Category Archives: Cowboys Stadium

NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Following a crushing defeat to Detroit, the Cowboys return home to face Minnesota on Sunday. The Vikings are bad. They are 1-6, having been victimized by poor quarterback play and a porous pass defense. Not even Adrian Peterson, the league’s best running back, has been able to put a charge in the listless Vikings. As a result, Vegas has the 4-4 Cowboys as 10 ½-point favorites in this game. Dallas can’t afford to lose this with a game against New Orleans looming. Here is a look at how the Cowboys and Vikings match up:

When the Cowboys run

DeMarco Murray appears ready to return to action. He’s listed as probable. But at this point it’s hard to invest any faith in the Cowboys’ running game. Dallas produced only 62 rushing yards last week in a loss to Detroit, a team that was surrendering the highest average yards per carry before Week 7. The Cowboys feature the sixth-worst ground attack in the NFL and the loss of guard Brian Waters won’t help their effort to improve.

Edge: Vikings

When the Cowboys pass

Since throwing for 506 yards against Denver, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has played average football. In the last three games, he has completed just 56.1 percent of his attempts and posted a 79.7 passer rating. The Cowboys need better production out of Romo and they could get it this week against a Minnesota defense giving up an average of 287.9 yards per game through the air.

Edge: Cowboys

When the Vikings run

The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, one of the best runners the NFL has ever seen. But the Vikings’ ground attack is producing 103.3 yards per game, the 18th-highest average in the league. Early deficits and the absence of a legitimate passing game have conspired against Peterson, who is still the fifth-leading rusher in the NFL. This will be a tough test for the Cowboys after Detroit averaged 4.9 yards per carry against Dallas last Sunday.

Edge: Vikings

When the Vikings pass

No team this season has given up more yards through the air than the Cowboys. But they should be able to limit Minnesota’s unimpressive passing offense. Christian Ponder, who will start Sunday, has been unimpressive, throwing two touchdown passes and five interceptions this season. While the Vikings feature a playmaking receiver, Greg Jennings, they don’t pose the type of threat that Denver, Detroit, San Diego and the New York Giants do. All of those teams roasted the Cowboys. It’s not expected Minnesota will do the same.

Edge: Cowboys

Special teams

The battle that could develop between Dwayne Harris and Cordarrelle Patterson could be an interesting one. Patterson, a rookie, has become one of the most dynamic specialists in the game. This season, he’s scored twice on kick returns, including one of 109 yards that resulted in a touchdown last week against Green Bay. Harris, meanwhile, is second in the league in kick return average, just behind Patterson. But unlike Patterson he’s one of the NFL’s best punt returners, too.

Edge: Cowboys

Intangibles

The Cowboys suffered a crushing defeat last Sunday and it’s uncertain if the team has gotten over it. Now they face the Vikings, who have won seven of the last eight games they’ve played against Dallas. While Minnesota is 1-6 this season, the Vikings still have Adrian Peterson, the Texas native who should be motivated in his return to his home state. He could do damage to a Dallas team still smarting from its loss to Detroit.

Edge: Vikings

 


GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

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View NFL|Dallas Cowboys game stats and scores online while you watch or listen to the game.

Click HERE to choose from a list of popular online game trackers.

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Sounds of the game

Listen to the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Brad Sham on KRLD in Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network - 105_3 The Fan KRLD

Click HERE. Don’t live in the Dallas area? Click HERE.

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or listen via the Dallas Cowboys Android App on your phone or tablet

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Watch the game

To watch on network TV, tune to:

KDFW-TV/FOX 4 Dallas | KMSP-TV/FOX 9 Minneapolis

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Out of market? Click HERE to watch online (NFL Sunday Ticket)

When: Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 at high noon (Dallas time)

Where: AT&T Stadium | Arlington, TX

Watch on TV: Local FOX affiliate | DirecTV

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: The Boys Are Back

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GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys pregame/postgame shows

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Dallas Cowboys Pre-game/Postgame Show

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Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

Note: The pregame show starts about two hours before kickoff. The postgame show starts approximately 30 minutes after the game is over.


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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION VIDEO: Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium Gameday Spectacle of Light

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION HYPE VIDEO - Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium Spectacle of Light - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

GAMEDAY LIGHTS: Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium comes alive (1:06)

Watch as the the lights of Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium come alive. Song: Shut Em Down by Cell Dweller. Courtesy of Fixt/Position Music. . (Watch Video | Play Audio)

THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH: The truth behind Peyton Manning’s goofy red forehead spots

By now, everyone is familiar with the red blotch that appears on Peyton Manning’s forehead after he removes his helmet. Obviously, these blotches appear because of the padding inside Manning’s helmet. Or does it?

Peyton Manning isn't happy with his two picks - Dallas Cowboys vs

Just for fun … let’s get some wagering into precisely what time we’ll see this mysterious red forehead blotch appear during the Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos broadcast on Sunday. I’m thinking … early in the second quarter.

THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH - All eyes on Peyton Manning’s red forehead - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

I have a theory … along with several questions. Is it possible that Peyton Manning’s brain actually grows during the course of a game? Does his helmet have a pump for inflatable pads? Does it glow in the dark? Does it get redder as Eli gets more overshadowed? Is he able to communicate with aliens? Does he emit radiation for opposing players? Does he have a twin that’s trying to escape from within?

I digress. Back to my theory. Bare with me. I think this relates to the Big Bang, somehow. Sure scientist have their version, but let’s consider this. I believe that there is a unique combination of molecular activity (accelerated by beer/hotdog expulsion gasses) that occur during every football game. All we need is a trigger! Some kind of spark. Some kind of conduit. Anything could set it off! Let’s say some foreign imbalance of gases enter the AT&T Stadium atmosphere. For example, Jerry Jones dressing up as a concessions vendor … selling a $7 hot dog in the stands, could trigger something! JJ does love money! We know this! It could emit some kind of super-human testosterone gas when he jubilantly sticks the tax-free cash in his pocket! Atoms smashing … neutrons and electrons flowing like a mofo! Then, you add this renegade molecule into the Jerry’s sealed off dome! Holy shit!!!

THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH - All eyes should be on Peyton Manning’s red forehead - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

I sense some apprehension from you, the reader. Let me back myself up with some facts (or reasonable facsimiles). Governments have spent billions on super-conducting super-colliders. Clearly, there is something to this atom smashing thing! All the while, Peyton Manning’s brain cells have been on a superhuman evolution course all by themselves. Evidence has been present since his final days in Indianapolis. Since then, the blotch is getting bigger! It’s getting redder! It’s probably getting hotter! Did the Colts organization suspect and cover-up any of this? Note the devilish facial expression! Pure evil! The Colts moved on, mysteriously, and ended up with the franchise savior … Andrew Luck.

Funny - THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH - The real story behind Peyton Manning’s goofy red forehead spots

Then, there’s this. The year he disappeared! What’s up with that? Was he transported somewhere? Did he have intrusive or exploratory brain surgery? Was ‘something’ injected into his super brain? After all, he can read defenses! This is a superpower that no other NFL quarterback posses! We’d hear about it if other quarterbacks had this mysterious power!

Was he probed? If so, did he like it? Did they also capture Eli? Was his little brain gene injecting into Peyton skull? Think about it. Eli has struggled this year! Doesn’t seem quite like himself. Hmmmm.

Moving on. If my theory is right, stuff will happen “Under the Dome” on Sunday afternoon! AT&T has connections! AT&T is powerful too! Jerry Jones knows this! He accepted millions of dollars recently for the stadium naming rights! Jerry resisted other suitors for years! Called it Cowboys Stadium to throw us all off his grand scheme. Then, suddenly … in the same exact year that Peyton Manning’s superhuman, super-colliding, super-conducting brain was scheduled … pooff, we have a deal! Coincidence? I think not!

Now, for the meat of this article. I believe AT&T has sponsored Peyton Manning’s forehead. That’s right! You read it here first!

THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH - All eyes on Peyton Manning’s red forehead - AT&T sponsored Manning forehead - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Manning is notorious for his commercial ventures! This is a fact that you cannot deny! I truly expect the AT&T logo to emerge from Peyton’s forehead. I don’t know if it’ll be neon, just saying … it’s happening! If you’ll just for once, rethink possible! Just look at the red splotch. It fits perfectly!

It could get worse. If the gases and molecules collide in some unthinkable combination, like never before … Peyton’s super-colliding super-conduction superhuman brain could merge with the telephone giant! Don’t be surprised if you see lightning come from Jerry’s huge stadium monitor and start the whole damn thing! There will be a BIG BANG! The stage is set. The world is watching. All of Peyton Manning’s thoughts (or his aliens leaders) will then be broadcasted on that big ass monitor! Inside, thousands upon thousands, of Dallas Cowboys fans fall victim. FOX’s conspiracy theorists will be in heaven! Your smartphone will actually get smarter! Jerry Jones will sell Peyton Manning super-colliding, super-conducting, superhuman brain t-shirts. (They’re probably already printed).

THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH - The real story behind Peyton Manning’s goofy red forehead spots - Your AT&T smartphone could get smarter

Dallas, with all of it’s might, have only one chance to foil this plan. The Dallas Cowboys must defeat the Denver Broncos! They can stop this madness! DeMarcus Ware must sack the superhuman and ground his super-colliding, super-conducting, superhuman brain to the brand new negative charging super-turf at AT&T stadium. Dez, on his way to the end zone, can throw a cup of Tom Brady’s neutron spiked Powerade on Peyton Manning’s forehead. Jay Ratliff could turn off the electricity to that big ass monitor! He’s not doing anything else, right? Denver has not played in a dome this season. Let’s hope someone opens the rooftop this Sunday! Just in case. This could neutralize the whole damn thing! A parody, of course.

THE GREAT BLOTCH WATCH - The real story behind Peyton Manning’s goofy red forehead spots - Open the dome, please

Your comments (and theories) are welcome.


Peyton Manning head is still growing

Updated 01-10-2014

The NFL’s Divisional Round in the playoffs start in a few days. As you are all aware, the ‘Polar Vortex’ that put a significant freeze on the United States this week has finally subsided. It left Niagara Falls partially frozen and wrecked havoc on the Wild Card weekend home teams. Only the domed Indianapolis Colts survived the first wave of playoff home contenders. This once-in-twenty-year weather phenomenon may NOT be a coincidence. I suspect that Peyton Manning’s superhuman, super-colliding, super-conducting brain was able to bring about this ‘timely’ weather event. Take note that Andrew Luck was one of the surviving playoff quarterbacks. He was protected by the Dome (and probably his far from groomed facial hair). Sets up an AFC showdown … pitting the hairy savior Andrew Luck against Peyton Manning arch nemesis … Tom Brady. The drama continues …

This photo of Peyton Manning surfaced today. Yes, his forehead is larger. Notice the emerging horns protruding upwards from his eyebrows … the snarl … and his piercing evil eyes. Peyton Manning mile-high forehead is gaining ground and super powers. His neck also appears to be getting longer. I’m not sure of the significance of that. Just an observation. Stay tuned.  

BRONCOS BLUE BLOUSES: Denver sportin alternate uniforms at AT&T stadium

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Photo: The Broncos wore their alternate blue uniforms in 2012 — for a 30-23 victory over the Chargers in Denver. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post)

Luckily for those who like to see their favorite NFL team mix up its wardrobe, America’s Team prefers to wear white at home.

The Broncos play at Dallas’ AT&T stadium this Sunday and with the Dallas Cowboys wearing white, the visitors from Denver will wear their alternate blue jerseys and blue pants.

It’s the only time this season the Broncos will wear something other than white jerseys on the road and orange jerseys at home.

Navy blue was the Broncos’ home jersey color from 1997 through 2011.

The Broncos switched back to orange as their predominant home color in 2012. The team had used orange home jerseys from 1962-96.

Courtesy: Mike Klis | The Denver Post

EXCLUSIVE: The Great Robbini’s predictions for Week #1–New York Giants @ 2013 Dallas Cowboys

Regular readers already know that The Boys Are Back blog features the ALMOST WORLD FAMOUS predictions from The GREAT Robbini. Last season, the predictor disappeared for several weeks. While the exact age of The Great Robbini is unknown, it’s widely believed that he was experiencing some kind of midlife crisis.

Dallas Cowboys crystal ball - Dallas Cowboys win prediction - The Boys Are Back blog - The GREAT Robbini

It has been a very productive offseason. As promised, it became ‘uncomfortable’ for last years Dallas Cowboys. Jason Garrett delegated offensive play-calling duties to Callahan, new defensive coaches and scheme (the Texas 2 defense), more gameday planning from quarterback Tony Romo, and Cowboys Stadium has been renamed. Jerry Jones is younger, Stephen Jones has secret sauce, and Jay Ratliff isn’t playing (ooooh, that’s the same). The Great Robbini is geeked! He has tuned his crystal ball directly to the AT&T network! We expect that his apparatus is beaming signals loud and clear!

The GREAT Robbini is psyched about the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys incoming vibe… and ready to share his prognostications that we all count on from week-to-week. Without further delay, it’s time for The GREAT Robbini’s predictions. I’m sure you’ll agree … a lot of these will come true. OK, here we go …

The GREAT Robbini’s – 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys week #1 predictions:

Cowboys roll over the Giants! Dallas Cowboys start it off right in newly named AT&T Stadium.

It seems that “in the Garrett era” that consistently, the top division rival has been the uhhhh …New Jersey Giants. Mostly for the way they’ve taken a W out of the past four Cowboys Stadium contests. Usually a close game leaving bitterness in the mouths of us all. This time around the ‘Boys take Eli & Co. out in an execution style massacre in Arlington.

Predictions for the Texas 2 Defense …

  • 4 sacks on Eli Manning
    4 takeaways
    Sean Lee forced fumble
    JJ Wilcox INT
    DeMarcus Ware 2 sacks
    Victor Cruz Injured
    Bruce Carter/Barry Church lead tackles

Predictions for the offense …

  • Tony Romo 3 TDs
    Dez Bryant 2 TDs
    Gavin Escobar TD
    DeMarco Murray TD
    RB committee 130 yds. +
    Dan Bailey 2 FGs
    Miles Austin 60 yds.
    Dez Bryant 100 yds.
    Cole Beasley 30 yds.
    Terrence Williams 30 yds.
    Jason Witten 45 yds.
    Gavin Escobar 25 yds.
    Tony Romo sacked twice
    1 giveaway

The GREAT Robbini

Remember, you read it here! The Great Robbini predictions for week #1. Leave your final score or predictions in the comment section.

GAMEDAY EVENTS: Dallas Cowboys opening day entertainment at AT&T Stadium

    GAMEDAY EVENTS - Dallas Cowboys opening day entertainment at AT&T Stadium - Going to the Game information - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

    WHAT: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

    WHEN: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (Dallas)

    WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

    TELEVISION: NBC

    It has been seven long weeks since the Dallas Cowboys first reported to training camp, but the regular season is finally here. The Cowboys open the 2013-2014 season on Sunday Night Football against the division-rival New York Giants, who they are 6-0 against on opening day.

    Here are some things to look for as the Cowboys kick off their latest campaign:

    George Strait

    Country music icon George Strait will be on hand Sunday night as an he joins the Dallas Cowboys as an honorary team captain for the game’s coin toss. This is Strait’s second trip to AT&T Stadium – he performed there in 2009 as the first event to be hosted at the venue.

    Following the game, Strait is expected to hold a press conference regarding his 2014 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.

    New Bag Policy

    Fans are reminded to remember the NFL’s new bag policy, which will be in effect Sunday night and at every Dallas Cowboys home game this season.

    Only hand-held purses will be allowed into the stadium, along with clear plastic tote bags that do not exceed 12”x6”x12” inches.

