Here's the difference. These are the things that are good about cowboys that most women I've met would agree are swoon-worthy qualities.
Integrity- A cowboys does what he says he's going to do and he does it with a sense of honor. A cowboy keeps his word.
Humility- A cowboy knows every once in a while a horse can and will put him in the dirt. These things happen so it's best to accept such faults and do your best in spite of them.
Work Ethic- Cowboys don't whine about things being difficult. They get the job done, no matter what that job takes.
Chivalry- Cowboys talk nice to their mamas, and don't mind opening the occasional door for a lady.
Manners- Cowboys know how to say , "Yes ma'am" and make it sound charming.
Care- Cowboys care for others, whether its the animals they work with or the people who are around them. Cowboys are there to help.
Resourcefulness- Give him a roll of duct tape and a stick, and then watch in awe.
Confidence- A cowboy never looks at his shoes and says, "Well, I don't know, I guess so."
Those are older myths that got there start with the old dime novels of late 1800's. Later enhanced and perpetuated by Hollywood (Hurray for Hollywood
). Today people are so in love with those myths that they believe them as fact. The truth is far less glamorous and if you scratch the surface too hard you'll find that most of it is pretty ugly.
Billy the Kid was a cowboy as were most of the outlaws of the old west. The losing side at the gunfight at the OK coral were cowboys. Virtual all the men who rustled cattle and stole horses 100+ years ago were cowboys. They lied, cheated, stole, committed murder, raped, etc.... on a scale that was far greater than men from other professions. Probably as the result of living a life with fewer restrictions and more independence.
The dime novels made them glamorous. Hollywood immortalized them. Today people would rather accept the myth than research the facts
(but that's true about most of our history).
In truth the cowboy has no more integrity, humility, resourcefulness, work ethic, manners, etc, etc, etc...... than any one else from hundreds of other unrelated occupations (in many cases probably less). Even Hollywood has portrait them in a less favorable light, but done it in ways that people still manage to envision as noble
It benefits the "modern" show cowboys to promote this myth, because it somehow ennobles them in the eyes of many since most aren't informed enough to know that it's a myth created to sell a product to the masses.