The video boards at the new Cowboys Stadium were the center of attention at the building’s first football game, and that wasn’t always a good thing.
While fans were in awe of the world’s largest high-definition screens — roughly 60 yards wide, 25 yards high and as clear as any 52-incher — punters for the Tennessee Titans used it for target practice before and during the preseason home opener Friday and had little trouble hitting it.
Tennessee backup A.J. Trapasso conked it during the third quarter, forcing a do-over once the officials realized what happened. Then Trapasso nearly hit it again, prompting questions about whether the team needs to make the first major change to its $1.15 billion building.
“It is an issue,” said Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, who happens to be the co-chair of the NFL’s competition committee, a group that could force the Cowboys to take action if they don’t do it on their own. “Something has to get worked out.”
The league is already on the case.
“We are aware of it and will continue to monitor it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Saturday.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones helped set the height at 90 feet above the field — 5 feet above the league minimum — even though tests using the team’s punter, Mat McBriar, showed he could clear 100 feet. The reasoning behind cutting it close was that during the tests, McBriar was trying to boot it that high, but a regular punt has a lower arc and is usually kicked toward a sideline, not right down the middle.
“I’m not worried about it,” Jones said. “I’m very comfortable that our height on our scoreboard is OK.”
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid is preparing to open the regular season without injured two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Shawn Andrews. ... Michael Vick will make his Eagles debut Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars if all goes well over the next three days of practice. ... Cowboys rookie linebacker Brandon Williams has a torn knee ligament and is likely headed for season-ending surgery. ... Plaxico Burress’ lawyer says a prison consultant is preparing the former Super Bowl star for life behind bars. ... Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got the night off after injuring his Achilles’ tendon in practice this week. ... Miami Dolphins defensive backs Sean Smith and Jason Allen were scratched from the team’s exhibition game against Carolina after coming down with flu-like symptoms and undergoing tests. ... New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and left tackle Jammal Brown did not dress for Saturday’s game against the Houston Texans because of injuries.