Tom Landry’s teams should have died peacefully about 10 years ago – or at least when Aikman and company started to retire. But it keeps getting regurgitated to the point where I wonder if the average American is aware that Romo and company have won squat. This is probably the same idiot behavior that allows ESPN to believe that the Yankees are in the middle of a dynasty when they haven’t won in 8 years.

  • thetruth

    typical xenophobic Boston responses. The rest of the country feels the same way about the Pats and Sox as we do about the Cowboys/Yankees. That is, they hate us.

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      I don’t hate the Cowboy. I just find them irrelevant. That was kind of my point.
      I don’t even hate the Yankees that much, now that they’re floating towards irrelevance too.

      ESPN lavishing attention on these teams would be like the Boston media spending the last ten years babbling about the Bruins or pre-KG Celtics non-stop.

  • http://www.patriotsdaily.com Scott

    Thanks for this, Bruce. No surprise that the Cowboys tower over the other local teams but I don’t think I ever heard the extent of coverage described quite that way. As a football fan, sounds great to me, of course. I’ve always been impressed that Rick Gosselin, one of the best football guys ever, is always assigned to a game other than the Cowboys. I don’t know that would ever happen here.

  • Rock

    Amazing what being on the cutting edge with cheerleaders did for that brand.

  • MarkB

    Football – at all levels – is huge in Texas. They get 30,000 every week at high school games in towns out in the desert. The coverage the Cowboys get in Dallas is no surprise. Nationally, the “America’s Team” crap was built by the NFL years ago. The media just rides the bandwagon each year, hoping the Cowboys will return to glory. IF the Cowboys and the Saints have the identical record, the media clowns will push the Cowboys down your throat just our of habit. That’s why it took so long for the Patriots to start getting credit – everyone “knew” that they were a mediocre franchise from past years.

    • Jesse

      Besides habit, it has to do with the amount of fans that want to see coverage. The stadium was 50/50 cowboys/cardinals fans earlier this season in Arizona.

  • Robert

    That is because there only 2 real sports in Texas: Football and….wait for it….Spring Football!

  • Chris

    I think the determining question is this: “How full is the stadium when your team is doing horribly?” Not that we can remember that far back, but Fenway Park had lots of empty seats when the team was bad…in the 1970s and 1980s. But I think no matter how bad the Cowboys ever were, Texas Stadium was always full.

    • ben

      Apples and kleenex boxes

      81 home games v. 8

    • ozzy

      Not really. In the death throes of the Landry era and the 1-15 Jimmy Johnson start and awful lot of empty seats went to Cowboys games. I remember it well.

    • Rick Mc

      Comparing the current Red Sox sellouts to the 1970s and 1980s isn’t entirely appropriate either. Baseball attendance all over has gone up. The Red Sox won 3 division titles in five years and weren’t banging out Fenway on a regular basis. Interest in attending baseball games has increased both because of the Red Sox success and for some other underlying reasons.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    all the “coverage” is great, I guess. As long as there is SOMETHING TO COVER. It probably isn’t a problem with the Cowboys cast of characters: T.O., Pacman Jones, Jerry Jones etc. etc…..I’m a HUGE Pats fan, Football is by far my favorite sport. But I can get by fine with Mike Reiss ALONE……I know I sound like a broken record but to me it’s all about the GAMES and what happens between the white lines. I don’t need a cast of a thousand “pundits” and their half-assed opinions, speculation, and general bullshit…..The Boston Sports scene is already WAY too over populated with these media blowhards and their “coverage”

    • sam the butcher

      Stated perfectly!

  • derek G.

    An interesting question, but apples and oranges. First, the Red Sox are a New England phenomenon that began 105 years ago with the creation of the American League. The Cowboys are relative youngsters begun in 1960. Over the years, Boston began as a baseball town, morphed into a hockey town (with the success of another long-term franchise, the Bruins), became a basketball town with the rise of Larry Bird and now has a solid football franchise. The Celtics, Pats and Bruins all have their own passionate following, with some crossover with the Sox. Meanwhile, as one previous poster noted, football is king in Texas. The Cowboys command a huge market share and no matter how successful the Mavs and Stars are, will continue to do so. Hence, they have the edge in the amount of coverage over the Sox. But after reading some of the comments from Albert Breer (not to mention AOB), I’m glad I’m up here reading about the Sox in the summer, as opposed to off-season NFL news!

