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Calling Ray Guy: New Cowboys Stadium Wasn’t Made For Punters

Posted on August 22, 2009 by Dean Hybl
The new video screen at Cowboys Stadium was hit by a punt during the first preseason game at the new facility.

The new video screen at Cowboys Stadium was hit by a punt during the first preseason game at the new facility.

It didn’t take long for Jerry Jones and his new Cowboys Stadium to create a buzz around the NFL. However, it wasn’t the kind of buzz that Jones could have wanted or anticipated for the $1.2 billion facility.

For the first half, everything went as scripted during the first game at the new stadium. The national television audience was treated to tours of special areas while the Cowboys and Tennessee Titans played a typical NFL preseason game.

Then, in the third quarter, things suddenly got interesting when Titans’ backup punter A.J. Trapasso bounced a punt off the giant video screen hanging above the field.

The screen, which is 60-yards long and 25-yards high, was only 90 feet above the playing field (five feet higher than the league minimum) and served as a pretty helpless target for punters. Reportedly, several balls hit the screen during warm-ups, so it is not entirely surprising that the ball would reach the screen during the game.

Longtime Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy hit the video screen above the Louisiana Superdome at the 1976 Pro Bowl.

Longtime Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy hit the video screen above the Louisiana Superdome at the 1976 Pro Bowl.

The incident immediately brought back memories of Ray Guy and his booming kick that hit the video screen in the Louisiana Superdome during the 1976 Pro Bowl. After Guy’s kick, the screen was raised from 90-feet to 200-feet above the field.

Considering that early comments from Jones seemed to downplay the need to raise the screen at all, it is doubtful that he will agree to have the screen in his new stadium raised to anywhere near 200-feet above the stadium.

However, when the games start being played for real you can bet that something will be done to ensure that video screen pinball does not become a regular part of the NFL action.

Jones has built an amazingly beautiful stadium and while he may initially be resistant, you can rest assured that he will eventually see the big picture and have the screen raised high enough that it will not be a regular factor in the game.


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