Rangers cover

Maybe Texas Monthly‘s May, 2011 cover was just premature? A new survey claims the most popular pro sports franchise in Arlington is NOT the football team.

As Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram reported, the survey by Scarborough Sports Team:

asked Dallas-Fort Worth adults whether they have watched, attended or listened to a Rangers or Cowboys game in the past year. A “yes” answer is considered a fan, and 62 percent answered positively for the Rangers.

That was one percentage point higher than the Cowboys.

It’s the first time the Rangers have been ranked higher than the Cowboys, and DFW is one of only 10 metropolitan areas with more fans of the baseball team than football team.

Even Rangers president Nolan Ryan told Davison that, historically, “I never gave it much thought about how we rated with the Cowboys.”

After all, what was the point? But with the Rangers making the World Series twice in the last three years, and Jerry Jones’ Team under .500 in that same time frame, it’s at least a conversation.

Fox Sports Southwest’s Jon Heidtke told Davison that the Rangers’ TV broadcasts were not only booming in North Texas, but also Austin, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. 

Of course, even if you ascribe any significance to one percentage point in one survey of one metro area, the Cowboys aren’t limited to Dallas. They own the state, and as a recent Facebook study analyzed by Deadspin showed, also remain the biggest NFL brand in the country. The Cowboys are still the Cowboys.

The Star-Telegram‘s Mac Engel noted as much two weeks ago. “The Cowboys can do nothing, which the hiring and firing of some assistant coaches amounts to, and they are still more important than the Mavericks or Stars,” he wrote.

Engel went on to say that the Rangers, for the first time ever, “are in a position to run with the Cowboys,” but that the intensity of fandom is just not the same.

Interest and the care level about baseball in this market is higher than any time previously, but too often a Rangers home game feels more like a glorified picnic.

Watching the Rangers lose Game 6 of the 2011 World Series may have ruined your week, or month, but the Cowboys have the ability to ruin each and every Sunday for you in the fall.