Pods, prepackaged food and an open roof: The game day experience at AT&T Stadium ‘will be a little bit different’ - David Moore, DMN
Fans will return to AT&T Stadium on Sunday, but things will be different.
Pods. Fans will be seated in pods within sections. That fluctuates the attendance total.
Example: the more pods of eight, 10 or 12 people that sit together, the more the Cowboys can accommodate. Single tickets or a pair of tickets that constitute a pod decrease that number.
Suites are also in play. Since all suites are enclosed at AT&T Stadium they are viewed as separate lease agreements, much like an apartment. Suite owners are allowed to fill every seat in their box with no social distancing, but they can’t have standing room like they normally would.
No standing room tickets in the stadium, either.
The Cowboys aren’t just selling a return to live sports against the Falcons. They have to sell safety.
Cleaning crews have been discreet in how they go about their work during games in the past. Not anymore.
Teams of disinfection specialists will be apparent throughout the stadium. This is not about cleaning up mustard on a serving station or beer spilled on the floor. These groups will constantly clean surfaces over the course of the game.
The Cowboys suffered serious injuries to two of their starters, as well as their top swing tackle, in the season opener on Sunday night. On Tuesday, all three of those players officially moved to the injured reserve, with Leighton Vander Esch to miss a significant amount of time, and Blake Jarwin to miss the season.
Injuries sustained in the season opener led the Cowboys to make a series of changes to their roster on Tuesday.
Jarwin tore his ACL against the Rams and will miss the rest of the season. Vander Esch is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks after breaking his collarbone and Erving suffered a sprained MCL. He’ll have to miss at least three weeks before he’s eligible to return.
With three players being added to the injured reserve, that means there are three roster spots to fill this week. The most notable move was Brandon Carr, who was a practice squad player last week that was activated for the game, being signed to the active roster.
Defensive back Brandon Carr has been signed from the practice squad. The Cowboys also signed offensive tackle Alex Light off the Cardinals’ practice squad and linebacker Rashad Smith off the Bears’ practice squad.
Light and Smith will add depth at offensive tackle and linebacker, respectively, with Erving reportedly dealing with a sprained knee and Vander Esch set for surgery to repair a collarbone fracture that could sideline him 6-8 weeks. The minimum time required on Reserve/Injured is three weeks. Jarwin is expected to miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury requiring surgery.
Light started his career in Green Bay under Mike McCarthy in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in 16 games with the Packers from 2018-19 (no starts). Smith signed with the Bears as a rookie free agent after the draft.
Carr was signed to the Cowboys’ roster temporarily last Saturday to give the Cowboys an extra player on the Active/Inactive list for Week 1. He was active but did not play, and immediately moved back to the practice squad, per NFL rules.
Leighton Vander Esch had an impressive rookie season but is now set to miss yet another significant portion of the season due to neck injuries for the second year in a row. Despite his obvious talent, Vander Esch’s inability to stay healthy is already drawing the wrong kind of comparisons to Sean Lee.
Drafted 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, Vander Esch posted a stellar first season for the Cowboys. Recording 140 combined tackles, seven pass defends, and two interceptions as a rookie, the young Wolf Hunter’s performance got him his first of hopefully many Pro Bowl bids.
Unfortunately, Vander Esch had his sophomore season in Dallas cut short due to a neck injury. This was especially worrisome since there were early concerns surrounding a potential cervical issue prior to the draft.
After undergoing neck surgery in January, Vander Esch declared himself as healthy as ever. Yet, during his regular-season debut against the Rams on Sunday, the 24-year old suffered a collarbone injury that is projected to have him sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks.
It’s an auspicious start to Vander Esch’s career. And one that’s beginning to look all too familiar to Cowboys’ fans. But according to Dallas owner and general manager Jerry Jones, he believes the third-year linebacker’s early injury struggles are more about bad luck than being injury prone.
The Cowboys spent the offseason acquiring several big-name pass rushers in the attempt to take some focus off of DeMarcus Lawrence and free him up for more one-on-one matchups. But Lawrence’s sackless performance in Week 1 has some questioning his skills again.
The offseason conversation focused on the lack of complementary rushers around Demarcus Lawrence but the Cowboys’ top rusher was essentially a no show against the Rams. The veteran finished the game with one tackle and one pass defensed. That’s not exactly the production expected from one of the best, young pass rushers in the game.
Against the Rams, it wasn’t just the lack of production that was a problem. Jared Goff was getting the ball out of his hands quickly on an assortment of screens and quick passes designed to get the ball into the hands of the Rams’ receivers on the perimeter while also forcing the defense to run from sideline to sideline chasing the ball. With the quick game limiting the number of pass-rush opportunities available to Lawrence, the veteran needed to be more active at the line of scrimmage with his hands to tip or deflect more balls thrown in his direction.
In addition, Lawrence needs to turn, run, and chase the ball on screens and quicks to minimize the YAC yards available on those throws. No.90’s effort and energy waned over the course of the game.
Jerry Jones responds to Cowboys DT Dontari Poe kneeling during national anthem - Jason Owens, Yahoo Sports
Dontari Poe became the first Cowboys player to take a knee during the national anthem on Sunday night. Jerry Jones, who in previous years had a strict policy on anthem conduct, commented on it on Tuesday.
Jones, who famously vowed in 2018 that Cowboys players would always stand for the anthem with a “toe on the line”, did not criticize Poe while making his weekly radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
“I thought our players, I thought they gave it sensitivity,” Jones said when asked about his team’s response to Poe. “They showed respect to Poe’s decision. I think they certainly did ... show a sensitivity to our fans as a team team. ... All in all, I thought our team was very real and very genuine in the way it approached it.”
Jones did not endorse nor condemn Poe’s decision and moved on to another topic when no follow-up question was asked.
The Cowboys nearly had a shot at winning the game in the final minute against the Rams, but a highly questionable offensive pass interference call dashed those hopes. Mike McCarthy was far from satisfied with the call by the officials.
Even though referee Tony Corrente said it was “clear and obvious on the field,” on TV and in the film room, the call that essentially ended the Cowboys’ comeback chance looked questionable.
“It made me sick when I watched the TV copy,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, via Jon Machota of The Athletic.com. “I thought Michael ran an excellent route. The DB attempted to clamp his arm, (Gallup) pulls his arm out and makes a catch.
“So, it’s definitely a call you’d like to see not happen, and I know everybody wants to talk about the time of the game and the way the game was called to that point. But at the end of the day, it was an excellent route and throw and completion by Michael Gallup from Dak.”
CeeDee Lamb’s first Dallas Cowboys game showed promise and one glaring error - Stefan Stevenson, Star Telegram
The hype has been growing around CeeDee Lamb almost every single day since the moment he was drafted, and in his NFL debut Lamb showed that the hype was justified. However, Lamb’s one mistake proved to be crucial.
But Lamb’s first game in the league will most likely be remember for a play he did not make at a crucial moment.
On 4th and 3 early in the fourth quarter the Cowboys went for it from the Los Angeles Rams’ 11. Dak Prescott connected with Lamb over the middle but Lamb’s route was a yard short and he was tackled immediately. The Rams took over and held on for a 20-17 win.
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