Troy Aikman: Dallas not a sports town
Saying what everybody knows to be true. Still amusing, though.
[size=20:d5f904ac20][b:d5f904ac20]Troy Aikman: Cowboys rarely had loud home crowds; a lot of Dallas fans go 'to be seen' [/b:d5f904ac20][/size:d5f904ac20]
It was a strange sound for Cowboys fans to hear -- Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler hit receiver Brandon Marshall for a 31-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter of their Monday Night Football match up with Dallas, and large parts of Cowboys Stadium erupted in cheers.
That's because the stadium where the Cowboys play their home games was littered with Bears fans who outscreamed the home supporters much of the night. Marshall even went so far as to say it "felt like a home game" on Twitter.
But the scene (and the sounds) during the game didn't surprise former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who said quiet home crowds were commonplace during his tenure with the team.
"I donít think Dallas has ever really had a great home field advantage," Aikman said last week during an interview on KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket. "What Iíve heard is that, 'Wow, they really lost home field advantage when they left Texas Stadium.' Texas Stadium really wasnít that different. Having played playoff games in Texas Stadium, that stadium was rocking, it was great. ... But when we would play in Philadelphia, New York and walk out of the tunnel, I would have to be yelling at the top of my lungs for guys to hear me. And you get on the plane for the flight home and your head would be pounding, you wouldnít have a voice, and thatís just the way that it was. There was no way you could go down there near the goal line and use hard count in an opposing stadium. And yet in Texas Stadium, teams did it all the time."
Aikman would know. The Hall of Famer played 85 regular season games and eight playoff contests in Texas Stadium during his time with the Cowboys, and while he was much better at home (56-29) than on the road (38-42) throughout his career, that could speak to the difficulty of playing in inhospitable away venues as much as anything.
So what's the reason for the Cowboys' quiet crowds? Aikman says it's simply the culture of Dallas sports fans.
"I think for a large part Ė and the fans donít want to hear this Ė a lot of the people that attend sports in this town, theyíre there because itís kind of just a place to be seen," Aikman said. "I didnít know anybody who went to Rangers games, and then when they started winning and going to World Series, everybodyís wearing Rangers hats and saying, 'Oh yeah, Iím a big Rangers fan.'
"Iíve always said Dallas isnít so much a sports town as it is a winnerís town. And thatís not that unique. Most towns are like that. There are very few towns like Chicago where you can go out there and go 4-12 and theyíre stilling selling out stadiums. Thatís pretty unique. But Dallas, they pull for their winners, and as we saw in the Tampa game, when an opposing offense can get down there on the 10-yard line and theyíre drawing the home team offsides, thatís different. Youíre not seeing that in some of these other places."