    Items such as backpacks, coolers, large purses, camera bags, diaper bags, fanny packs and seat cushions are not allowed into the stadium under the new NFL safety rules.

    NFL, Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium new bag policy - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

    When To Get There?

    AT&T Stadium opens at 5 p.m. (CDT)

    Plaza opens at 4 p.m.

    Parking lots at 3 p.m.

    Party On the Plazas

    Dallas Cowboy Party on the Plaza - Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium pregame events - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

    More than just the Cowboys-Giants game on the field, there is plenty of entertainment for the fans before, during and after the game.

    • Texas Country chart-toppers and CMT superstars Whiskey Myers will perform a pregame concert at the East Plaza before kickoff.

    • Rhythm & Blues Dance Team, Rhythm & Blues Drum Line and Rhythm & Blues Break Boys will each perform on both East & West plaza before the game.

    • The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will split their squad and half and give performances in both the East and West Plazas at about 6:25 p.m.

    • Cowboys Cuties, a collection of local youth dance kids from the Dallas-Fort Worth area will perform in the West Plaza before kickoff.

    • In the Kids Zone, free games and activities such as a rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull, face painting, balloon animals, trampolines and Play 60 Games are featured.

    • East Plaza Food & Beverage discounts include: $5 Miller Lite until 5:30 p.m., $2 12 oz. bottled water and soda and discounted hot dogs, burgers and sausages.

        Planned Entertainment

        dallas cowboys cheerleaders kick - dallas cowboys kick butt - the boys are back blog

        The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC) will do their normal routine approximately 20 minutes before kickoffs. Trumpeter Freddie Jones will perform the national anthem this week and at every Cowboys home game this year. Jones will be honoring longtime Texas Stadium trumpeter Tommy Lloyd.

        At halftime, the TCU marching band will perform a rock and roll inspired set.

        DCC Performance – 1 performance in the East Plaza around 5:45 PM

        R&B Dance Team – 2 performances in the East Plaza and 1 performance in the west plaza

        R&B Drum Line – 1 performance in the East and 1 performance in the West

        R&B Break Boys – 1 performance in the East and 1 performance in the West

        Cowboys Cuties – 4 performances in the West Plaza – a collection of local youth dance kids from the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex

        Kids Zone – mechanical bull, rock climbing wall, Play 60 games, face painting, balloon animals, trampoline

        $5 Miller Lite on the plazas until 5:30 p.m.

        Parking Lot Patrol – 50 members will be distributed in the parking lots greeting fans and starting rally chants, giving away small items to super fans.

        the dallas cowboys kids zone is the home for all kids on gameday

        Looking For 20 or more

        All season long, Cowboys fans attending home games will be hoping for at least 20 points. This year, Papa John’s has partnered with the Cowboys for the ultimate fan promotion. Any game in which the Cowboys get at least 20 points, all fans in attendance will get 50 percent off their entire order the following day at papajohns.com with promo code COWBOYS20. Offer valid for regular-priced menu items and only at participating stores.

        About The Game

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        • This is the 103rd meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Dallas leads the series, 57-43-2, though New York has won three of the last four matchups.

        • A win against the New York Giants would give the Dallas Cowboys consecutive opening day victories since 2008-09.

        • Sunday is the first time since 2007 the Cowboys are opening their season at home, making this the first Week 1 opener at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys are 15-7-1 all-time in season openers played at home.

        • Cowboys linebacker Kyle Bosworth was a member of the Giants a week ago. Bosworth was released by New York last weekend when NFL teams cut their rosters to 53 spots. The Cowboys claimed Bosworth off waivers just a day later to help with their special teams.

        • Dallas leads the NFL in appearances on Sunday Night Football with 46 – the Giants are second with 41. The Cowboys are 21-25 all-time in those appearances. No team has more wins than Dallas’ 21 – Green Bay is tied with the Cowboys for first.

          HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: New York Giants undefeated at Cowboys Stadium; New era begins today at AT&T Stadium

          Dallas Cowboys expect AT&T Stadium to become important in the playoff runs - The Boys Are Back blog

          The Giants are 4-0 at Cowboys Stadium. They know that. The Cowboys know that.

          It’s not a pretty stat.

          Some Cowboys players look at it in the face and stare back. Some ignore it.

          But just about everyone interviewed this week was asked about it. Here are some of the reactions from the week at Valley Ranch:

          Dez Bryant: “You just brought it back to my attention. That’s in the past to me. It’s what’s going to go down on Sunday, that’s what we’re looking forward to. All that stuff about them being undefeated in the past, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about Sunday, and we can’t wait.”

          DeMarco Murray: “Are they? I don’t know. Maybe they like it here. We definitely got to make sure we change that around a little bit.”

          DeMarcus Ware: “I look at it as it’s time to have a turnaround. They’ve won every game here at our stadium. It’s all about image, how you want to build your image in that first game. Why not go out there and have a good game against a great team?”

          Jason Witten: “Obviously you get upset about that. It’s disappointing more than anything, just that division opponents handled you that way. But every year is different, and so the games, when you look at them, they all came up different ways. I don’t think you can allow that to affect you. Regardless of where we’re playing, this is a big game.”

          Jason Hatcher: “You want to protect your house. You don’t want nobody to come in here and kick your butt in your own house. But at the same time, we’ve got to go out there and play great football. We be the team we’re supposed to be and play like we’re supposed to be, doing what we did in training camp, Sunday’s game, we’ll come out with a win. We can’t just forget about what we did in training camp, how hard we worked, and go out there and play like crap, like we did the last couple years. That ain’t going to get it.”

          Tony Romo: “Obviously, they’ve done a good job recently playing at the stadium. More than anything, we need to make sure that we create a home-field advantage. Our fans have done a great job. We need them to be at their best on Sunday night. When they are, they’re very tough to deal with here in Dallas. I expect them to be like that on Sunday, and I think that will help us gain a big advantage if we get that.”

          Orlando Scandrick: “They only played in it what, three times? Yeah, I mean we need to go out and protect our home turf. I mean, people got to feel like when they come to Dallas to play it’s going to be a tough environment, that these guys play hard at home, that they play hard all the time.”

          Jason Garrett: “The Giants are a good football team. We have had some great games with them and we’ve gone out there and played some great games with them. They have come down here and played some great games. They always seem to be close. They are always competitive. It’s an outstanding organization. It’s been a great organization for a long time. Their head coach is outstanding. He is a Hall of Fame coach. And they’ve got a lot of really, really good football players. So regardless of where you play them, it’s going to be a great challenge. We have great battles with them in both stadiums.”

          And, the Giants, too, were asked about it in a conference call with DFW reporters …

          Tom Coughlin: “Well, both teams play extremely hard. We’ve been fortunate enough to win them at the end.”

          Eli Manning: “I don’t think there’s anything to it. We’ve had some tight games. Last year, literally a game of inches where the receiver had a pinkie out of bounds on the last play. A few years before that, we’re down 12 with five minutes and fought back for a win. There’s just been some games over the years, and so hopefully we can just find a way to hang in there and put ourselves in a situation to win the game at the end.”

          NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys | NFL Preseason 2013

          GAMEDAY RESOURCES - Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys–NFL Preseason 2013 - Cole Beasley

          ARLINGTON, Texas – For just about every key player on the Dallas Cowboys roster, Thursday’s game with the Texans will be nothing more than a front-row seat to the preseason finale.

          Neither team will likely play any of its starters. Still, it’s an important game for several backup and reserve players who are still trying to solidify a spot on the roster or their role on the team.

          Let’s check out the players to watch in tonight’s game with the Texans.

          Cole Beasley – This should be the first game action for Beasley since he suffered the foot sprain against Oakland earlier in the preseason. That night against the Raiders, Beasley was nearly unstoppable making several plays from the slot including an adjusting, high ball catch from Kyle Orton in the red zone. Beasley begin to work his way back into practice on Monday, then on Tuesday received a full load to once again get him into the flow. As he sits on the roster, he is the fifth receiver with Anthony Armstrong trying to grab that final spot from him. With the injuries to this team and the possibility of having to go long at a position or two, not sure how they would be able to carry six receivers on the active roster. Another situation that you also have to factor in is how Garrett uses his “12” personnel package.  With Jason Witten, James Hanna and Gavin Escobar, all three of these guys can play out of the slot which means less reasons for them to have to carry the extra receiver.

