The NFL Competition Committee met earlier this week to discuss the scoreboard in the Cowboys new stadium based on one punt striking it during the preseason opener against the Titans. Now the decision, if any, is in the hands of commissioner Roger Goodell who is expected to make some type of ruling prior to the Saturday night game at the stadium when the Cowboys host the 49?ers.
Let’s review the facts of this a little and I think it should be clear to everyone that there is really no issue at all. First, Jerry Jones researched, requested and got approval from the league prior to building the stadium with the scoreboard set at its present height of 90?, which is actually 5? above the league minimum of 85? for any stadium structure in the NFL. Second, the Titans’ punters were intentionally trying to hit the scoreboard in pre-game warmups as kind of a joke/bet thing with both Jones and Wade Phillips. Later, it appears that the back-up punter, Trapasso, did hit the scoreboard again during the game. This is quite possibly because it was the third quarter of a preseason game in which his team was way behind which begs the question of would he, or any punter, have done so in a true game situation.
I don’t believe he, or anyone, would since all it would do is require a re-kick and makes his team go through the entire punt coverage and kick scenario again. This would not be a wise decision since it is common knowledge that kicking the football at anytime is one of the most precarious aspects of the game. Many things can go wrong on a kick-off, field goal try or punt which is why the NFL has actually changed many rules regarding these during the past several years.
For instance, now, when a kick-off goes out of bounds, the ball is placed on the 40-yard line (actually 30-yards from the spot of the kick or at the out-of-bounds spot) and possession automatically goes to the receiving team. I’m sure most of us remember when this was only a 5-yard Delay-of-game penalty and the ball was re-kicked. This was not a good scenario and most team owners actually lobbied to have it changed. Nowadays, most of the time there is a penalty on a kicking situation, the team with the choice to re-kick or take the spot of the foul, will accept the spot of the foul as opposed to re-kicking.
Everyone seems to want to blame Jerry Jones for not moving the scoreboard voluntarily or for putting it there in the first place. These people are simply out-of-touch with reality. As noted before, the scoreboard is well above league minimums, it is one of the highlights of a stadium that Mr. Jones put a lot of time, money and attention into and it is a great assistance to the fans watching the game who actually paid to be there. It’s his stadium, it’s within the rules, so enough is enough. Let the scoreboard stay where it is!