Below-Freezing Temperatures Won't Keep Cowboys Fans Away Sunday in Green Bay

They are there, Cowboys Nation. Enduring cheeseheads and the brain-rattling single-digit temperatures of Wisconsin, your fellow fans are flying their blue and silver colors loud and proud in a vast sea of green and gold.

This coming Sunday, the Cowboys will take their 8-0 road record to the frozen north to face the Packers in a divisional-round matchup. They will not, however, be alone in enemy territory.

Currently, more than 1,000 members of Dallas Cowboys United call Wisconsin home. Among them, you'll find fans as die-hard as those who live in the team's backyard of Texas.

"I have a group of about five to six guys that has gotten together for every Cowboys game for the last 18 years," said John Purcell, a native of Wisconsin who has been a Cowboys fan since he was 7 years old. "We will be in Lambeau this Sunday, and we will be cheering on the one and true America's Team."

"This will be my first-ever playoff game, so I'm really looking forward to the electric atmosphere," said Jamie Holzer, his fourth time to see Dallas play in Green Bay. "It's always crazy inside Lambeau, but with the added playoff significance, it will be off the charts."

As many who are faithful to the star know, living in rival locales such as New York or Philadelphia isn't always easy. But while the Midwesterners may not be quite as, shall we say, unpleasant as their counterparts in the Northeast, don't think for a second that they're any less passionate about their Pack.

"It's tough because they still have that 1990s hatred toward the Cowboys," said Chris Frese. His love for the team started at around 3 years old when his brother received Packers pajamas for Christmas while his were Cowboys. "They can't really give a real reason for their hatred, other than it's that they never could beat us back then."

Ah yes, the 1990s. You fans remember those glory years. Dallas simply dominated the Packers then, winning nine of the 10 times they squared off during the decade. In three straight campaigns from 1993 to 1995, the Cowboys met Green Bay in both the regular season and playoffs and came out victorious in all six games, twice taking down the Packers in the divisional round as well as once in the NFC Championship Game.

"Green Bay fans are really passionate," said Armando Martinez, who is originally from Mexico but now calls Green Bay home. "My wife's uncle has one of the original certificates of team ownership. I have friends that all say they hate the Bears, Vikings and Lions the most, but they also hate the Cowboys because of the 1990s."

"Packers fans do hold a strong grudge against the Cowboys, just because of all the success they had against the Packers in the '90s," agreed Holzer, who lives less than 30 minutes away from Green Bay. "I would say that outside of the NFC North teams, the fans up here probably dislike the Cowboys the most."

"Packers fans hate the fact that the Cowboys are called America's Team," added Purcell. "One of the most satisfying tactics I have to annoy Packers fans is if you have an iPhone, ask Siri, 'Who is America's Team?' and Siri always responds with, 'Pulling up the roster for the Cowboys.' That drives Packers fans crazy."

Of course, more recently the tables have turned as prior to this season Dallas has struggled to reach the postseason while Green Bay is now in the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. The Packers have also defeated the Cowboys in four of their last six meetings.

That includes last year's debacle, which saw Dallas hold a 26-3 lead at halftime and a 29-17 advantage through three quarters, only to lose 37-36 after giving up 20 points in the final frame.

And then there's the little matter of the Packers winning their most recent Super Bowl title in, of all places, the Cowboys' home field of AT&T Stadium.

"We Dallas fans here are not afraid to show our loyalty," said Frese, "but lately the Green Bay fans aren't afraid to rub it in."

"They're insufferable," joked Martinez. "Especially after last year's game."

"It has been tough the last several years because of all the success the Packers have enjoyed while the Cowboys have struggled to make the playoffs," said Holzer. "There is always a good amount of trash-talking with the Packers fans, but it is all in good fun, really."

What would any rivalry be without some regular back-and-forth. For those living within the shadow of a rival team, there's nothing better than poking the local majority.

"I grew up taking a lot of heat in school as a Cowboys fan, but I never wavered," said Purcell. "There were always a couple of more Cowboys fans in school and we all

wore our Cowboys gear after a big win. But, I also remember faking sick on Mondays after a tough loss.

"My aunts, uncles, cousins and most of my friends are all rabid Packers fans," he continued. "My family has season tickets at Lambeau. Right down in the end zone where they do the Lambeau Leap. I only go when the Cowboys are in town."

"All of my friends love to rub it in," said Frese. "My social media timelines are filled up with all kinds of ribbing. Even my physical therapist gives me a hard time. My wife and her family are Packers fans and I've invited a few of my Cowboys fans over for the game Sunday. She can have the upstairs and we will rule the man cave."

Although he once had to shave a Packers "G" into his hair after a Cowboys' loss, Martinez claims he's getting back on the horse again for this game. It's just too much fun to talk trash with his family, friends and coworkers. "I'm looking at making a couple of friendly bets. Like having someone put the Cowboys flag on their car for a week."

So, take heart. As these devoted fans will tell you, the star is well-represented in Wisconsin. When the Cowboys show up at Lambeau Field on Sunday, they will not be alone.

Cowboys Nation is there.

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