          Micah Pellerin – Don’t believe Micah Pellerin is fighting for a roster spot on this club or how he plays tonight will sway that decision one way or another. Pellerin’s play through the last three weeks has put him in a position where he could make this roster as a free agent. His skill in coverage along with his physical style of play has got him noticed by the front office and this coaching staff. Where Pellerin has made the most improvement in his game throughout the training camp is with his technique and you can truly tell that by working with Jerome Henderson and Joe Baker, he has become a much better player from observations in the Spring. He is doing a much better job of staying in position defending the route and has done a much better job of finishing the play. He is a highly competitive kid and you can see that he hates to get beat. He did struggle some in the Miami game but since then, he has been in nice form.

          Anthony Armstrong, WR: When he was just a rookie with the Dallas Desperados, fans have no problems rooting for him to make this team. Armstrong absolutely goes about his business the right way. He works extremely hard to improve. He understands the game and the business side of it. But he never stops smiling and keeps the perfect attitude throughout this grueling process. Right now, Armstrong is definitely on the bubble. He needs to either be better than Cole Beasley or prove to the coaches that he simply can’t be cut. Armstrong needs a great game on special teams and a long  pass on offense to showcase his speed surely wouldn’t hurt.

          Jeff Heath: When the rookie safety blasted the ball carrier last week to force a fumble against the Bengals, a consensus feeling trickled through the press box last Saturday night: Jeff Heath just made the team. That may be the case. Now, watch him Thursday night to see if he’s got a chance to make the 46. Forget the 53, Heath made it. Now we need to see if he’s good enough to actually suit up and play come Sept. 8 against the Giants. Watch how the Cowboys use Heath on special teams and how he does in extended time at safety. The team feels good enough about his potential to keep him around. But now we need to see if he’s ready to contribute right away.

          Alex Tanney, QB: The Cowboys might have wanted to use him sparingly Thursday to avoid other teams from seeing him, but with Nick Stephens released, it appears there might be a heavy dose of Tanney. The Cowboys will have a difficult decision to make on the 53-man roster if Tanney plays exceptionally well. Let’s see if he can play his way onto this roster.

          Sterling Moore, CB: Moore was one of the most physical corners during training camp, but he hasn’t stood out as much during the game. It would be surprising to see him left off the 53-man roster. He needs to make some more plays on the ball and demonstrate that same physicality in the games to ensure he’s safe from the cuts, with other corners behind him playing well.

          Danny Coale, WR: If ever there was a time for Coale to show his stuff, this would be it. It’s a given that Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are going to sit against Houston, and Terrance Williams and Dwayne Harris probably won’t spend much time on the field, either. Coale said Tuesday that he’s finally getting back into some sort of comfort level after soreness in his knee sidelined him during training camp, and hopefully that shows in the game. Cole Beasley has probably already solidified his spot on the roster, and Anthony Armstrong is right behind him if the team decides to keep six wide receivers. A big night from Coale might be the only thing that saves him from the roster spot chopping block.

          Cameron Lawrence, LB: Same logic applies. We’ve seen Lawrence on special teams and in some playing time, but the Texans game promises to be a much bigger audition. We know that Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Ernie Sims and Justin Durant have secured roster spots. DeVonte Holloman is a safe bet, given his fantastic preseason. That leaves probably one roster spot to fight for between Lawrence, Taylor Reed , Caleb McSurdy and Brandon Magee – if the Cowboys keep any of them at all. Thursday night would be a good time to show what all Lawrence can bring to the table.


          GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

          gametrax - dallas cowboys vs. houston texans 2013 preseason

          View NFL|Dallas Cowboys game stats and scores online while you watch or listen to the game.

          Click HERE to choose from a list of popular online game trackers.

          GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Sounds of the game

          Listen to the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Brad Sham on KRLD in Dallas.

          The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network - 105_3 The Fan KRLD

          Click HERE. Don’t live in the Dallas area? Click HERE.


          Houston Texans: SportsRadio 610 AM.

          Texans games can be heard locally on The New Bull @ 100.3

          and Univision America 1010 AM (Spanish).

          Click HERE for affiliates.

          GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Watch the game

          To watch on TV tonight, tune to:

          CBS11/Cowboys TV in Dallas | KTRK-TV in Houston

          CBS 11 Dallas Ft Worth - Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          Out of market? Click HERE to watch online (NFL Sunday Ticket)

          When: Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. (Dallas time)

          Where: AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium), Arlington, Texas

          Live Stream: NFL Preseason Live

          Watch on TV: No national coverage; check local listings

          GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Bookmark The Boys Are Back blog

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          Enjoy the game!

          GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys postgame coverage

          LISTEN LIVE–RIGHT NOW

          Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show

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          Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

          Note: The show starts approximately 30 minutes after the game is over.


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          TRAINING CAMP LIVE: Watch the Silver and Blue Debut at AT&T Stadium (Video)

          Training Camp LIVE - Silver and Blue Debut 2013 - The Boys Are Back blog - Watch Dallas Cowboys

          Dallas Cowboys Training Camp LIVE: Silver and Blue Debut

          Join Bryan Broaddus and Nick Eatman from Cowboys Stadium as they give you a look in to the Cowboys Silver and Blue debut practice. Duration – 17:31

          Button - Pop-out Player - Watch Video - The Boys Are Back blog  Button - Download Audio - Listen to MP3 - The Boys Are Back blog


          The Dallas Cowboys open practice, at the newly named AT&T Stadium, is a chance for the rookies to get a feel for the stadium before Saturday’s first preseason home game. It’s a chance to try out the new turf and for the local fans to get an up-close look at the 2013 team. 

          New turf was installed in the off-season, and the Cowboys are getting a chance to try it out.

          “I think it’s good for us to be able to get out there and run around a little bit, have a real football practice instead of just walking around or jogging around on it before the game,” Garrett said. “I think that’s a good thing for our team. We’ve got to take advantage of it.”


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          SILVER AND BLUE DEBUT: Dallas Cowboys take in AT&T Stadium aura at homecoming

          SILVER AND BLUE DEBUT - Dallas Cowboys take in AT&T Stadium aura at homecoming

          ARLINGTON, Texas – The practice was very much the same, but the venue could not have been more different.

          The Cowboys went through the Silver and Blue Debut on Thursday night – the final full practice before Saturday’s preseason home opener. But while the past month’s practices have taken place on humble practice fields in Oxnard, Calif., and Valley Ranch, Thursday’s show took place on the grand stage of AT&T Stadium.

          silver and blue debut logo

          “It’s fun, you know, it really is. This is a great building,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “We all feel very fortunate to be able to play and coach in it. It’s probably as good a stadium as there is on the planet. To be able to come here to practice and play our games here is really special.”

          It was a typical practice for a team that’s 48 hours away from the toughest action of the preseason – the second-to-last preseason game is typically referred to as the dress rehearsal. The Cowboys practices in shorts and shirts with no pads, working primarily on timing and fine-tuning.

          But pregame, non-contact practices don’t typically take place in front of such a crowd. Over10,000 fans attended the event, not to mention a plethora of Cowboys alumni from Roger Staubach and Mel Renfro to Larry Brown and Jay Novacek.

          SILVER AND BLUE DEBUT - Dallas Cowboys take in AT&T Stadium aura at homecoming - Trenches

          The opportunity is one Garrett said the Cowboys need to be mindful of.

          “A couple of years ago we had training camp here for a couple weeks, and I think the guys really, really enjoyed being here,” Garrett said. “It’s just a fantastic facility, and I think every time you go out there you just remind yourself how fortunate we are to be a part of it.”

