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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    $1.15 Billion For New Cowboys Stadium And They Still Couldn't Get It Right

    Gigantic video boards a target at Cowboys Stadium
    By JAIME ARON, AP Sports Writer
    2 hours, 34 minutes ago


    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—The video boards at the new Cowboys Stadium were the center of attention at the building’s first football game, and that wasn’t always a good thing.

    While fans were in awe of the world’s largest high-definition screens— roughly 60 yards wide, 25 yards high and as clear as any 52-incher—punters for the Tennessee Titans used it for target practice before and during the preseason home opener Friday night and had little trouble hitting it.

    Tennessee backup A.J. Trapasso conked it during the third quarter, forcing a do-over once the officials realized what happened. Then Trapasso nearly hit it again, prompting questions about whether the team needs to make the first major change to its $1.15 billion building.

    “It is an issue,” said Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, who happens to be the co-chair of the NFL’s competition committee, a group that could force the Cowboys to take action if they don’t do it on their own. “Something has to get worked out.”

    The league is already on the case.

    “We are aware of it and will continue to monitor it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Saturday.

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones helped set the height at 90 feet above the field— 5 feet above the league minimum—even though tests using the team’s punter, Mat McBriar(notes), showed he could clear 100 feet. The reasoning behind cutting it close was that during the tests, McBriar was trying to boot it that high, but a regular punt has a lower arc and is usually kicked toward a sideline, not right down the middle.

    “I’m not worried about it,” Jones said. “I’m very comfortable that our height on our scoreboard is OK.”

    The board has to go up to fit the stage for a U2 concert on Oct. 12. The Cowboys could leave it at that new height or they could use that opportunity to put in a system that would let them raise and lower it whenever they want. However, that would add to the price tag of a stadium that’s already nearly double its originally projected cost of $650 million.

    They also might not want to make any changes based on one preseason game.

    Dallas will practice at the stadium Thursday night, then play the San Francisco ***** there Saturday night. Three weeks will pass before the regular-season home opener Sept. 20 against the New York Giants, which might be enough time to make a change.

    The Cowboys play at home again the following week, but then won’t use the stadium until Oct. 25. So that’s another time when a change could be made—and will have to be anyway for U2.

    Trapasso acknowledged it takes a really good kick to nail the underside of the boards, then noted that most NFL punters have the leg strength to do it. He hit it for the first time on his third warm-up kick, when he wasn’t completely loose.

    “It’s nothing that is going to happen every time, but it’s there,” Trapasso said. “I don’t know how much further up it can go, but it’s in the way. … It does not matter where you kick it from, it is just right there in the middle of the field. It’s always something that you’re going to be thinking about.”

    Officials were slow to react to Trapasso’s ricocheted kick because they were watching the action on the field. Fisher immediately threw his challenge flag, but it was worked out without needing to check a monitor.

    The teams then went through all the hitting and running one more time, which Trapasso said can take a toll. He added that a punter wanting to avoid that might take a little something off his kick or angle it differently; either way, it’s a compromise he doesn’t like.

    “I’d consider it a big issue if I had to kick here every week,” he said.

    Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said after the game he thought the Titans were trying to hit the video boards—certainly during warmups and probably during the game. He essentially said to let them keep trying because it might throw them out of whack. On Saturday, he reiterated the team’s stance that “it isn’t a factor” when a team aims a punt toward a sideline, like most teams do.

    As for the giant TV screen, Phillips said he hardly looked up at it during the game.

    “You don’t see it if you’re on the field,” he said. “You really have to look up.”

    Cowboys receiver Patrick Crayton(notes) also is the team’s primary punt returner because he has good hands, but he muffed his first try in the new stadium. He said the board wasn’t to blame.

    “It’s a little different,” he said. “You’ve got to get adjusted to it.”

    There was one other glitch with the screens Friday night: Programmers forgot to include down and distance in the graphics. They scrambled to add it during the game and expect to have it resolved by the next game.


