Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News
Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy with fans in the stands.
Jerry Jones made headlines – and more than a couple of Cowboys die-hards angry – when he recently said he wasn’t overly concerned about attendance, TV ratings or general fan apathy because of “the show” his team regularly delivers.
As evidenced by 10 games decided by a touchdown and the late-game, last-minute drama of losses to the Packers and the win over the Redskins, no team in the NFL is quite as dramatic as Jerry’s ‘Boys. And there’s more proof that, sure enough, people are attracted to drama.
The most-watched NFL game of the regular season was Cowboys-Raiders on Thanksgiving Day, and games involving Dallas against the Broncos, Giants (Nov. 24) Packers and Eagles (Dec. 29) were among the Top 10. That’s half of the 10 highest-rated games of the season.
Folks were watching and folks were attending.
The Cowboys again easily led the NFL in attendance, with an average of 88,043 for the eight games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. That average is 8,000 more than the second-place Giants. As far as road attendance, America’s Team remains one of the NFL’s strongest draws. Dallas finished fifth in road attendance, behind only the Raiders, Eagles, Redskins and Broncos. Not coincidentally, those four teams all played to huge road crowds in, you guessed it, Arlington.
So it might be an 8-8, non-playoff show. But, according to NFL fans, it's a show that must go on.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.