          Despite the routine nature of the workout, the atmosphere amped the anticipation up a bit. Even tight end Jason Witten, with 10 years and four seasons at AT&T Stadium under his belt, could feel it.

          SILVER AND BLUE DEBUT - Dallas Cowboys take in AT&T Stadium aura at homecoming - Endzone

          Witten said a practice in the home stadium lets him know the season is almost here.

          “It always knows it’s just right around the corner when you’re here,” he said. “You see the excitement in the fans and the alumni, and you get that feeling. I think every year, as a player, there’s always that time when you know you’re getting close. This is kind of the kick off for that.”

          It wouldn’t be the NFL if there weren’t some competitive advantage to something as routine as a practice. AT&T Stadium had a new turf field put down during July, and Garrett said it was nice to give the team some experience on the new carpet before game day.

          SILVER AND BLUE DEBUT - Dallas Cowboys take in AT&T Stadium aura at homecoming - Cowboys Stadium

          “It’s good for us to be able to get out there, run around a little bit and have a real football practice instead of just walking around on it or jogging around on it before the game,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing for our team to be able to take advantage of.”

          The full opulence of AT&T Stadium wasn’t even on display for the Silver and Blue Debut. The stadium staff was still working on game mechanics, and only the building’s lower level was filled.

          That said, Garrett noted the value of an in-stadium practice before the Cowboys kick off against the Bengals – especially the team’s newcomers.

          “One of the real positives of coming over here today is that they get a chance to see it, and some of the awe factor goes away a little bit,” Garrett said. “When they come back on Saturday, they’re ready to go to work and play a ball game – that’s an added benefit of practicing here tonight.”

          LIVING LEGEND: Roger Staubach makes his prediction for the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

          LIVING LEGEND - Roger Staubach makes his prediction for the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

          Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach talks to current quarterback Tony Romo during practice at the Silver and Blue Debut, in Arlington on August 22, 2013. (Michael Ainsworth/DMN)

          ARLINGTON – Legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach isn’t down on his former team despite back-to-back 8-8 seasons and a three-season playoff drought.

          In fact, Staubach feels even better about this season’s team than he did last year’s.

          Almost a year to the day, Staubach predicted the Cowboys would make the playoffs last season and finish either 11-5 or 10-6. And this time around?

          “We can be 11-5 in a second with a little luck and keeping people healthy, maybe 12-4,” Staubach said Thursday night at AT&T Stadium. “And I think we’d take 10-6 right now, wouldn’t we? You just want to get in the playoffs.”

          Staubach was among several Cowboys alumni to watch the team practice for two hours Thursday night in the team’s only open practice in Texas. Others included fellow Pro Football Hall of Famers Mel Renfro and Rayfield Wright and Ring of Honor members Cliff Harris, Lee Roy Jordan and Charles Haley. A crowd of 10,234 watched the players practice without pads after paying $10 for parking.

          The Cowboys alumni attended a dinner with the players and coaches at the stadium after the practice. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett asked Harris to address the team.

          Staubach said the Cowboys have upgraded the offensive line – he really likes rookie center Travis Frederick – and if they can improve their running game should post a winning record for the first time since 2009.

          Oh, and Staubach is still an unabashed Tony Romo fan.

          “If there’s a bigger Romo fan in town, I don’t know who it is,” Staubach said. “I want to argue with all my negative Romo fans and tell them how great this guy is. He makes plays. He’s got a strong arm, and he just does a lot of good things out there that only a few quarterbacks in the league can do.”

          Staubach spent some time Thursday throwing passes to one of Romo’s favorite targets: wide receiver Dez Bryant.

          “They weren’t quite as hard as Tony Romo’s but I was having some fun,” Staubach said. “If he stays healthy, there won’t be a better receiver in the league than Dez Bryant. I was throwing to him tonight, so I tested him out. He’s a great receiver.”

          COWBOYS AT&T STADIUM: NBC Sports will debut new Red-Zone 360-degree view in Giants-Cowboys opener

          COWBOYS AT&T STADIUM - NBC Sports will debut new Red-Zone 360-degree view in Giants-Cowboys opener - FreeD - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          OXNARD, Calif. NBC Sports and the Dallas Cowboys announced that they will work with Replay Technologies Inc. to provide a unique, new 360-degree “FreeD” look at red-zone plays for viewers watching NBC football telecasts and fans at the game in AT&T Stadium. 

          “FreeD” (free dimensional video) will debut during the Sept. 8 Sunday Night Football New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys opener.  In addition, NBC Sports will use the system for the October 5 Notre Dame-Arizona State game, and the October 13 Redskins-Cowboys SNF game (in addition to any Cowboys home games flexed into primetime) at AT&T Stadium.  Fans in the stadium will also see “FreeD” replays on the scoreboard at all home games, as well as on Cowboys local programming during the season.

          The “FreeD” system will utilize 24 high-speed cameras mounted in the stadium — 12 in each red zone placed on both sides of the field from the 20-yard line to the goal line and in the back of each end zone — to provide replays of key red-zone plays from a 360-degree perspective, enabling fans to see the action seamlessly.

          “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports to bring a new look at replays to our fans,” said Charlotte Anderson, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president. “We are always striving to be on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.   Just as our center hung video board has changed the way our fans view the game, we believe that this ‘FreeD’ technology will add a unique viewing dimension for our fans at every game.”

          NBC Sports and Dallas Cowboys Replay Technologies unique new 360-degree FreeD red-zone - Cowboys AT&T Stadium - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          This :35 second video will blow your mind … Click HERE to check it out

          “The Cowboys are the perfect partner, because AT&T Stadium is the most technologically advanced stadium in the world, and the organization is constantly striving to provide the best entertainment experience for their fans,” said Fred Gaudelli, coordinating producer of Sunday Night Football. “Being able to seamlessly move from side to side and around an entire play without switching shots will entertain and inform the fans at the stadium and watching our telecast. Fans will think they are playing a video game or watching a Sci-fi movie, but they’ll actually be viewing football as never presented before.”

          RELATED: ‘FreeD’ brings 360-degree camera views to NBC football this fall

          FreeD brings 360-degree camera views to NBC football this fall - Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          Sure, the Palace in Dallas, newly rechristened AT&T Stadium in a naming rights deal worth upwards of $19 million a year, may be a $1.2 billion monument to excess to Texas-style size and excess. But that doesn’t doesn’t mean the high-end gadgetry inside can’t be put to good use. 

          This season, in conjunction with Replay Technologies Inc., the Dallas Cowboys and NBC Sports will introduce 360-degree, “FreeD” replay views for red-zone action (from the 20-yard line to the end zone), available for viewers watching NBC’s football broadcasts, local Cowboys broadcasts in Dallas, and those inside the stadium staring up at 23,040 square feet of center-hung LED Diamond Vision display. Twenty four cameras – 12 on each side of the field – placed strategically allow depth and color to be calculated for every pixel within visible coverage. The information is then built into 3D models enabling fully orbiting views without switching cameras. The effect is like a combination of The Matrix-style “bullet time” and the latest Google Maps animations, with any moment of action viewable from almost any conceivable angle.

          The system makes its maiden NFL voyage on Sept. 8, when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants and will be used again on October 13th when Dallas hosts Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Fans of college football will also get a taste of FreeD when Notre Dame plays Arizona State on the 5th of October, at AT&T Stadium as part of this year’s “Shamrock Series.”

          Fred Gaudelli, producer of “Sunday Night Football” for NBC, told the Television Critics Association Sunday the decision to place the system in Dallas was no accident. “It literally takes a month to install this system,” he said. “Obviously, we’re doing games every single week. So there’s only one system in the world.  We basically had to put it in a stadium we knew we were going to be at least twice. Pray for three times.” 

          No sport has a larger, more dedicated television watching audience than the NFL. FreeD promises fresh views of a football game’s most critical moments. (Including potentially soul crushing, late game mistakes). The upcoming NFL season contains a nearly endless array of compelling questions. If, for you, one happens to be “If Tony Romo and The Matrix had a baby, what would it look like?” 

