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Cowboys' Monstrous Video Board To Remain In Place

NFL News - August 28th, 2009 - Written by Jimmy

The controversy around Jerry Jones' huge video board, in the new Cowboys Stadium, won't be dying down anytime soon. When Jones decided to construct this $1.2 billion Taj Mahal of football, he never would have guessed his video board would be the cause of controversy. Currently, the video board hangs about 90 feet above the field, and is in the line of fire for NFL caliber punters.

Since the beginning of this controversy, Jones has been adamantly opposed to raising his video board. Jones maintains that the scoreboard will not be in the way if punters aren't trying to hit it. "How high is high if somebody just wants to sit there and kick the ball straight up?" says Jones to the Dallas Morning News.

The subject of the height of the Cowboys' video board has raised much discussion around the NFL. Every one from NFL head coaches to league officials have commented on the board, and the height at which it hangs. Mike Pereira, league director of officiating, spoke with the Los Angeles Times, last Sunday. Pereira says "It's something we're going to have to look at in the next week. We need to see if there's anything further we can do to make sure there's equity involved if it happens again."

Since then, the NFL has examined the situation and has deemed that the "Do Over" rule will be in effect, should a ball come in contact with the video board. Should a ball contact the board, the play will be whistled dead, and the down and distance will be reset.

So, that leaves the question, how will officials determine if a ball hits the board, if none of the officials watch the ball in flight? The NFL has answered. The replay official assigned to the game will be in charge of watching the ball flight. Should a ball hit the board, and the officials do not notice it, the replay official can signal down to the field, an indicate that the down will need to be replayed. Should the replay official miss the play, head coaches will have the ability to challenge whether or not the ball hit the video board. Of course, this challenge can only come outside of the last two minutes of each half.

It would seem as though the simplest solution would be to raise the board, but owner Jerry Jones is staunch on this issue. It isn't as if the board can't be raised. U2 is scheduled to perform in the new Cowboys' stadium in October. For the concert, the board is scheduled to be raised to accommodate the stage.

Sources indicate that this situation, and the subsequent rule will be reviewed following the conclusion of the 2009 NFL regular season. The NFL must come to a conclusion on this issue before Super Bowl XLV is held in Dallas, to conclude the 2010 NFL regular season.

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