New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) and owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Let's get this out of the way: Chris Christie deserves credit. Any time a politician openly roots for a non-hometown team, he or she deserves credit. And that goes double when your favorite team is the rival of your hometown team, as is the case with Christie's Dallas Cowboys and New Jersey's dominant NFL teams, the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.

It would be easy for Christie to pretend he's not a Cowboys fan now that he relies on the votes of Giants and Eagles fans to keep him employed.

But there is also one inescapable fact about Christie's chosen team: He couldn't possibly have picked a worse one. At least, insofar as things like this actually matter.

A poll from January 2014 conducted by Democratic-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling, in fact, found the Cowboys -- long known as "America's Team" -- are in fact the least popular team in America.

The poll shows 23 percent of Americans considered Dallas their least-favorite team. The nearest competitors were the loathsome Chicago Bears, who clocked in at 13 percent.

Of course, the Cowboys are polarizing, and they have their supporters too. They were also the second most-popular team, with 12 percent calling them their favorite. We're guessing plenty of these folks call Texas home, though.

Overall, 60 percent of Americans said the Cowboys were not "America's team," while 23 percent said they were.

The Cowboys fandom also cuts into Christie's strengths. They are particularly unpopular among Republicans (25 percent) -- especially less-conservative ones (26 percent) -- as well as among men (30 percent).

None of which is to say that Christie's 2016 presidential prospects are actually hurt by any of this silliness. After all, this guy won two terms in the state that probably hates the Cowboys as much as any state does.

But if any team was going to hurt him, the Cowboys would be it.