Why are the Dallas Cowboys one of the teams with the biggest fan base in Mexico?
There is no doubt that the Dallas Cowboys are the most famous NFL team in Mexico. Either because NFL fans love them, or that our haters despise us. But how did this happen? Let’s take a brief look at the history of the Cowboys fan base in Mexico and how it became.
Football and the NFL in Mexico
Everything started in 1896 in the city of Jalapa, Veracruz. When a group of young Mexicans who were studying in the United States organized a football game. One with their friends during a vacation in Jalapa. It was a sport they actually learned about in College.
The presence of football in Mexico grew in the 1920’s when it started to be played at Mexican Universities. At that time, many teams were created. Two of the most important ones still participate in the American Football Student Organization (ONEFA): the “Pumas” of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the “Burros Blancos” of the National Polytechnic Institute. These two teams were the pillars of the American football in Mexico.
Another team saw the light of day during that time. iIt was in n 1945 that Borregos Salvajes from the Monterrey Technologic Institute (ITESM) was created. Borregos has been the strongest team in the Mexican College league for the past three decades. It produced the first Mexican player in the NFL graduated from a Mexican university, and not from a US college. Rolando Cantu, who actually played for the Arizona Cardinals as an offensive guard in 2005.
The first Mexico broadcasts on television
A strong presence of college football was the precedent of the first televised broadcasts. In the 1950’s football was a very followed sport in Mexican soil. Not only by the fans, but by the media. Newspapers and sports magazines would devote their front pages to matches between the Polytechnic Institute and the UNAM.
With all this background, and the fans fervor for football in the 1960’s the greatest Mexican television company, Televisa, began to broadcast Cowboys games. This team had a significant impact on football followers. Being the closest NFL team to the national territory, and it counted on its roster with Danny Villanueva.
A kicker with Mexican ancestry who played from 1965-1967. Villanueva participated in two NFL Championship games. The last one was the 1967in “The Ice Bowl” between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Where he made a 21-yard field goal. Sadly, the Green Bay Packers won that game 21-17.
Growing Mexico fan base on the rise
The NFL increased its penetration in Mexico in the 1970’s with the Super Bowl broadcast. Along with an important presence of Hispanic players to boot. Two Mexican-born players reached the big NFL game two years in a row with the Dallas Cowboys: in Super Bowl XII (1978), Efren Herrera, a kicker born in Guadalajara, was champion with the boys when they beat the Denver Broncos 27-10. The following year (1979), the Cowboys reached Super Bowl XIII but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-31.
In that game played Rafael Septien, a kicker born in Mexico City who was a Dallas Cowboy from 1978 to 1986. He scored a total of 960 points: 180 field goals and 420 extra points. Many fans consider Rafael Septien to be one of the main reasons why the Cowboys was Mexico’s favorite team in the late 70’s.
This was a peak moment for the Cowboys in Mexico
The team with the most fans appeared in the Super Bowl two years in a row and did it with two Mexican-born kickers. Suddenly, Dallas was adopted as “Mexico’s Team.”
As in every sport’s history, there was an antagonist. A big rivalry grew among Mexico’s NFL fans. The face of the enemy belonged to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh won three Super Bowls in that decade, two times beating the Cowboys; This led to the birth of another great fan base in our country. How the Dallas Cowboys Became Known as America’s Team.
The NFL had the ingredients that the fans needed. The 2 most followed teams playing the Super Bowl, and the presence of Mexicans on the football field.
The impact of the NFL in the 70’s was due to the fact that college football in Mexico had been filling stadiums with more than 60,000 fans for three decades. This was the high point of football in our country. When many fans who understood, and played the sport knew the players and began to follow a NFL team.
It should be noted that, on that decade, players like Roger Staubach and Terry Bradhsaw made their appearance on the field. Both quarterbacks with the #12, and spectacular arms. Making the famous sport even more enjoyable for the fans.
How Mexico Cowboys fan base watched America*s Team
During the following seasons, the whole NFL season was being broadcasted as well as the Super Bowl in Mexico. The two national television chains, Televisa and Imevision. Followed the National and American Conferences games and continued to promote the increase of the fan base for the Dallas Cowboys nationwide since all of their games could be watched in Mexican soil.
