Cowboys allowing 25 percent capacity for home opener

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Owner Jerry Jones hasn’t said exactly how many fans the Cowboys plan to have for Sunday’s home opener against the Falcons. He eluded the question again this week on his radio show, using a familiar phrase.

“We’ll just continue to play that by ear and see how that goes,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “We don’t necessarily have to do that, and we’ll announce what the attendance is at the game.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was more forthcoming in Wednesday’s news conference, three days after the team’s 20-17 loss to the Rams in a fan-less SoFi Stadium.

“I think it’ll be a lot different in AT&T Sunday because obviously we’ll have 25 percent capacity,” McCarthy said, via Jori Epstein of USA Today. “So we’ll have some live energy in the building. I’m pretty confident the music and the game operations will be a little different than it was this past week.

“I think it’s just part of the newness of this particular season and everybody’s going through it.”

AT&T Stadium lists its capacity at 80,000, but that’s with an asterisk. The stadium can and has seated “up to 100,000” and over 100,000.

The Cowboys led the league with an average home attendance of 90,929 last season.

So the Cowboys likely have a crowd of between 20,000 and 25,000 against the Falcons. Limited tickets are on sale for the game.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is among the team’s players who don’t want their families in the stands this season in the midst of a pandemic. Elliott said he made a deal with his mother, Dawn, this offseason.

“We had a tradeoff,” Elliott said Wednesday. “I told her that she couldn’t come down this year, so I finished her basement.

“Got her a nice TV and couches so she has somewhere nice to watch the games.”