Typical NFL off-seasons are full of debate; each team's fan base argues about everything from the depth chart to the free-agent market.
This off-season, with the NFL Players Association and the owners negotiating through a lockout, the fans agree on one thing: They just want football.
"Not having the Cowboys this summer has been awful," Garrett Slimp of Weatherford said.
But if the Cowboys play their regular season this fall, Slimp and many others won't hold any negative feelings toward the Cowboys or the NFL.
"If they play, it's all good," Slimp said.
Fans echo that feeling.
"I'm just going to be happy that they are playing," said Brian Mason, a lifelong Cowboys fan from Corinth. "No harm, no foul."
Ronnie Welch began following the Cowboys when Don Meredith was quarterback. This summer's lockout has soured him on the NFL.
"They make too much money, and if they cared anything about the fans at all, they would have worked it out by now," Welch said.
Still, if the Cowboys are on the field, Welch's TV will be tuned in.
"Oh, I love football, I just don't like what they are doing," Welch said. "I won't hold it against them once we reach the fall. It's pure entertainment for me."
Because many fans side with the players in the negotiations, they won't mind cheering for them if they play games this fall.
"The players are the ones out there on the field," said Frank Hastings, a fan from Arlington. "I would like to see the owners budge a little so we can get this season started. The majority of the people I have talked to are on the players' side in this."
Hastings attends at least one game each season and has also tailgated at Cowboy Stadium before games. He has purchased many Cowboys T-shirts and memorabilia.
"The fans are the ones who buy the tickets, come out and support the team and buy souvenirs," Hastings said. "I will hold it against the owners a little. But I would still watch and cheer for the Cowboys. If they don't miss too many games, I think hard feelings will go away. If they miss half a season, I think I, and a lot of others, will be disenchanted."
Craig Connor, a season-ticket holder, wouldn't mind if the lockout lasts a little longer.
"I could handle missing some preseason games," Connor said. "If they play the regular season, all is forgiven. The majority of the season-ticket holders are confident they will play and aren't too upset about the whole thing."
While Connor was miffed when the Cowboys charged him for his season tickets (eight regular season and two preseason home games) while the players were locked out, he is still looking forward to the regular season.
"It was aggravating that the Cowboys sent out invoices and required us to pay back in May," Connor said. "But I've been a Cowboys fan ever since I was born."
W.L. Mitchel and his wife, Gloria, attend one Cowboys preseason game and one regular-season game each season.
"That's all I can afford," Mitchel said. "With the economy struggling, it's frustrating that they are arguing over wealth."
But like so many other Cowboy fans, Mitchel wants to root for the Cowboys in the fall.
"I just hope they resolve the issues and we have some football," Mitchel said. "I think the fans just want football. We are a football-loving society."
Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760