The Panthers could be hosting the Dallas Steers on Sunday.
Somehow, it doesn’t have quite the same ring as Cowboys, does it?
When the team was originally created in 1960, they were called the Steers.
That didn’t last, so the name was briefly changed to Rangers. That didn’t last either because a minor-league baseball team in the area didn’t fold as expected, forcing the franchise to find another name.
Cowboys, someone suggested.
That just might work, the owners decided.
Since we’re in history class, here’s another tidbit:
The Cowboys didn’t call themselves America’s Team.
The nickname came from a man named Bob Ryan, who was doing the voiceover on an NFL Films feature about the team in 1978. The intro went like this:
“They appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars. They are the Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team.”
By the way, America’s Team is 122-123 since 1997.
If you’re wondering, the Panthers are 3-8 all-time against the Cowboys and haven’t beaten them in the regular season since 1998.
You might say the Panthers are due.
DALLAS at CAROLINA: Sometimes you just go with a feeling. Panthers 27, Cowboys 20.
ARIZONA at MINNESOTA: Pardon me while I second a motion made by SI’s Peter King this week. Because more than 99 percent of extra point kicks have been made over the past three seasons, it’s time to change the game. Move extra point kicks back to the 20- or 25-yard line. Make it mean something again. Cardinals 28, Vikings 24.
GREEN BAY at ST. LOUIS: The Packers are just fine. But thanks for asking. Packers 41, Rams 20.
BALTIMORE at HOUSTON: Just when everyone seemed ready to anoint the Texans as the NFL’s new superpower, they let Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers throw six touchdown passes against them. In other words, hold that thought. Texans 27, Ravens 21.
WASHINGTON at NEW YORK GIANTS: RG3 is great fun to watch, but if you need a quarterback to win you a big game there’s no one better than Eli Manning. That’s right, Eli Manning. Giants 27, Redskins 14.
NEW ORLEANS at TAMPA BAY: It would be very nice to never hear the word “Bountygate” again. It would also be nice to never see another “and I approved this message” commercial. The stuff of dreams. Saints 30, Bucs 23.
CLEVELAND at INDIANAPOLIS: The Browns have already won a game this month. No reason for them to get greedy. Colts 24, Browns 17.
TENNESSEE at BUFFALO: Coach Chan Gailey appealed to his team’s wounded pride last week and it produced a victory. This week, if he can appeal to the offense to score enough points, that should work. Bills 31, Titans 20.
JACKSONVILLE at OAKLAND: Parental discretion is advised. Raiders 31, Jaguars 21.
NEW YORK JETS at NEW ENGLAND: All four teams in the AFC East have 3-3 records at this point, suggesting there’s little difference. Yeah, right. Patriots 34, Jets 14.
PITTSBURGH at CINCINNATI: I’m not saying the Steelers are getting old, but AARP asked if it could put its logo on the empty side of their black helmets. Bengals 17, Steelers 13.
DETROIT at CHICAGO: Trap game for the Bears, who could be looking ahead to the Panthers’ visit next Sunday. Or not. Bears 33, Lions 24.
Last week: 4-9 (even spin doctors can’t help).