*WHAT: Houston Texans (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m. (CDT)
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas *
TELEVISION: CBS 11 Dallas-Fort Worth area
The Cowboys have implemented a few noticeable changes to their in-game experience this year. The biggest is obviously the name change itself in AT&T Stadium. The playing surface is also new with a recently-installed new synthetic field turf.
One of the bigger changes for fans all across stadiums this year is the NFL's new bag policy (/bags/)
Only hand-held purses will be allowed into the stadium, along with clear plastic tote bags that do not exceed 12"x6"x12" inches.
Items such as backpacks, coolers, large purses, camera bags, diaper bags, fanny packs and seat cushions are not allowed into the stadium under the new NFL safety rules.
… Looking For 20
All season long, Cowboys fans attending home games will be hoping for at least 20 points. This year, Papa John's has partnered with the Cowboys for the ultimate fan promotion. Any game in which the Cowboys get at least 20 points, all fans in attendance will get 50 percent off their entire order the following day at papajohns.com with promo code COWBOYS20. Offer valid for regular-priced menu items and only at participating stores.
When To Get There?
Fans can get to AT&T Stadium as early as five hours before the game with various events beginning before the 7 p.m. kickoff.
2 p.m. – Parking lots open
4 p.m. – Plazas open
5 p.m. – doors open for AT&T Stadium
7 p.m. – Kickoff
The Cowboys and the City of Arlington have coordinated the flow of traffic to make travel as seamless as possible for fans traveling to AT&T Stadium for Thursday's game with the Texans.
While there are no major changes to the roadways, fans should allow additional travel time to AT&T Stadium due to increased traffic in the Entertainment District. Fans should use the AT&T Stadium parking and traffic site: www.dallascowboysmaps.com and print their directions for arrival and departure. Following the conclusion of the game, the East bound HOV lane on I-30 will be open for traffic returning to the central Dallas area.
Party On the Plazas
More than just the Cowboys-Texans game on the field, there is plenty of entertainment for the fans before, during and after the game.
- Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – will split into two groups and each perform in the East & West Plazas at 5:55 p.m.
- Rhythm & Blues Dance Team, Rhythm & Blues Drum Line and Rhythm & Blues Break Boys will each perform on both East & West plaza before the game.
- In the Kids Zone,games and activities such as a rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull, face painting, balloon animals, trampolines and Play 60 Games are featured.
- The stages of both plazas include giveaways such as official game-used merchandise, CD's and Fatheads for games like Ladder Golf, Bag Toss, Dance Contests and Karaoke.
- East Plaza Food & Beverage discounts include: $5 Miller Lites during the first hour, $2 12 oz. bottled water, $3 12 oz. beer, $3 hot dogs, $4 hamburgers.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will do their normal routine approximately 20 minutes before kickoffs.
The national anthem will be performed by Celena Rae – an American Idol finalist and host of West Plaza stage.
At halftime, four DFW youth football teams will square off in two games.
About The Game
- Thursday's game features the return of former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, who is now the defensive coordinator in Houston. Phillips coached the Cowboys from 2007-10, guiding the team to a 13-3 record in his first season, along with an 11-5 finish in 2009 that included the club's first playoff win since 1996.
- For the first time, Wade Phillips will be on the opposite sideline as his son, Wes, the Cowboys' current tight ends coach. Wes Phillips joined his father's staff in 2007 as a quality control coach. Wes has been an offensive assistant, assistant offensive line coach before becoming a full-time position coach this year.
- The Cowboys and Texans are tied 3-3 in preseason contests.
- The preseason finale is typically the game in which most of the starters, if not all of them, will be held out for precautionary reasons. In fact, key backups such as Kyle Orton, Orlando Scandrick and Sean Lissemore will likely play a series or two, if at all.
- The Cowboys currently has 75 players on the roster and must trim it down to 53 by Saturday's NFL roster deadline of 5 p.m.