          Your answer is coming.

          COWBOYS STADIUM RENAMED: Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys

          Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          ARLINGTON, Texas — Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

          At a press conference Thursday, the two iconic American brands jointly announced an expansion of their long-standing relationship to include the new name as well as plans to create an innovative, mobile-first experience for fans.

          “AT&T is an iconic American leader that has guided the path of communication in the world for more than 100 years,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.  “Our stadium has always been about providing fans with an unsurpassed experience in the area of technology. With AT&T, we are growing our relationship with one of the world’s strongest and most innovative companies to ultimately provide fans with the latest cutting-edge technology for many years to come.

          “Dallas is our home town, and we’re proud to expand our successful relationship with the Cowboys, one of the most visionary sports franchises around,” said Cathy Coughlin, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer.  “This is a terrific opportunity to further integrate AT&T’s industry-leading mobile technology with the premier sports and entertainment venue to create a world-class fan experience.”

          The name change, effective immediately, will be reflected in substantial signage updates throughout the upcoming football season, prominently featuring AT&T, both inside and outside of the stadium.

          The Cowboys and AT&T will work together to deliver an interactive gameday experience for fans like no other. AT&T and the Cowboys also will continue to invest in advanced mobile technology in and around AT&T Stadium to benefit all visitors. For example, they —

          ·       Have recently doubled the capacity of AT&T’s 4G LTE network inside the stadium, in the plazas and in parking lots.

          ·       Will nearly double the capacity of the Wi-Fi network inside AT&T Stadium, giving all visitors a significantly enhanced mobile Internet experience. This will be completed in time for the Cowboys’ regular season.

          ·       Will enhance – in time for this year’s preseason games – the Cowboys’ mobile app with maps and way finding to improve the overall fan experience on game days.

          In addition to Cowboys’ games,  AT&T Stadium is already lined up to host a series of major events in the near future, including:

          ·       2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic

          ·       2014 and 2015 Cowboys Classic Kick-Off games

          ·       2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four

          ·       2015 First-Ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game

          AT&T Stadium hosts an average of 30 marquee events annually – from soccer and motocross to monster trucks and concerts – and attracts close to 2 million visitors each year. Additionally, nearly half a million guests visit the venue annually to take part in stadium tours. Since opening in 2009, almost 10 million people have entered the doors at AT&T Stadium for events and tours. In addition, Dallas Cowboys games consistently deliver some of the highest-rated telecasts during the NFL season, including a number of nationally televised prime-time broadcasts each year. Cowboys fans also are among the most loyal, with season ticket holders in all 50 states and several countries.


          Watch the official AT&T Stadium announcement with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          AT&T Stadium Announcement

          Watch the official AT&T Stadium announcement with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. (Duration – 39:11)

           

          Click HERE to watch … or click HERE to listen to the audio (MP3)

          NO COOLERS OR CAMERAS: Dallas Cowboys, NFL limiting what fans may bring into the stadium

          NO COOLERS OR CAMERAS - Dallas Cowboys, NFL limiting what fans may bring into the stadium

          The Dallas Cowboys and the NFL announced a new bag policy, limiting what fans may bring into the stadium.

          The league will now allow only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags no bigger than 12 by 6 by 12 inches and a “clutch” bag, about the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap.

          Fans can also bring in a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag like a Ziploc.

          Medically necessary items will be allowed after they’ve been inspected.

          Fans will not be allowed to bring in purses, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage, seat cushions, computer bags or camera bags.

          The NFL has 12x6x12 bags with team logos on sale at http://www.nflshop.com, but fans can obtain their own anywhere, the league said. The price of the bags on http://www.nflshop.com was unavailable Thursday afternoon, but the text of the policy is there.

          FATHERS DAY ACTIVITY: Dallas Cowboys to host Field Rally this Saturday

          FATHERS DAY ACTIVITY - Dallas Cowboys to host Field Rally this Saturday - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

          IRVING, Texas – Cowboys Stadium will play host to Father’s Day activities this weekend, as the venue puts on Father’s Day on the Field Rally Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

          NFL Pro Bowl - Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy poses with Polynesian dancers at the 2013 Pro Bowl tailgate party - The Boys Are Back blog

          The event will feature a slew of interactive activities, including autograph sessions with Cowboys alumni and cheerleaders, an appearance by Rowdy. Another special appearance will come from two of the Minions from the upcoming Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment film “Despicable Me 2.” There will also be various activities for kids and photo opportunities with the Cowboys’ Super Bowl trophies.

          Tours of Cowboys Stadium will also be open all day Saturday with free parking available at the stadium with a purchase of a tour ticket. Tickets to the Father’s Day Rally Day events are included with the price of a self-guided stadium tour, which are available at the box office. Tickets are $17.50 for adults and $14.50 for children/seniors.

          The Cowboys’ alumni will sign autographs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Former defensive lineman Chad Hennings will be available for autographs at noon, fellow former defensive lineman Leon Lett will be available at 1 p.m. and former defensive back Everson Walls will be available at 2 p.m.

          Cowboys cheerleaders will be available to sign autographs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., while the Minions will make an appearance from noon until 2 p.m.

          NEW NFL RULES: Dallas Cowboys can use video boards to encourage fans during plays

          NEW NFL RULES - Dallas Cowboys can use video boards to encourage fans during plays - the boys are back blog

          NEW YORK — The NFL will allow teams to use video scoreboards to encourage crowd noise in stadiums during entire plays.

          Although the scoreboards can only use audio prompts until 20 seconds remain on the play clock — down from 30 seconds — video prompts now can be used any time. Those videos also were limited to the final 30 seconds on the play clock until the 2013 season.

          That’s the latest change the league is allowing in an attempt to enhance the fan experience in stadiums. Last week, teams were notified they must place cameras in their locker rooms to provide video only, with the footage being displayed on the video boards and also on team apps.

          Teams have control over content.

          Home teams also will be required to show replays on the video boards after all scoring plays, turnovers, challenged plays, first downs and receptions where the receiver ends up out of bounds. Multiple replays of any play automatically reviewed must be shown “with the very best camera angles available.”

          Visiting teams now must be introduced as a unit 10 minutes before kickoff.

          The NFL also says 98 percent of tickets for 2013 regular-season games already have been sold. That includes season tickets, individual game seats and group sales.

          DELAYED REACTION: Danny Amendola’s father sues Cowboys Stadium

          You might remember the viral video of a runaway golf cart at Cowboys Stadium that plowed into a group of people following a high school football game in 2011.

          One of the people injured in the bizarre incident was Spring Dekaney High School head football coach Willie Amendola, the father of New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola.

          Willie Amendola now has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Cowboys Stadium, according to Comcast SportsNet Houston. Amendola cites personal injury and “great personal anguish and embarrassment” to him and his family following the highly publicized incident.

          The unmanned cart took off after an end zone pylon accidentally became wedged against the accelerator. The cart collided with Amendola and a group of reporters near midfield, then carried the coach approximately 30 yards before someone was able to jump on the cart, dislodge the pylon and apply the brakes.

          INJURY–PRACTICE UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

          Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware missed practice Wednesday with shoulder and elbow injuries. He played in only 59 of 95 plays in Sunday’s game after leaving with a shoulder strain. He left with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter and returned for one play of overtime. He said Wednesday that he would play Sunday.

          Five other players missed practice, which was moved indoors to Cowboys Stadium. Linebacker Brady Poppinga and nose tackle Robert Callaway had travel problems getting back to DFW after the two-day Christmas break. Defensive end Jason Hatcher (thigh) said he would play Sunday. Linebacker Victor Butler (groin) also was out. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who had sports hernia surgery two weeks ago, will be out again this week.

          Linebacker Alex Albright (knee) was limited.

          Receiver Dez Bryant (finger), running back DeMarco Murray (foot), running back Felix Jones (knee) and linebacker Ernie Sims (concussion) were full participants.

