By Barry Janoff
October 15, 2013: The Dallas Cowboys are playing .500 football this season and over the previous three seasons had a regular season record of 22-26, with their last Super Bowl win coming in Super Bowl XXX following the 1995 campaign.
None the less, the Cowboys for the fifth consecutive time have been named the favorite NFL team among adults who follow professional football, according to a just-released Harris Poll. The Jerry Jones-owned franchise has topped the poll since 2007. (Note: This question was not asked in 2012 due to the situation with NFL referees).
However, the Cowboys do not fare as well when it comes to the Super Bowl, where only 3% of those polled picked them to win Super Bowl XLVIII this February in MetLife Stadium.
Coming out on top: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who were picked by 28% to be victorious. The Seattle Seahawks were were selected by 14% to win the Big Game, followed by the New England Patriots (9%), San Francisco 49ers (8%) and Green Bay Packers (7%).
Among team favorites, the Packers came in No. 2 behind the Cowboys, moving up from No. 3 in 2010 and 2011. The Broncos showed the most movement, ranking as No. 3 in the new poll after finishing No. 17 in 2011, the season before Manning joined the team.
The Indianapolis Colts, Manning's previous team, also were hit by the Peyton Effect. Where the Broncos jumped up between the 2011 and the 2013 poll, the Colts dropped from No. 6 in 2011 — Manning's last season with the team — to No. 19.
The New York Giants came in No. 4, showing no ill-effects of the team's 0-6 start, followed by the Patriots at No. 5.
The Top Ten also included (in order); the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.
At the opposite end, the Jacksonville Jaguars finished as the least favorite team in the NFL among those polled, a dubious position the franchise has held in seven of the last eight Harris Polls.
The Tennessee Titans dropped ten spots, from No. 21 in 2011 to No. 31 in 2013, to finished just ahead of the Jaguars.
Also showing significant movement from the previous poll: the Seahawks moved up 15 places from No. 27 to No. 12, the Oakland Raiders moved up nine places from No. 25 to a tie at No. 16 and the 49ers moved up eight spots, from No.16 to No 8.
Regarding Super Bowl XLVIII itself, which will be the first played in an open-air stadium in the Northern section of the U.S., 56% of those surveyed said the site should not have been selected, 60% said that the location would have game-day weather issues and 60% disagreed with the selection of Bruno Mars as the star of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime show.
Among other results:
• 15% of those who follow football say they would be more likely to watch the Super Bowl on a Saturday
• 7% say they would be less likely to watch the Super Bowl on a Saturday.
• 80% say it would not impact them at all.
• 56% say the worst part of Super Bowl Sunday is having to get up the next morning to go to work or school.
The Harris Poll was conducted among 2,577 adults surveyed online between Sept. 18-24, 2013 by Harris Interactive.
Where did your hometown and/or favorite team finish? Full results here.
Fan Poll: NFL Still Tops MLB As Favorite Sport
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