Porfirio Castillo’s Christmas tree isn’t up yet, but when it goes up it will be enamored with Dallas Cowboys ornaments.

He and his wife’s shower curtains – the Cowboys. Bath mats, the Cowboys.

His man cave … filled with Cowboys memorabilia. Shelves upon shelves of photos and other souvenirs over the years.

Like so many other NFL fans this weekend is a huge step toward normalcy, delivering a distraction, at least momentarily, from talk about COVID-19.

“I think we should have a real good team,” said the Donna native who turns 64 on Tuesday and will be celebrating with, what else but, a Cowboys cake. “We’re gonna do better than 10-6, I’m done with that. But no matter what, I’m still gonna be a Cowboy. We need to start winning and winning big.”

The Cowboys kick off their season in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. The season officially began Thursday night when the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans, 34-20. Cowboys fans are hoping for a better result.

“We have Cee Dee Lamb and that’s huge so I’m as excited as ever,” said Phil Corzine, pastor at Christian Fellowship Church in McAllen. “It’s too bad there are too many things in the periphery that are distractions that I don’t think are necessary, in fact, I think they are very detrimental.

“I’m excited about my team but not excited about football in general. I don’t need to hear the commentators telling us how bad we are all the time. If I do, I’m going to turn them off. I think its crap that there’s no fans and I think the whole thing has been drastically overblown.”

Phil Corzine

Still, Corzine will more than likely be wearing his Army green Cowboys jersey while preaching today. He also knows there will be fans of other teams in his congregation as well, maybe even some Redskins fans.

“Of course, there will be that one guy there wearing a Bears jersey,” Corzine said. “I’ll have to call him out.”

Corzine, 50, and Castillo have been lifelong Cowboys fans. They remember the Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett glory days when the Cowboys making a Super Bowl run was near guarantee. The franchise has won five Super Bowls and has played in eight. Their most recent Super Bowl appearance was a 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX, capping off the 1995 season. The success hasn’t been there in recent years, however, as the Cowboys have won just five playoff games in the past 23 seasons, all in the wild-card round.

For Castillo, it doesn’t matter. There’s always this year – or next year.

“We could lose a 1,000 games and I’ll still be a Cowboys fan, ever since I was 8 or 9,” he said. “I don’t watch football other than the Cowboys. I don’t watch the Super Bowl unless the Cowboys are playing. I’m ready for them to start winning again.”

Corzine, who was out of town Saturday, still made time to prepare for today’s game.

“I got a brand new smoker and since we are gone today (Saturday), I smoked a brisket. Next there will be a group text going out and we’ll be ready to go. And we’ll be adding our own commentary.