Dallas Cowboys fans want to be in the seats but how do empty stadiums help the team?
With Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy returning back to team facilities this past Friday, there is finally some normal again in the Cowboys facilities. Still, due to health concerns, there are no guarantees of what the number of fans in the seats of stadiums around America will be the opening weekend. A date on the calendar which is now less than 100 days away.
This is not an article about what the NFL should do or not do. It also doesn’t matter what any fan thinks of the situation, the NFL will do what is best for the teams and their players. With that said, let’s imagine a hypothetical where there are no fans or limited fans the first half of the season, it actually works in the Cowboys favor when it comes to crowd noise.
America’s Team opens the season with the grand NFL opening of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The new home of the Los Angeles Rams. It would traditionally be a raucous occasion, but an empty stadium would most likely work to even the playing field. An interesting note to consider, since 2000, the home team is 8-8 when opening up their new stadium.
Dallas faces six non-playoff teams from 2019 their first seven games to open the season. It is impossible to predict how teams will play without crowd noise, but an even playing field helps to ensure that a home-field advantage doesn’t sway the odds. Putting, in theory, more importance on the talent on the field.
Dallas Cowboys going into Seattle without facing the full ’12th man’
The major game that would traditionally be a very scary thought is a Week Three trip to Seattle, to face the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks the past six seasons at home are 33-15 during the regular season, it is not an easy place to win due to crowd noise on top of usually talented rosters.
An even playing field might help the Cowboys out early on, something that needs to be considered with the probable weirdness this 2020 NFL season could contain. Dallas is 6-10 on the road the past two seasons, 1-6 versus eventual playoff teams in their home stadium. An even playing field in Los Angeles and Seattle might not be the worst break for the Cowboys.
A lot might change moving towards the season, Friday was a step towards normal with the return of coaches to team facilities. A hypothetical with empty stadiums could create new dynamics never thought of. Again, it is impossible to predict but something interesting to think about if zero decibels are the new normal in stadiums which were just rattling with noise last season.
The NFL still has a lot of decisions to make and McCarthy returning to the team facilities Friday was a step forward. It would be naive to make predictions this early on though for how the season will play out. It is a curious thought thinking about empty stadiums though and how that might affect America’s Team. Favorable in my opinion.