Today in Mexico there’s a variety of loyalties to the NFL teams. The Cowboys and Steelers are atop of the list from the most popular teams. Given the good results obtained in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
The American Bowl
The NFL decided to take the American Bowl to Mexico for the first time in 1994. ‘American Bowl’ was the name given to NFL games held outside of the United States.
After that game, another four American Bowls have been played in Mexico. The Cowboys have come three times, and we’ve also had visits from the Steelers, Dolphins, Broncos, Raiders, Patriots, Colts and Chiefs.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Oilers (August 15, 1994)
The Dallas Cowboys, led by Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith, played against the Houston Oilers in the 75th NFL season at the Azteca stadium. Two Texan teams, one of them with the largest number of fans in Mexico who had recently won two Super Bowl titles in 1992 and 1993. The duel ended in a victory for Houston with a score of 6-0, being the NFL’s international game with the least points scored.
Success for the league was assured: that match at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City set an attendance record for an NFL game with 112,376 fans gathered.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs (August 5, 1996)
After their victory in the Super Bowl XXX against Pittsburgh and having begun a dynasty in the 1990’s, the Cowboys returned for the third NFL game in Mexico. The rival would be Kansas City and the stage the University Stadium of Nuevo Leon. The building was filled to see the victory of the Chiefs 32-6 over the Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots (August 17, 1998)
The NFL recorded its second highest attendance in history with 106,424 fans at Azteca Stadium.
With Drew Bledsoe as their leader, the Cowboys were defeated by the Patriots 21-3 in this preseason game. This was the third loss for the Dallas Cowboys playing in Mexico.
One of the most memorable moments of this game was when the Cowboys team appeared on the field. Led by a Mexican player holding a Mexican flag: Marco Martos, a wide receiver that had previously played for the Aztecs of the UDLA in Puebla and for the Barcelona Dragons in NFL Europe.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders (August 27, 2001)
With 88,309 people witnessing, the Cowboys won for the first time in Mexico. Lead by a rookie quarterback, Quincy Carter. The Cowboys beat the Oakland Raiders 21-6 at the University Stadium in Monterrey.
Thus, what began in Mexico as a picnic day with a game between friends 110 years ago, has become the most attractive market for the NFL outside the United States.
Connect with us on Instagram today!
View this post on Instagram
History of the Mexico Chihuahua Dallas Fan Club
So, As you already know, the Cowboys are the most popular and famous team in Mexico. The Chihuahua City Cowboys fans wanted to be known nationally as a strong fan base so we started a Fan Cub which now is one of the biggest in the state.
The club in Chihuahua city began four years ago. In October 2014. The brothers Rene and Ricardo Vega had the initiative to create a Facebook group with the intention of gathering all the Cowboys fans. In addition those from Chihuahua City, but also fans from cities nearby. The group started with around 300 Cowboys fans. After almost four years there are over 1,800 fans residing there.
Our very first fan group photo was taken in September 12th, 2015. gathering 213 Cowboys fans at the Palomar Plaza. This event was organized by Juan Carlos Sanchez. A fan who had just joined the Chihuahua Club, starting a wave which other fans replicated, making the fan photo shoot an annual event.
In September 10th, 2016, 250 Cowboys fans attended to the second annual photo shoot at Borregos’ field in Tec de Monterrey. The third photo was also taken there in September 10th, 2017. When an amazing 513 Cowboys fans replied to the invitation to the group picture. In addition having a great time with their families.
Each year the goal is to hold an event in which fans can get to know one another and have a good time with the rest of the Cowboys family in Chihuahua. During these gatherings, the group photo is taken. Fans also have the chance to play flag football, and throw a few balls and kick a few field goals. aking it a family freindly enviornment.
The annual fan group photo shoot is organized on the kick off day at the start of each NFL season. On Sunday, September 9th, 2018, the organizer will have the goal to gather more than 600 Cowboys fans this time around.
Connect with us on Facebook today!