          RELATED: Jason Hatcher’s thigh will be fine come Sunday, he says

          Defensive end Jason Hatcher said he missed practice only as a precaution. His thigh will be "100 percent by the time Sunday comes," Hatcher promises.

          "It’s doing good," Hatcher said Wednesday. "I’m a veteran. I understand. I listen to my body. It was one of those days I felt like I should have just rested a little bit more. Tomorrow, I’ll do a little bit more.

          "Am I worried about me playing Sunday? No."

          Hatcher has had 68 tackles, 4 sacks and 21 quarterback pressures this season.

          RELATED: DeMarcus Ware promises to play through pain

          Linebacker DeMarcus Ware said he will not wear any type of harness on his strained shoulder nor will be take a pain-killing injection. But he will be in the lineup come Sunday.

          "I feel a lot better right now," Ware said Wednesday. "I’m going regardless."

          Ware, who already was playing with a hyperextended elbow, had to leave last week’s game with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter after "tweaking" the shoulder. He returned for a third-down play in overtime. Ware played 59 of 95 plays. He did not practice Wednesday.

          "I’m going to tell you something, 75 percent of DeMarcus Ware is probably better than 90 percent of the guys who play the position at the end of the day," Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher said. "I’ll take 75 percent vs. no DWare any day. Wherever he is right now, I’ll take it."

          Ware has never missed a game in his NFL career and has failed to start only one of 127 games. He didn’t start a 2009 game against New Orleans because of a neck injury.

          Ware has 11.5 sacks this season, but only 2.5 have come in the past seven games. He has been without a sack in three of his past five games.

          MOTHER NATURE VISITS DALLAS: Cowboys move practice to Cowboys Stadium

          Dallas Cowboys practice before St Louis Rams game - The Boys Are Back blog

          The Cowboys nearly made it through a whole season without having to move a practice indoors, but they now have had to do it twice in three practices. Last Thursday, high winds forced the Cowboys to move their practice to Highland Park High School’s indoor facility. That was the first time Dallas had a practice moved from their outdoor practice facility at Valley Ranch.

          Today, the Cowboys will practice at Cowboys Stadium because of slick conditions on their outdoor practice fields. The Cowboys were unable to practice at Cowboys Stadium last week because of the state championship football games played there.

          In 2010, the Cowboys moved four practices — three to Cowboys Stadium and one to TCU. In 2011, Dallas moved three practices to the stadium. The Cowboys used indoor facilities at Coppell High School and at Southlake Carroll in 2009 when 13 practices were moved.

          The Cowboys have not had an indoor facility since theirs blew down during a severe thunderstorm on May 2, 2009.

          WILD CARD WEEKEND: Cowboys would host either 49ers or Seahawks in playoff game

          Dallas Cowboys Stadium 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

          They have to get there first. But while Jason Garrett and his players aren’t looking past the Washington Redskins next Sunday in a winner-take-all NFC East showdown, the Cowboys’ advance scouts are looking ahead.

          They can focus their attention on the 49ers (10-4-1) and the Seahawks (10-5). The Cowboys would be 9-7 with a win over the Redskins and the fourth seed. They would play the fifth seed. The 49ers or the Seahawks will be the fifth seed. The 49ers will win the NFC West with a victory over the Cardinals or a Seahawks loss to the Rams. The Seahawks would win the West with a victory and a 49ers loss. So either the 49ers or the Seahawks will be the NFC West champion and the other one will be the fifth seed.

          Dallas, as NFC East champions, would host the wild-card game at Cowboys Stadium on the weekend of Jan. 5-6. The educated guess is the Cowboys game would be Sunday, Jan. 6 in the 3 p.m. time slot, considering lots of things, including the fact that the Cotton Bowl is Jan. 4. There also is the fact that NBC got this week’s game between the Cowboys and Redskins, so Fox likely will get the NFC East champion’s playoff game. NBC televises the two playoff games on Jan. 5. Fox has an NFC game on Jan. 6, and CBS has an AFC game on Jan. 6. It’s just an educated guess on when the game would be played, but a pretty good assumption, assuming the Cowboys beat the Redskins.

          Either way, the Cowboys’ advance scouts will be getting ready in hopes there is a game next weekend.

          "The advance guys do a great job of that stuff, and they’ll have that whole thing covered for us," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "They have all the different scenarios and who’s traveling to what game. One of the things that I’ve found out being in these kinds of situations is be careful about making too many educated guesses. Make sure you have all your bases covered. Oh, this team will definitely beat them, so we’re definitely going to play them. A lot of times that doesn’t happen. Our guys do a great job of that, and they’ll have all that background work done for us, so hopefully we win this ball game and go get prepared to play the first round of the playoffs. They’ll have all that stuff covered for us to start our preparation."

          LISTEN LIVE–RIGHT NOW: Dallas Cowboy’s postgame show on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

          New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium - The Boys Are Back blog

          From within The Boys Are Back blog

          you can LISTEN LIVE to Dallas area sports broadcasts

          while you read, browse, or work around the house.

          Catch Dallas Cowboys talk shows, pregame/postgame interviews, commentary, analysis, and daily/weekly shows featuring

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          CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW AND LISTEN TO THE POSTGAME SHOW LIVE!

          Interviews start about 30 minutes after final snap

          BECAUSE OF OVERTIME – – – SHOW STARTS 4:00-4:15

          Show ends at 6:30 to 7:00 pm CDT

          Listen Live to: The Fan 105.3 Dallas (KRLD) … Flagship of

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          NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints

          New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium - The Boys Are Back blog

          HEAD2HEAD: A look at the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints match up

          The Cowboys are making December one to remember for all the right reasons. They’ve won three games this month and five of their last six. Now, they face New Orleans, a 6-8 team that is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season. The Saints have been damaged by the penalties stemming from the bounty scandal that rocked the NFL in the off-season. But they still have one of the most prolific offenses in the league, producing more points on average than every other team except New England. Here is a look at how both the Cowboys and Saints match up:

          When the Cowboys run

          DeMarco Murray has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game once this season. But his impact is far greater than his output. His presence is vital to the Cowboys’ success. Since entering the league in 2011, Dallas is 10-1 when Murray has 14 or more carries. Murray should get plenty of opportunities Sunday against a New Orleans team allowing 146.3 rushing yards per game – the second-highest average in the NFL this season.

          Edge: Cowboys

          When the Cowboys pass

          In the last seven games, Tony Romo has revived a season that seemed headed for disaster. Since Nov. 1, he has thrown 13 touchdowns passes and only three interceptions. He has also passed for 300 or more yards five times. Romo’s strong performance has coincided with the most productive stretch of Dez Bryant’s career. Bryant has collected eight touchdown receptions in the last six games and has a good chance to find the end zone again against a Saints team giving up 287 yards per game through the air – the second-highest average in the NFL this season.

          Edge: Cowboys

          When the Saints run

          New Orleans’ commitment to its ground game can be questioned. This season, the Saints have rushed the ball 314 times – the second-lowest total in the NFL this season. But when New Orleans has turned to its running backs, they have been successful, averaging 4.45 yards per carry. Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Chris Ivory form a strong backfield that will test a Cowboys defense featuring a patchwork front. But Dallas held strong against Pittsburgh last week, limiting the Steelers to 69 yards on the ground.

          Edge: Cowboys

          When the Saints pass

          Drew Brees has become one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history directing a high-powered offense. Even in this season of disappointment, Brees has excelled. He leads the league in passing yards, throwing for 4,335 in 14 games. But his record has been blighted by 18 interceptions – the highest total in the league. Brees commands an air attack that Dallas’ secondary will be challenged to stop. Four Saints players are among the 50 NFL players with the most receptions. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for more than 250 yards in three of their last four games.

          Edge: Saints

          Special teams

          In less than two seasons, Dan Bailey has emerged as one of the NFL’s most consistent kickers and a key contributor for the Cowboys. In an overtime victory over Pittsburgh last Sunday, Bailey made his seventh game-winning field goal, tying a franchise record. This season, he has connected on 27 of 29 attempts and every kick inside of 50 yards. Bailey has been considerably more successful than Southlake’s own Garrett Hartley. Hartley has made only 15 of 18 field-goal tries and his conversion rate is ranked in the bottom half of the league.

