In Friday's preseason game, Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso hit the giant 160-foot long screen with a punt. The scoreboard is 90 feet above the playing surface. Everyone would expect that the Cowboys would just simply raise the board, and this Fort Worth Star Telegram article offered a little hope:
Crews were working on the giant HD screen at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday, and tour guides told paying customers the crane in the middle of the field had to do with raising the video board.
However, a Cowboys spokesman denied that it had anything to do with raising the video board and said they were working on "construction".
Daniels said the height of the board above the field would not be altered before the Cowboys’ first two regular-season home games on Sept. 20 and Sept. 28.
This news is a bit worrisome as there are quite a few college football games of great significance being played in this stadium for this season:
- September 5th: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Brigham Young Cougars
- October 3rd: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
- November 28th: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears
- Big 12 Conference Championship Game
Jerry Jones doesn't seem particularly concerned about the news either:
"I’m not worried about it," Jones said after the Cowboys’ 30-10 victory. "…The real world is if you look at the thousands of punts in the NFL, and the trajectory of the punts, where they are on the field, and where they’re going, and the fact they like to kick to the sidelines, you don’t have any issue with this board."
Even more alarming is that the Titans punters managed to hit the board several times during pre-game warmups. In other words, this wasn't just a one shot deal. In the NFL, a rule exists that a down is replayed if a ball hits the scoreboard, but does such a rule exist in the NCAA? And what if the officials don't notice it? In the preseason game, the officials didn't notice the ball hitting the scoreboard - it was determined on review because Jeff Fisher smartly challenged the play. Officials simply don't follow the trajectory of the ball.
We shall see how it all plays out, but for now, the punters will have to watch out in the first meaningful football game played at the stadium (OU vs. BYU). On top of all of that, if I were a punt returner, I would think the board would be kind of distracting.
Oh well, it should make in game replays for the fans pretty awesome, right?