Breaking News
More () »

Cowboys prime example of Hispanic Heritage in NFL

With the NFL celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, it's worth noting that the Cowboys have the only quarterback duo of Mexican descent in the league.

<p>ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Mark Sanchez #3 of the Dallas Cowboys prays with other team members after a game at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)</p>

Prior to Sunday night's game against the Chicago Bears, the Cowboys held pre-game festivities honoring Americans of Hispanic descent to continue the NFL's Hispanic Heritage month celebration. This proved a fitting matchup as both markets have a significant Latino following.

According to the Unites States Census Bureau's latest survey in July 2015, the population surveyed and self-identified as Hispanic/Latino currently comprises 39.5% of the population of Dallas County, and 28.2% of Tarrant County. One thing to keep in mind with those statistics is that Hispanics can be of any race and have roots in various countries, but share similar cultural identities and dialects.

The Cowboys didn’t rise to #1 in world rankings for most valuable sports franchise by staying within our borders. The marketing branch of the Jones machine is black gold. The Dallas Cowboys fan clubs in Mexico exist in cosmopolitan cities such as Mexico City and Monterrey. In Nuevo Leon, just south of the State of Coahuila where Grandpa Romo has roots, Vaquero Aficionados take chartered buses across the Laredo border and make the 12 hour trek to the Death Star weekly.

On the roster, Dallas has the only quarterback duo of Mexican descent in the league.

Antonio "Tony" Romo, who Jerry originally thought was Italian, is one of a few players of Mexican descent currently in the league. Undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, he rose from a possible training camp cut (shout out to Quincy) to taking the starting job away from Drew Bledsoe in 2006. I can only speak for myself, but when I bought my first Romo jersey in 2007, I was ecstatic that a player (and the Quarterback no less) on my hometown team was Mexican-American like myself.

A decade in as the Quarterback for America's team, some openly wonder if Tony's job will still be his when he returns from his latest injury. Tony was watching on the sidelines as rookie 4th round pick Dak Prescott steered the Cowboys to victory from under center against the Bears.

Mark Sanchez, the current Cowboys back-up quarterback, is also of Mexican descent. You may remember him from such films such as the Fumble In The Bronx, the spiritual successor to this classic brought to you by Hans Moleman Productions. Mark's trajectory to the NFL was more conventional than Tony's. He starred at football powerhouse USC, then was drafted 5th overall by the Jets in the 2009 draft.

Much has been written about Sanchez' endearment with the Hispanic community. As is the case with a growing majority of second generation Mexican American families, Sanchez did not speak Spanish growing up. Sanchez made the effort as an adult to be able to communicate with his Spanish speaking aficionados. After a layover in Philly and lunch in Denver, Sanchez has entrenched himself as Dak Prescott's backup until Romo comes back from injury.

At full strength, Dallas will join Seattle and Buffalo as franchises who currently feature an all-minority Quarterback roster.

You can follow Irvin on Twitter @twittirv for more on the Cowboys and Hans Moleman.