          Edge: Cowboys

          Intangibles

          The New Orleans Saints haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention. But with eight losses their chances of qualifying for the postseason are extremely slim. The Cowboys, on the other hand, have a very realistic shot of playing beyond the regular season. Their confidence is high after their recent stretch of success and they will be motivated to earn their sixth victory in their last seven games. A rejuvenated home crowd should help them.

          Edge: Cowboys

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          THE BAYOU VS. THE BOYS: All hands saddle-up for the game 15 shootout

          Saddle up Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog

          IRVING, TexasAll hands saddle up. A Texas sized shootout is about to commence.

                   Think about it. That is exactly how these Dallas Cowboys have turned a 3-5 start to this 2012 season into an encouraging 8-6 with two games to go and a potential playoff berth emerging out of the blue.

                   And it’s the exact same old Texas cattle drive toughness needed this Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. It’s this suddenly surging Cowboys team, winner of three straight games this late in a season (for only the second time since they swept the final five in the 1993 Super Bowl campaign), meets head on with those 6-8 New Orleans Saints.

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                   Everyone, that is. All 92 hands comprising the 46-man, game-day roster, along with every one of those coaches and staff personnel, from head coach Jason Garrett to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, all the way down to little-known but hardworking Ben Bloom and Dave Borgonzi.

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                   For this injury-riddled team, possibly growing up before our very, and for some, quite unsuspecting eyes, they have needed and will continue to need the village that has been the impetus for a second-half surge, winning five of the past six games to vault into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East with Washington and New York.

                   That is why so many of you are having significant problems trying to figure out what happened between 3-5 and 8-6. Why a team that lost three of those first eight games by an eyelash suddenly has won four of these five by the equal breath of that same eyelash.

                   Oh, it’s been the red-hot play of Tony Romo, you say, the Cowboys quarterback completing 168-of-250 passing attempts in the past six games for 1,875 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions, factoring out to a 100.3 passer rating.

                   Or it’s been Dez Bryant, putting together a Pro Bowl-push of consistency in the same six games, grabbing 37 passes for 584 yards and eight of his 10 touchdowns, as many scores in 14 games as any No. 88 in Cowboys history has ever caught in a 16-game season, not even giving quarter to a fractured left index finger.

                   Or it’s been the return of DeMarco Murray, the lead runner who has come back to gain 213 yards and score three rushing touchdowns on 213 carries since missing six and a half straight games with torn foot ligaments.

                   Or the steady hand of Jason Witten, leading the team with 97 catches, just six shy of becoming the NFL’s all-time leader in single-season receptions by a tight end.

                   Or the emergence of play-making receiver/returner Dwayne Harris, seven catches for 79 yards these past two games, along with a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 39-yarder this past Sunday.

                   Or this rookie tight end James Hanna, three catches for 48 yards these past two games and a mismatch for any linebacker trying to run cross-field with him while their defensive partners are preoccupied doubling Witten.

                   Or cornerback Brandon Carr, two picks in the past two games, the second this past Sunday setting up Dan Bailey’s game-winning 21-yard field goal in overtime. And oh, Bailey is a candidate too, since that kick means he has made 12-of-12 field goals in this six-game stretch.

                   Or Anthony Spencer, whose seven sacks in the last six has spurred on a defense that seemingly loses a starter a week (seven total from the nickel defense this past Sunday) and has compensated for fellow outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware essentially playing with his right arm (injured elbow and shoulder) tied behind his back.

                   Or defensive coordinator Rob Ryan using spit and duct tape to piece together a defense littered with guys signed off their couches to replace the five defensive starters now on injured reserve if you count nickel back Orlando Scandrick in that total, and then also nose tackle Jay Ratliff (out for the remainder of the regular season at least) and his backup Josh Brent on NFI following the tragic accident two weeks ago.

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          My gosh, this team even lost its punter. They lassoed another from the Buffalo Bills.

          If they just lose one more … look, they haven’t exactly slammed the door shut on the past four opponents, but with the exception of the 38-31 loss to Washington, they have come up with key stops or plays to close out the final three games, the last in overtime.

          And even some insist the tragic accident killing practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown and charging Brent, the driver, with intoxication manslaughter, coupled with Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, expression of uncommon compassion for Brent, has galvanized this team, as if suddenly playing for a bigger cause.

          Who am I to say that is a corny take, since there has been a noticeable focus and determination in these guys’ eyes ever since, along with a noticeable budding confidence that no matter what – a broken finger, lost comrade, 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, the inability to score more than 10 points in any first half this season, and injured teammates. As many as 16 guys signed to this roster since the start of the season and having to play the unknown likes of Sterling Moore, Michael Coe, Brady Poppinga, Ernie Sims, Bryan Schaefering, Charlie Peprah and Eric Frampton – they shall overcome.

          Cowboy Cattle Drives - The Boys Are Back blog

          “Really, it’s just we’ve gotten to a point where we’re a mentally tough football team,” Romo said during a conference call with New Orleans reporters. “In saying that, I believe when I step on the field in the fourth quarter, if we’re within 10-14 points, we’re going to find a way to win the ballgame.”

          So as you see, there have been beaucoup factors and Ranch hands elevating their play in this turnaround for the Cowboys, if indeed you want to call it a turnaround, since they lost the Baltimore game by a foot or two when Bailey experienced his last field-goal miss (from 51) at the buzzer and lost the second Giants game by a fingertip (Bryant’s landing out the back of the end zone, nullifying what was initially ruled a winning touchdown in the final seconds).

          And while the quarterback’s influence on a game normally is overwhelming, as you can see there have been so, so many other factors in the Cowboys’ recent success. Sunday against the Saints won’t be any different, if you factor in that the Cowboys’ banged up defense has to go up against the league’s third-ranked offense, powered by the league’s second-ranked passing offense.

          PR_TexasShootout Logo

          You know what that means, right? Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram and especially Darren Sproles, the Saints’ nickel running back who is second on the team with seven touchdowns – six of those receptions – and is as dangerous a kick returner as Dallas has faced all season long.

          That also means the Cowboys better score some points, which they have been doing, an offense aided by some defensive plays and touchdowns, along with a few plays on special teams. Just look, the Cowboys have scored at least 27 points in four of the past six games and more than 30 in half of those games.

          Plus, anything they can get on special teams would be dandy, whether it be a Harris kick return or a Victor Butler forced fumble recovered in enemy territory, and for sure for Bailey to continue on his six-game streak of perfection.

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          When you look at these Cowboys like this, you need not have been on the actual cattle drive to understand the meaning of all hands saddle up. Get ready for a shootout. Those varmints from The Bayou face The Boys in Dallas. Be at the Cowboys Corral, at high noon.

          Courtesy: Mickey Spagnola; edited by Robert D Knight

          Editors note: Mentioned in this article … Ben Bloom (quality control), Dave Borgonzi (volunteer assistant)

          COWBOYS ROCK’N CHRISTMAS: Cowboys Stadium to feature holiday theme Sunday

          ROCK’N CHRISTMAS SPIRIT - Cowboys Stadium to feature holiday theme Sunday - Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog

          IRVING, Texas – The Christmas theme will be in full effect at Cowboys Stadium for the final home game of the season Sunday against the Saints.

          Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, reindeer and elves will be in the West Plaza taking free pictures with children, while The Ray Johnston Band will play in the East Plaza. Johnston, a former Dallas Maverick, is now a country-rock artist.

          Prior to the game, the coach of the week for the youth football season and the Community Quarterback Award winner will be honored.

          Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers - Jason Witten - The Boys Are Back blog

          The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders holiday dance spectacular will occur at halftime, when tight end Jason Witten will be awarded the Bob Lilly Award for demonstrating the highest level of achievement, sportsmanship, dedication and leadership.

          Kickoff will be at noon and will be televised on FOX.

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