When the Cowboys moved to AT&T Stadium we all knew things were about to heat up. The larger than life stadium has changed the landscape of Dallas and opened doors for world-class events, in turn gathering excitement and interest in our hometown boys. Now starting off their tenth season at AT&T we’re sharing some of the most notable events over the last ten years.
AT&T Stadium is the fourth largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity. For a standard game, there are 80,000 Dallas Cowboys tickets available but the party zones and Cowboys Suites bring the full available capacity up to 105,000 guests. The initial build was estimated to cost the city and team $650, but after twenty-six months of construction, the final bill came in at a whopping $1.15 billion. With increased costs came an additional level of luxury we’ve come to love and enjoy from Jerry World, including what was at the time of construction worlds largest high definition tv hanging from 20-yard line to 20-yard line.
Despite losing the title for largest HDTV, AT&T Stadium has been home of both record-breaking Cowboys seasons and some of the largest events to come to Texas.
Texas Sized Events at AT&T Stadium
- September 2009 – One of the first Cowboys games in the new stadium set attendance records for the league thanks to AT&T’s innovative party zones. An additional 30,000 fans cheered on in standing room only bringing the total game attendance to 105,121.
- February 2010 – The largest crowd for a basketball game was set during the 2010 NBA All-star Game with 108,713 people in attendance.
- February 2011 – Super Bowl XLV saw the Packers vs. Steelers face off amidst a rare Dallas ice storm. The weather didn’t keep away the 103,219 guests in attendance.
- June 2014 – George Strait took to the stage for the ‘final’ time alongside other country chart-toppers with an audience of 104,793 music lovers in attendance. George has since gone back on tour.
- March 2016 – When people say everything is bigger in Texas, they mean it. AT&T Stadium was host to the world’s largest toy pistol fight. Over 2,289 participants used 4,394 NERF guns during the fight.
- April 2016 – A crowd of 101,763 attendees set the attendance record for WrestleMania breaking the 1987 record by over 10,000 fans.
With the stadium itself setting records, we’d be remiss to not talk about all the amazing Cowboys highlights over the last 10 years.
1. End of the Playoff Drought
Just one year into the new playing space and the Cowboys finally picked up enough steam to end the thirteen-year playoff drought. In 2010 they hosted the Eagles during both the last regular season game and first round of the playoffs, locking in the first event back-to-back shutout games in franchise history.
2. Dez Bryant Joins the Team
After trading up for an earlier pick in the draft, the Cowboys brought home Dez Bryant in the 2010 draft to kick off a record-breaking season for the rookie. The following season Bryant caught three passes for 104 yards and one touchdown in a single game against the Giants. The run resulted in Bryant becoming the first rookie a 100+ yard game since Antonio Bryant in 2002.
3. Jason Witten’s Fast Track
Bryant wasn’t the only Cowboys superstar during the 2010 season. During week 15 versus the Redskins Witten became the fastest tight end to make 600 receptions in just 125 games. He clinched the title with a 10 catch, one-touchdown game in the match at AT&T Stadium. At the conclusion of the season, Witten was named tight end of the year by the NFL Alumni Association.
4. Bryant Closes Out His Rookie Contract with a Bang
With the end of his rookie contract on the horizon, Dez Bryant locked in a secure future in the NFL by running 88 passes for 1,320 yards and a total of 16 touchdowns during the 2014 season. This record-setting year broke Terrell Owens’ franchise record of 15 touchdown receptions and landed his second consecutive Pro-Bowl Appearance.
5. Dan Bailey Kicks for the Win
During the 2011 season, Dan Bailey tied the rookie record by securing an 18-16 win over the Washington Redskins during the sixth game in club history that a team won without scoring a single touchdown. Later in the season, he became the third rookie in the league to make six field goals in a single game and his 86.5% completion record named Bailey the best kicking season in both the franchise and league history.
6. The Worst Season of them All
Despite line up of up and comers, 2015 became the Cowboys worst season since 2015 with too many starters out injured. This rebuilding year has paved the way for two of the most successful seasons since.
7. Romo’s Retirement and the Rise of Dak Prescott
Battling through an onslaught of injuries Romo passed the QB baton to Dak Prescott after a taking a hit during the preseason. Despite joining the team as a 4th round draft pick, Prescott held a strong battle for backup and was eventually named the 2016 starting quarterback while Romo recovered. During week 6, Prescott ousted Tom Brady by breaking the record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception at to start a career and went on to end the season with a record 11 games over 100 NFL passer rating. Prescott was named NFL Rookie of the year receiving 28 of the 50 votes.
8. Throwing out the Throwback
Throwback uniforms have been a long-standing tradition for the Thanksgiving game but due to NFL regulations requiring a single helmet to be worn throughout an entire season, 2016 marked the first year that the throwback would be no more. The Cowboys have since worn their regular home regalia and will likely not return to throwbacks unless regulations are shifted.
9. Bailey Breaks Records
During the 2016 Packers game, Bailey completed three field goals recording his 23rd career game with three or more goals completed. This record is most in team history. The following season Bailey went on to complete a 28th career game and but due to an injury during week 7 of 2017 has since struggled on the field.
10. A Record Breaking Season
Led by Prescott, 2016 ended with an 11 game winning streak and the teams 23rd division championship. The full season standings, 13 to 3 is tied for best record in team history, also set in 1992 and 2007.
11. A Strong Season at AT&T
2017 marked the first season since 2002 that Tony Romo would not be on the Cowboys roster after officially retiring in April. Amidst a possible suspension, Ezekiel Elliott continued to lead the team as starting running back alongside Prescott at QB. Elliott contested the suspension but eventually lost, when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency injunction taking him off the field from week 10 through 15. The team ended the season 6-7 and did not make the playoffs but are set up for a strong start to 2018.
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