  2. #2
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: $1.15 Billion For New Cowboys Stadium And They Still Couldn't Get It Right

    I thought the size of it was crazy,are you watching whats on the field or are you just watching that screen and can you imagine what Donnie Jones could do to that, he would hit that everytime. I guess it is true everything is bigger in Texas.

  3. #3
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: $1.15 Billion For New Cowboys Stadium And They Still Couldn't Get It Right

    Ray Guy would love to get a hold of that, lol.

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: $1.15 Billion For New Cowboys Stadium And They Still Couldn't Get It Right

    An update from Goodell...

    NFL says Dallas Cowboys can keep video board height as is - for now
    06:39 PM CDT on Friday, August 28, 2009
    By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News
    tarcher@dallasnews.com

    IRVING – For now, the digital scoreboard inside Cowboys Stadium will stay at 90 feet above the field.

    The NFL on Friday elected not to make the team raise the center-hung board despite calls for it from the Competition Committee after the $40 million screen became one of the league's hottest topics for a week.

    In a memo sent to every team, Commissioner Roger Goodell said if a punt hits the board – or a guide wire, sky cam or any other object at any stadium – the down will be replayed, just as the rule stated before a punt by Tennessee's A.J. Trapasso nailed it a week ago in the first football game at the $1.15 billion stadium in Arlington.

    The do-over rule will be in place for the rest of this season, including tonight's preseason game against San Francisco. However, the issue could be revisited.

    "We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved," Goodell said in a prepared statement. "The Cowboys have been fully cooperative as we have addressed this subject, and we will continue to work closely with the club on a longer term resolution."

    The Cowboys will raise and disconnect the board for the Oct. 12 U2 concert in order to fit the rock band's stage. For the last month the team has been installing equipment that will allow the board to be lowered for future special events.

    While he was not available for comment Friday, this was a win for owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who consistently said the board, which is higher than the 85-foot minimum directed by the NFL, did not need to be raised. Jones said that in a regular-season game, the height would not be a factor because punters kick toward the sidelines to help the coverage team.

    The Cowboys believe Trapasso was attempting to hit the board after he and Craig Hentrich hit it in pre-game warmups. Cowboys punter Mat McBriar has said the scoreboard would not affect him.

    McBriar, who has one of the strongest legs in the NFL, did not hit the board against Tennessee or in Thursday's practice at the stadium.

    "It hasn't been a problem for me yet, so I'm not really concerned by it," McBriar said. "I'm sure guys who come in for the first time are going to be, No. 1, awestruck by the building, and then they'll see the screen. I don't foresee it being a problem for myself. I can't talk for other guys."

    The league amended its replay rules because of the board, allowing the replay official to stop play at any point in the game if he believes the board was struck by a punt. Normally the replay official has the final say only in the last two minutes of each half. Plus, coaches will be able to use a replay challenge if they believe the board was hit.

    If the down is replayed, the game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred and all penalties will be disregarded, except personal fouls, which will be administered before the snap.

    Two of the NFL's top punters – San Diego's Mike Scifres and Oakland's Shane Lechler – visit Cowboys Stadium this season, and McBriar said either could hit the board at any time.

    "If you hit it every time out there, I don't think you want your cover guys running down there 10 times," McBriar said. "You're just going to have to kick around it somehow. Relatively it doesn't take a whole lot of room up width-wise. Sure it goes 60-yards [long], but it barely covers hash to hash.

    "There are ways around it. If you tell me don't hit it, I won't hit it."

  5. #5
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: $1.15 Billion For New Cowboys Stadium And They Still Couldn't Get It Right

    i dont like the do over idea, its so easily avoided if he just raises the screen a little

  6. #6
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    Re: $1.15 Billion For New Cowboys Stadium And They Still Couldn't Get It Right

    It would look really cool in my back yard! How do I get one?

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