NFL Heightens Look Into Dallas Screen
When a punt during the first game played at the luxurious, $1.25 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Friday hit the gigantic four-sided video board hanging 90 feet above the field, eyebrows were raised and league action was initiated.
After all, no matter how majestic the screens are, if they interfere with rather than enhance the actual product, problems arise. "We're in the process of reviewing the situation," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday. "Our goal is to get something (resolved) in a few days or so."
During the game, play was stopped after Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso's kick hit one of the hanging video boards. Titans coach Jeff Fisher, chief of the NFL competition committee, threw the red challenge flag, and the down was replayed.
"I shouldn't have to throw a flag out there because (the officials) didn't see the ball hit the scoreboard," he told news reporters. "Something has to get worked out."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insists his hanging video boards will be exonerated: "I'm very comfortable that our height on our scoreboard is OK."
So is Cowboys punter Mat McBriar. "Our game plan is to kick to the sidelines. So it's not in my mind," McBriar told the Associated Press on Monday, saying he could hit the scoreboard 50% of the time if he tried. "I know it's there. But it's not something that catches my eye as much as guys who are kicking straight down the field."
Even so, Indianapolis Colts team President Bill Polian said his team had considered the large screens for its new stadium last season but passed.
"We put a metal beam about 90 feet above the ground and had our punter at the time, Hunter Smith, punt the ball up there trying to hit it," Polian told Sports Illustrated. "He hit it the majority of the time. That's why we put our replay boards on the wall."