    • Classless

      The Sox a phenomenon 105 years ago? Are you serious? Nobody cared until Carlton Fisk hit the foul pole.

      • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

        Maybe you should go back in time and explain to the Royal Rooters they didn’t exist? Say hi to Fred McGreevey for me…

        BTW: the Red Sox bandwagon began in 1967. Not 1975 and not 2004. 1967.

  • davey

    After last year’s idiotic Spygate, running-up-the-scoregate, handshakegate and taping-the-run-through gate, I decided to only read Mike Reiss and focus on the games. Much more enjoyable and far less stress.

  • Mark from Plano – i.e. Dallas

    I grew up in Fort Worth, and because the Rangers were in my county – Tarrant – and not name Dallas – instead “Texas” – I always was a bigger fan for them. Of course, now the Cowboys are moving to Tarrant county right by my Rangers. But for me, I prefer a Rangers championship more than a Cowboys championship, because to me, it is the underdog/non-achiever argument. I’m a Texas Tech Grad, and last Saturday night’s result didn’t surprise me – and if the Pokes come back and win the SB it’s great, but not ground-breaking – they’ve already won 5! The Rangers win – I’ll be dancing in the streets, to steal a line from a VH song!

  • http://www.edwardcossette.com Edward

    As a Massachusetts native and life long Red Sox fan now living in Dallas, I think Breer has it right on all counts.

    Two additional observations from my vantage point:

    1) Much of the coverage of the Cowboys is not the X’s and O’s, game breakdown, intense gridiron analysis but is more of the tabloid/Page Six style coverage, i.e., “Where’s Jessica? What does Pacman’s mom think?”

    This is especially true since Breer left the DMN. While he was at the DMN there was a pronounced shift in tone to more serious football coverage, but that has all but vanished in his absence.

    2) Another big similarity between Dallas media coverage of the Cowboys and Boston media coverage of the Red Sox is just how bitter and negative it can be. Unfortunately, the DMN has its share of journalists cut from the same cloth as the CHB, Borges, and Tomase who thrive on nastiness and what reads like personal vendetta.

    In particular, I’ve been amused at the striking similarity between the Boston media’s coverage of Manny while he was a Red Sox and Dallas’ coverage of T.O. You could pretty much take any too columns and swaps the names and football/baseball references and they’d be identical.

    I joked with a buddy the other day that if T.O. were seen walking on water, the headline in the DMN would be “T.O. CANNOT SWIM!!!”

  • http://trophyseeker.wordpress.com Sam

    I didn’t know they had sports other than football in Texas. To be fair, you do have to factor in baseball’s much longer schedule. With 162 games, the Cowboys could get 5x as much attention during the season and still lose out to the Red Sox. But as a baseball fan, I’m a bit biased.

  • W. Shedd

    I didn’t think that Albert Breer even made a strong case for the Cowboys having more press coverage than the Patriots … let alone the Red Sox. Has he so quickly forgotten how many newspapers and television stations there are in New England region that cover these teams? This market and region is much more media saturated than Dallas-Fort Worth. He makes a case that the Dallas Morning News has several reporters full-time in Cowboys training camp. But how many newspapers in New England are blogging and writing about the Patriots on a daily basis?

    His argument seems to be that 1 newspaper doing a lot of coverage is bigger and better than 6 newspapers providing strong news coverage. This is a weak argument, in my opinion.

    Further, when considering the media coverage of the Red Sox, there is now an international component that does not exist for the Dallas Cowboys.

    Heck, in Boston we have blogs like BSMW, that discuss the reporters, newspapers, TV, and other blogs that are covering the sports in the region. Dallas sports fans are simply not that sort of critical thinkers.

    For the record, I have family in Dallas-Fort Worth, have visited there many times, and they agree with this assessment. I think Breer just has stars in his eyes (pun) with his new job, which is fine.