The Cowboys will begin the season in Los Angeles, opening SoFi Stadium against the Rams sans fans. They will return home for a game against the Falcons on Sept. 20 with fans in the stands.
They are one of the few teams expected to open their home schedule with a limited capacity.
Unlike baseball, the NFL is not taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Bills coach Sean McDermott have taken issue with the lack of uniformity, with Zimmer calling it a “competitive disadvantage” and McDermott referring to it as “ridiculous.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sees it differently.
“Absolutely [it’s fair],” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday. “The benefit of crowds are important to sports. On the other hand, is it possible to have great games without it? You saw one the other night in basketball. But it’s fair. We’ve made up our minds that this thing isn’t going to be one way or the other, surely, about evening up everything that could be competitive. You’ve got to have to adapt to the virus. Attendance being one of them. And to the end that we can get fans enjoying these games with the experience similar to the thing they’ve become accustomed [to] is a big step in the right direction.”
Jones plans to have fans for every 2020 home game. The team, though, has not announced what percentage of tickets to AT&T Stadium it will try to sell.
The latest directive from Gov. Greg Abbott limits occupancy to no more than 50 percent of a stadium’s capacity.
“We’re excited about it. He’s excited about,” Jones said of Gov. Abbott’s OK. “I’m excited that he’s excited about it. We all know the importance of leading the way. Certainly, we’ve got the ability to lead the way to a more normal type of activity throughout it, whether it be economic or it be social. This is a great opportunity to do that in a very safe way. We’re very unique in our stadium relative to just space. As I said the other day, we’re going to really take advantage of it.”
The state’s biggest college teams, Texas A&M and the University of Texas, both have stadiums that seat in excess of 100,000. Both will start at 25 percent capacity.
The Cowboys have led the league in attendance since the stadium opened in 2009. Last season, the Cowboys averaged 90,929 for their eight regular-season home games.