Eagles At Risk for Severe Competitive Disadvantage Versus Cowboys

Jerry Jones

Getty Jerry Jones

The City of Philadelphia threw another wrench into the prospects of fans attending Eagles games this season.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said he believes it’s “unlikely” that fans will be allowed to attend games at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 20 for the home opener. Worse yet, the team may not be able to host fans at any games unless the COVID-19 situation calms down. Farley’s comments echo what he and Philly’s mayor predicted back on July 14 when they suggested there would be no spectators in the stands. The city and Eagles are keeping an open dialogue on the issue.

”I do think that games can be played with the kind of safety precautions that they’re proposing. I do not think that they can have spectators at those games,” Farley said, via The Inquirer. “There’s no way for them to be safe having a crowd there.”

It’s all in the name of health and safety, of course. But it does create an intriguing dilemma for the NFL in terms of an unfair competitive advantage. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went on record earlier this week saying Dallas plans on “playing in front of our fans.”

The team later sent out a memo describing what the scene would look on gameday, including the requirement every fan wear a face covering at all times and all transactions will be cashless. Tailgating will be permitted, but cars must be parked at least one space apart.

“The Dallas Cowboys plan on playing football, and we plan on playing in front of our fans,” Jones told reporters. “I think it’s important. I think it’s important individually. I think it’s important for the country.”

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Eagles-Cowboys Play in Late December at Dallas

If the City of Philadelphia holds true to their word and restricts fans from entering the Linc, then expect a green migration to Dallas in late December. The Eagles and Cowboys play down at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 27 in what could be a pivotal Week 16 showdown. It could be the only chance Eagles fans have to see the hometown team in person so expect a ton of road trips being planned.

Remember, the Eagles-Cowboys Week 16 tilt last year decided the winner of the NFC East. The two division rivals meet for the first time on Nov. 11 (Week 8) in Philly but it’s looking less and less likely that fans will be in the stands. Tailgating? Let’s see what happens about that.

“You really don’t know what to say — as far as what we do in practice — but we thrive on the fans’ energy and their presence,” Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson remarked on not having fans in the stadium. “As far as my reaction, I’m really speechless for what to say. It’s a really weird situation for us.”

Brandon Graham tried to turn the news into a positive by promising everyone you’ll be hearing a healthy and entertaining amount of trash talk.

“We are going to try to make the best of it,” Graham said. “I don’t know all the plans, but I know in the beginning for sure there are no fans, and you know I just think you’re going to hear a lot of the stuff you don’t normally hear.”

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