Dallas, We Have A Problem

cowboys scoreboard

I’m getting a kick out of the sticky wicket Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is facing with his new $1.2 billion football stadium.  By all accounts, Jones has built the ultimate football palace – complete with every amenity you can imagine, including the world’s largest video screen. 

The $40 million HD screen serves as an amazing centerpiece, hanging directly over the field and stretching an absurd 160′ by 72′. 

One little problem with Jones’ larger than life scoreboard: during the stadium’s grand opening, Tennessee Titans punters were routinely booting balls off of it during pregame warm-ups and then hit it again during the game.

Really?  With all the planning that went into this project, the fact that nobody thought to have a couple punters head down to the field for a dry run is preposterous.

Jones immediately accused the Titans punters of trying to hit it on purpose.  Well, if they did intend to embarrass him, consider it mission accomplished. 

I’m a man who can appreciate a 2,100-inch TV and I applaud the effort to create a fantastic in-game experience for fans, but Jones needs to do the right thing and spend the $2 million it will cost to raise the scoreboard to ensure there is no chance it can interfere with the action on the field. 

I doubt that will happen after Friday’s NFL ruling that Jones can leave his giant ego (I mean, video screen) where it is for the 2009 season.  If a ball deflects off of it, the clock will be reset and the down will be replayed.  Sounds simple, but there is no such thing as a do-over in professional football.  Someone could get injured, a snap might be off target or the punter might shank a kick trying to avoid the oversized obstruction. 

It’s entirely possible the scoreboard is going to impact a game this year.  Here’s hoping the Cowboys are the ones on the wrong end of that.  At the very least, we can all enjoy the fact that Jones will have a constant reminder of a major flaw in his masterpiece hanging over his head – literally – until the situation is fixed.