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One of our readers wants to know why Cowboys Stadium doesn't seem to offer much of the "friendly confine" feel that it should, and what can be done about it.
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On to this post's question!
Tom: Yeah. It’s called WINNING. Home field advantages in the NFL are made, not some kind of automatic thing. You don’t have student bodies that are going to come out and support the team in lean years as well as good. Memories are especially short for NFL fans. Everyone knows what a home field advantage the Seattle Seahawks have, but where was it all those years when the Seahawks were just an afterthought in a weak division? It’s the same in just about any NFL venue. Put together a few losing seasons, and the home field advantage fades away. Start winning games, the fans (even in Dallas) start getting involved, and the house gets a lot tougher for the visitor. There aren’t any special tricks here, or Jerry Jones would have it dancing in skimpy clothes already. The wins have to come first to build a real home field advantage.
Archie: The sound at Cowboys Stadium has always been an issue. I don't know if Jason Garrett and his staff can make more of a home field advantage, but the crowd did become more energized throughout the season last year when the Cowboys began to use their gigantic scoreboard more in order to motivate the crowd into becoming louder at the right times. If the Cowboys continue to feed their fans motivational and cameo appearances from the players and coaches on the scoreboard, then I believe that Cowboys Stadium will become harder to play in.
KD: Interesting note I saw the other day on Twitter:
Shocking, isn’t it? Of course I had to explain to poor Russell Baxter that I wasn't questioning his research, but was rather speaking to the fact that Cowboys fans would never believe it to be true. The Cowboys might be tied for the NFC East's best home record over the last 10 years, but is the "home viewing" fan complaining about those in-stadium anything new for us?
There's truth in what Tom says about home-field advantage being built through winning, though there are fanbases around the league that are more revered than others for being intelligent, supportive fans. I can't pretend like I didn't hear from several of my friends that traveled to JerryWorld that they spent most of the game in awe of the complex and video screen.
I will say, that when I went to two games at the old Texas Stadium in '07, those crowds were really loud, especially for the "undefeated tilt" against the Patriots. It surprised me because it was nothing like what I thought I was hearing on TV. That's when you remember how much television production comes into play; they have control over how much of the crowd noise comes through to the viewing audience, and also the "looks" we receive of the in-game crowd.
Also, it could be worse, we could need to have a video like this made for us. Or do we already?