The NFL has allowed individual teams to determine fan attendance at their stadiums which could be beneficial to the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already announced that he is going to allow a limited amount of fans at AT&T stadium. The pandemic has forced teams to make a decision based on local policy. Jones has apparently received the blessing of Texas governor Greg Abbott.
This made me look a the first half of the schedule and realize this could be an advantage for the Dallas Cowboys. Week One, the Dallas Cowboys travel to Los Angeles to help unveil SoFi stadium against the Rams. The Rams will not have any fans in attendance for their inaugural season.
As unfortunate as it is, it is to the benefit to the away team. The Cowboys would undoubtedly have an abundance of fans at the stadium but the crowd noise for the home team could have been an issue. Now that fans are not going to be present, the home field advantage disappears.
Week Three, the Dallas Cowboys travel to face the Seattle Seahawks and this is without question one of the top two loudest stadiums in the NFL. The team has already announced that the team will not have fans in attendance for the first three home games which is definitely a plus for the Cowboys.
Teams always place an emphasis on the silent count when they have to go into louder stadiums and not having to fight the crowd levels the playing field for Dallas. Fortunately, it is a break for this team that they no doubt have to capitalize on.
Weeks Seven and eight are divisional games against the Washington football team and Philadelphia Eagles. The Washington football team has already announced that they will not have fans at games this season which, interestingly, is a plus for the home team.
Washington has had to fight Cowboys fans at their home stadium for the last few years so not hearing a booing home crowd could benefit them. The Eagles are in the same boat as they also will not have fans in attendance this year. Traveling to Philly is more about what the fans say rather than the crowd noise.
It looks like the only fans Dallas will hear the first half of the season will be their own but what about the second half of the season?
The second half is a bit different but should still be beneficial. Week Nine has the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to Dallas but those fans have historically traveled well. Depending on available tickets, this could be the first time the Dallas Cowboys hear fan opposition during a game.
Week 11 is a trip to the Minnesota Vikings and this is where things get fluid. The Vikings have announced that they will not have fans for their first two home games so this is a toss-up.
Viking fans have great stadium interaction with their college-like chants and horns so this could feel like a normal away game. Fortunately, the bye-week is right before this contest so it does give the coaching staff extra time to prepare.
Week 13 is a date with Baltimore Ravens who like the Vikings have an unknown situation. It has already been revealed that they will not have fans initially but this is always subject to change. I believe that fans are critical to the Raven’s success. Baltimore has a very young team that thrives off of the enthusiasm of its fans. Dallas is also young but also very experienced.
The Cincinnati Bengals will continue the theme of the second half of the season as unknown. The Bengals will not have fans for their opener but have not said anything else beyond that. The Cowboys should still be favored entering this contest and the status of fans should have minimal effect on the outcome of this game.
The final regular-season away game is against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers will not have games at their opener but will continue to monitor their situation. This game is one that I believe will decide the road to the “Super Bowl”.
The rivalry between these two teams has been dormant for the past 25 years. I fully expect this rivalry to take center stage in the NFL once again and is my betting favorite for the NFC championship game prediction.
The NFL has always been a game about advantages. The early stages of this schedule look like a best-case scenario for this Dallas Cowboys team. The Cowboys must take advantage if they are to prove my prediction right.