Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is set to unveil his new billion dollar stadium Friday night with a national television audience via FOX in tow.
The Tennessee Titans are on the guest list as well, and while their presence is necessary for the Cowboys to actually have an opponent in the preseason game, the Titans themselves say they are more concerned with playing well and winning the game – not the monstrosity that is Dallas Cowboys Stadium, complete with retractable roof and 60-yard scoreboard over the playing field.
LenDale White says he has no problem playing spoiler in the first football game at the new stadium for America’s team.
“Just because it’s Dallas, I understand what they did 20 years ago when I was at home watching Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders and them. No disrespect to them, but when I used to watch Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek, that was then and this is now,” White said. “We’re going in there to win. I’m not in awe right now.
“I’m trying to beat some butt and trying to get a victory. I’m ain’t concerned about that stadium at all. We’re not playing the stadium. We’re going in there to play the Dallas Cowboys and get a win. Maybe after the season when we win the Super Bowl and they have an all-star game there, I can go back to sight see.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher was a little more politically correct in his assessment of his club’s mission, but in a sense feels the same way as White.
“I’m more concerned about our team right now than I am the stadium. I’ve heard they’ve done a great job there,” Fisher said. “It’s their first go-around, there may be some glitches you don’t know, it’s part of opening a new stadium. We’ve got to go out and play. We’ve got to play well and take that next step in the preseason.”
At least a couple of Titans players have already seen the stadium. Quarterback Kerry Collins attended the George Strait concert back in June that christened the new facility and came away impress.
“It’s an amazing stadium. It really is. It’s unlike any stadium I’ve ever been to,” Collins said. “The sheer size of it is really amazing. The drop-down scoreboard right in the middle of it is huge. … They say things are big in Texas, and this is big. It’s really kind of futuristic looking.”
Cornerback DeMarcus Faggins is a native of Irving, Texas, and grew up about 10 minutes from where old Texas Stadium was located. He said he drove by the new place in Arlington, Texas to get a glimpse when he was back home during the off-season.
The biggest problem for Faggins is the price tag of trying to accommodate his many friends and family who wanted tickets for the game.
“My whole family is nothing but Cowboys fans. I’ve got a bunch of people that want tickets, but with that new stadium, they’re charging a lot more,” Faggins said. “The nosebleeds there are $75 [each] and to get the tickets they wanted were $175. That’s a lot of money.”
Titans linebacker Ryan Fowler, who spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Cowboys, is one who is looking forward to seeing the new stadium. After all, Texas Stadium, he said, was a bit lacking for comforts.
“It was a dump, but they had a lot of tradition, though,” Fowler said. “There was something special about playing there, but I didn’t envy the people in the stands, though. It wasn’t a plush environment and my wife was usually one of those people.
“I’m sure the families of the players are going to appreciate the new environment, but the ticket prices are considerably higher.”
As far as the game goes, many expect the Cowboys to game plan quite a bit in order to try and make a first-game splash at the new home.
The Titans will play most of their starters for about a half before inserting backups once again.
“It’s going to be a challenge but it will be a good first-time experience for us,” Fisher said.