I was surfing the Dallas Cowboys' site, looking for some tips on installing scoreboards, when I came across this item about Direct Energy extending its gig as Official Electricity Provider to the Cowboys and Cowboys Stadium. The consumer in me started to giggle; I'd like to hear Madison Gas & Electric's response when I tell them I prefer that some other company (there isn't one) burn a big heap of coal so I can run my toaster oven. But a few clicks later, I've learned a little something about the market for electricity in Texas, which passed a bill in 2002 that phased in deregulation, allowing consumers to choose among various electricity providers. By one estimate, 85 percent of Texas households have switched providers at least once since the bill became law, and since Direct Energy is just the third-largest electricity retailer in Texas, its Dallas sponsorship is truly important to the company's brand-awareness goals. Whether it's working is another issue - it can't be good news that the company is still in Dr Pepper territory after five years as a Cowboys preferred provider.