Fanless football will heavily favor teams like the Dallas Cowboys

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Limited live audiences are going to help offensive teams like the Dallas Cowboys in 2020.

In the days of COVID-19, it’s hard to project how anything is going look next week, let alone next month, when the NFL season kicks off. But given recent trends, statements made by the NFL, and the actions of individual municipalities, it’s clear the Dallas Cowboys will not be playing in front of the usual live audiences.

In a year in which we’ll just be lucky to see an NFL season be played, there isn’t much optimism surrounding the prospects of attending live sporting events. The Dallas Cowboys recently announced they will not be filling their normal season ticket orders but rather selling individual game tickets to a limited amount of their most loyal customers. Around the league we’re seeing restrictions, if not outright bans on live attendance. It’s clear no stadium is going to be even remotely close to capacity this year, and as such, the game experience is set to fundamentally change for the players on the field.

Dallas Cowboys Advantage is no Homefield Advantage

Homefield advantage may be a slightly overblown variable to game conditions, but it’s still real and can make all the difference in a league that boasts the most parity in professional sports. It’s easy to see why. Football is communicative sport. Verbal instructions are delivered from player to player on the field. When ancillary noise is too loud, the instructions get lost in the turbulence.

This disproportionately impacts offenses since offenses often make detailed calls at the line of scrimmage that can change at a moment’s notice depending on defensive tells.  Home crowds understandably quiet when their team has the ball. This allows clear communication between the quarterback and the other 10 players on the field.

When the opponent has the ball everything changes. Crowds scream incoherently. It’s not the message they’re trying to convey but rather volume that’s the ultimate goal. If you’ve been to Seattle or Kansas City you’ve experienced how powerful this can be.

Opposing offenses are forced to dumb down the message. Detailed audibles are not possible and teams are typically forced to pick between Plan A or Plan B at the line. Even then, communication is difficult and signal callers often use no verbal signals and a silent count to communicate.

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It’s clear, loud crowds heavily favor the defense and typical homefield advantage shows most in slowing opposing offense. That will be bad news for defensive minded teams and great news for offensive teams like the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys essentially doubled-down on their offense this offseason. They let key defenders leave in free agency and rather than replace those loses cleanly, they invested their resources in ramping up offense. They even hired an offensively minded coach to pair with Kellen Moore.

If the most Dallas sees is 25% capacity on the road, they’ll have no problem communicating freely on offense. They can methodically attack each down with the calm and precision they would at home.

It’s a hidden advantage to fanless football.

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Next. McCarthy has had a Zeke-caliber RB once before.... dark

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t going to face opposing fan bases like they have in the past. And that’s great news for their offense

  • Published on 08/06/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 08/06/2020 at 06:32 AM