The Cowboys-Panthers game drew 23.3 million viewers Sunday. That was the most of any show on TV for the week of Sept. 3-9.
But the Cowboys ratings were down in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The Cowboys drew a 28.2 rating locally, according to Barry Horn, formerly of the Dallas Morning News. That was the team’s lowest number in its home market since the Cowboys produced a 25.2 in 2009 for a game against the Bucs.
Count Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as unconcerned.
“First of all, I looked back since 2009 and we’ve opened against the Giants or the Washington Redskins six of those nine times. Five of them were on Sunday Night Football,” Jones said Friday on his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan. “All of that tends to give you a pretty good bar to work up against. The other teams we were playing were San Francisco, and we did play the Jets one time in there. The answer [to the question about whether he’s concerned] is no. As you know, we led the nation as far as the NFL, and we led the nation as far as programming watched. This viewership is very interesting, especially when it comes to your Cowboys because the Cowboys are literally the number one content or the number one entity in entertainment on television as far as drawing national audience. The NFL is very unique. We do about 75 percent of our audience nationally as opposed to other sports that do their 75 percent of their audience on a local basis. And I think that is one of the big keys in the interest in the NFL, but the Cowboys are number one, relatively speaking, in television that basically has a curious dynamic, or an interesting dynamic, and that is that the lesser viewers you have, if, in fact, you dominate and are a bigger percentage of what it is being watched, then the more valuable you become. And that’s what happened over the years with the NFL, and that’s what’s happened with your Cowboys.”
The Saints (40.6), Vikings (34.5), Broncos (33.8) and Seahawks (30.5) produced bigger ratings in their home market than did the Cowboys.
Not only was it an unexciting game for Cowboys fans, as their team generated only 232 yards of total offense and trailed 16-0 until scoring with 8:51 remaining, but it wasn’t against one of their rivals. As Jones pointed out, the Cowboys have opened against the Giants or Washington six of the previous eight seasons, with the Jets and 49ers as their other opening-day opponents.
The Cowboys have little history with the Panthers, so their fans have little hate for Carolina.