The League

Josh Zerkle
National Blogger

Josh Zerkle

Editor of the sports gossip and humor site With Leather

Raise the Roof


Imagine spending a million dollars. Think about how long that would take you. How stomach-churning that would feel to part with a thousand dollars--one thousand times. Jerry Jones spent a billion dollars (and more!) on Cowboys Stadium, the new digs for his Dallas Cowboys.

But after unveiling it to the pro football world last weekend, all anybody wants to talk about is that damn scoreboard. Specifically, that scoreboard hanging from center of the arena's roof and its two giant videoboards: each 73 feet high and 160 feet long, each being the largest HDTV on planet earth, and each--at 90 feet above field level-- deemed too low by a growing contingent of the NFL's coaches, management, and fans.

The height of the video board system was a glaring flaw that overshadowed the other lavish features of the building. When AJ Trapasso's punt hit the board in last weekend's exhibition game, it stole the limelight from Jones, perhaps the one NFL owner who craves it most. His brand-new technological playhouse was no longer up to code, it seemed, and Trapasso's punt was suddenly shorthand for the owner's perceived failure of design.

That's unfair, but it's also understandable; nobody wants to talk about arches and glass when you can't even get the scoreboard right. One item that still remains for discussion is whether or not the NFL will force Jones to make one more alteration to his crown jewel.

Surely, Jerry Jones is a man of principle. Jerry wouldn't move the toilet paper dispenser from one side of the handicapped stall to the other without a king-sized Texas tussle. He'll argue that the board meets the NFL's regulations--and he's right. After all, a guy that writes out checks for a million dollars every day for over a year to build such a palace, can't afford to be wrong.

But the fact is that such an obstruction for a kicking game changes the game -- dramatically. This isn't the short end of the rink at the old Boston Garden. Or the catwalk at Tropicana Field. Or even the "jet streamed" right-field fence at the new Yankee Stadium. This could affect every punt attempted in that stadium, and therefore, every offensive series in every game at the new Cowboys Stadium.

And that's why the league will step in and insist that Jones raise the roof--somewhat literally--to conform to the NFL's wishes, a position to which the league has grown quite accustomed. Jones knows that his new arena won't get its due until this scoreboard business is dead and buried, and that's why he'll comply.

By Josh Zerkle  |  August 26, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , NFL , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Turns out you were completely WRONG! Jerry won. The NFL lost. The post has been incredibly sloppy with its coverage of Jerryworld. The other day, one of your writers wrote about how Indy got it right so how dumb must the Cowboys be. Well, Indy's scoreboard is on a wall, not over the field. Of course it won't get hit. Stop trying to hate and just realize the stadium is the nicest in the country, maybe the world.

Posted by: marklea | August 28, 2009 11:52 AM

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