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Home Field Advantage In Arlington Is Suspect

There are a lot of parallels between Cowboys Stadium and Texas Stadium, the team's former home in nearby Irving. At the time of their construction, both were considered the most majestic football venues in the country.

Three years into its life, the Arlington palace still glistens, however it is not at all comparable to its predecessor in terms of the performance of the home team.

Beginning with Texas Stadium's opening midway through the 1971 season, the Cowboys won their first nine regular season home games, and were 16-3 there through the 1973 season.

The inaugural season of Cowboys Stadium was a success, though the team lost the very first game there to the New York Giants. Dallas was 6-2 at home in 2009, then won its first playoff game since 1996, also at home.

The 2010 season was a disaster no matter where the games were played, but the Cowboys got only two of their six wins in Arlington.

Last year, the club went 5-3 at Cowboys Stadium, thanks to an easy out-of-division home schedule that included the Rams, Seahawks, Bills and Dolphins.

Straight up, the club is 13-11 in regular season games at Cowboys Stadium, good for a winning percentage of 54.16. The Cowboys' overall winning percentage in the last three years is 52.08.

Squarely within the NFL's silly season for news, attempted to compare the respective home field advantage (or lack thereof) for teams around the league over that same three-year span. Not surprisingly, the Cowboys don't rank too highly.

The 13-11 record was equaled by seven other teams, tying the Cowboys for 14th in the league. Only 11 teams had worse home records over the last three years.

Not surprisingly, New England, Green Bay and New Orleans had the best home records.

Really interesting is NFP's comparison of how the home team fared against the Las Vegas betting line in home games since 2009. If nothing else, the spread is generally a fair assessment of national expectations in every game, and this is where it appears the team has really underperformed at Cowboys Stadium.

The Cowboys are 10-14 (41.67) versus the spread at home over the last three seasons, tied with three other teams to rank 23rd in the league. Just six other teams have been worse against the betting line in home games since 2009.

The Packers' 17-6-1 home record against the spread was best in the league.

So what's the problem for the Cowboys in home games? Is it the atmosphere?

Maybe the fans aren't as raucous as they are at other parks around the league. Maybe the visiting team is more amped up to play in such a beautiful facility than the home team.

Especially when looking at their record against the spread, there's certainly reason to believe the Cowboys have been overrated the last couple years. Perhaps they haven't lived up to expectations because thos expectations were falsely inflated.

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