Jerry Jones’s new stadium is big and fancy, but it doesn’t necessarily give the Cowboys much of a home-field advantage.
That’s the word from Hall of Fame former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who says he doesn’t think Dallas fans are the type to loudly cheer their teams but are more the type to go to sporting events as social occasions.
“I think for a large part – and the fans don’t want to hear this – a lot of the people that attend sports in this town, they’re there because it’s kind of just a place to be seen,” Aikman said on KTCK-AM, via the Dallas Morning News.
Aikman’s comments come on the heels of a Cowboys home game against the Bears that featured thousands of fans from Chicago making the trip to Dallas to support their team, to such an extent that Bears players said it felt like a home game. Aikman says Chicago fans are different than Dallas fans.
“I’ve always said Dallas isn’t so much a sports town as it is a winner’s town,” Aikman said. “And that’s not that unique. Most towns are like that. There are very few towns like Chicago where you can go out there and go 4-12 and they’re stilling selling out stadiums. That’s pretty unique.”
Aikman added that in his playing days, the Cowboys’ NFC East rivals had better home-field advantages than the Cowboys.
“I don’t think Dallas has ever really had a great home field advantage,” Aikman said. “What I’ve heard is that, ‘Wow, they really lost home field advantage when they left Texas Stadium.’ Texas Stadium really wasn’t that different. Having played playoff games in Texas Stadium, that stadium was rocking, it was great. . . . But when we would play in Philadelphia, New York and walk out of the tunnel, I would have to be yelling at the top of my lungs for guys to hear me. And you get on the plane for the flight home and your head would be pounding, you wouldn’t have a voice, and that’s just the way that it was. There was no way you could go down there near the goal line and use hard count in an opposing stadium. And yet in Texas Stadium, teams did it all the time.”
That won’t be a popular opinion for Aiman to express in Dallas. But that doesn’t make him wrong.