NBA

Why LeBron James Is the Dallas Cowboys’ Biggest Fan

LeBron James is well known for being many things: a four-time National Basketball Association MVP, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer. Some even consider him the best player in the league. Though James’s stats certainly tell of the 6-foot-8 forward’s basketball aptitude, it’s another sport — and team — that captures his attention off the court. Enter the Dallas Cowboys.

In recent months, James and his lifelong fandom of the struggling Texas franchise have come to light. Read on to find out four key instances.

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1. Johnny Manziel

James is such a fan of the Dallas team that he’s invested in the franchise’s future. How invested? Consider this: James texted Johnny Manziel throughout the quarterback’s final season at Texas A&M, and Manziel recently confirmed that he had signed with James’s longtime friend and associate to handle some of his off-field projects. Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2012, is projected to go quickly in the first round of the upcoming National Football League draft — but still met with the Cowboys at the NFL Scouting Combine. Given that the Cowboys have both a commitment to a quarterback and a No. 16 pick that won’t be early enough to get Manziel, it’s puzzling as to why the team would use one of its 60 interviews on Manziel. A James connection? Time will tell.

2. Free agency

James has publicly said that he can’t imagine leaving the Heat if the franchise wins its third championship this season — quite the likelihood. Still, during media interviews at the All-Star Game, when James was asked if he’d sign with Dallas, the big man played coy: “Think the Dallas Cowboys will take me?” he said. What might seem like a quip is actually one of James’s dreams: “I wanna play one NFL game before it’s all over,” he tweeted last year.

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3. Tony Romo

Much like Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo — and perhaps, even worse off — James has been plagued by his share of critics. When asked if he had any advice for Romo, James responded candidly. “Don’t watch ESPN,” he said. “All these so-called everyone knows what to do but they never put on a uniform, trying to tell you what to do. It’s not about that. I think Tony’s at a point now in his career where he’s one of the great quarterbacks we have in our game. It’s because of his work ethic.” After the Cowboys signed Romo to a six-year, $108 million contract extension, let’s hope James is right.

4. Playoffs

Though seemingly happy to lend out advice to Manziel and Romo, James has shied away from criticizing the franchise and offering coaching advice. When asked by reporters how he would “fix” the Cowboys — a team that has struggled to get to the playoffs in recent years — James was diplomatic in his response. “I’m not getting involved in that,” he said. “Nope, I’m not getting involved in that because that might be the next bulletin point on (ESPN) Sports Center or CNN.”