You need look no further than the Dallas Cowboys’ record at Cowboys Stadium to know that, for all it’s shiny opulence, modern art and women’s lingerie options (BEST IN THE LEAGUE), the $1.2 billion palace known as JerryWorld doesn’t offer much in the way of a home field advantage for Dallas.
Specifically, the Cowboys are 14-12 in the building, and anyone who watched the team’s 34-18 manhandling at the hands of the Bears two weeks ago could tell you that the game sounded, for the most part, like it was happening in Chicago, Illinois, and not Arlington, Texas.
But according to Cowboys quarterback turned Fox analyst Troy Aikman, this is nothing new, and it’s a problem that’s been around since long before the doors opened at Cowboys Stadium.
"I don’t think Dallas has ever really had a great home field advantage," Aikman said last week on 1310-AM The Ticket, via the Dallas Morning News. "What I’ve heard is that, 'Wow, they really lost home field advantage when they left Texas Stadium.'
“Texas Stadium really wasn’t that different. Having played playoff games in Texas Stadium, that stadium was rocking, it was great. ... But when we would play in Philadelphia, New York and walk out of the tunnel, I would have to be yelling at the top of my lungs for guys to hear me. And you get on the plane for the flight home and your head would be pounding, you wouldn’t have a voice, and that’s just the way that it was. There was no way you could go down there near the goal line and use hard count in an opposing stadium. And yet in Texas Stadium, teams did it all the time."
The problem, Aikman says, stems from the culture of the city.
"I think for a large part--and the fans don’t want to hear this--a lot of the people that attend sports in this town, they’re there because it’s kind of just a place to be seen," Aikman said. "I didn’t know anybody who went to Rangers games, and then when they started winning and going to World Series, everybody’s wearing Rangers hats and saying, 'Oh yeah, I’m a big Rangers fan.'
"I’ve always said Dallas isn’t so much a sports town as it is a winner’s town. And that’s not that unique. Most towns are like that. There are very few towns like Chicago where you can go out there and go 4-12 and they’re stilling selling out stadiums. That’s pretty unique. But Dallas, they pull for their winners, and as we saw in the Tampa game, when an opposing offense can get down there on the 10-yard line and they’re drawing the home team offsides, that’s different. You’re not seeing that in some of these other places."
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