IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys will honor Veterans Day and American soldiers and troops Sunday against the Browns in their Military Appreciation Game, featuring participation from all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
From static displays of an Apache Helicopter and an M1A1 Abrams Tank to a pregame skydive jump to a Medal of Honor 150th anniversary halftime show, the entire game Sunday will be dedicated to the service of the military.
Matt Coy, executive producer of event presentation, said 350 uniformed troops will be honored and in attendance. The two main events will be the Medal of Honor ceremony at halftime and the skydive jump prior to the coin toss.
The Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation, an organization supporting military, first responder and civilian burn victims, will help deliver the USAA "Military Challenge Coin" to be used during the coin-toss presentation. In honor of the jump and the group's fundraising effort, the Cowboys will present the Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation with a $5,000 grant to match donations earned during their skydive campaign.
"We'll have a veteran of every war from World War II to today that's jumping and bringing down the coin for the game to present to the referee," Coy said.
While some military members may have wanted to sky dive straight onto the field, there's simply not enough room to safely do so.
"Even with the roof open, you can't do that," Coy said. "We'll be skydiving into an empty lot and then driving down the coin onto the field and presenting the coin. Some of the military guys think they can do it, but we can't let them."
The Cowboys will recognize military veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sgt. Tobias Green as the recipient of a new, mortgage-free home courtesy of the Military Warriors Support Foundation's "Homes 4 Wounded Heroes" program with assistance from Bank of America.
Former Cowboys quarterback and Navy veteran Roger Staubach will also join the festivities. USAA teamed with Staubach to host a pregame military members reception with food and beverages in Lot 9. The first 50,000 Cowboys fans to enter the stadium will be presented with a wristband from USAA to honor the nation's flag and military.
Lot 9 will also feature static displays of the U.S. Marines, Navy and Air Force, including simulators and vehicles. Legends Way will feature the U.S. army tank and helicopter, while three U.S. Coast Guard boats and a jet ski will be presented in the East Plaza.
The halftime Medal of Honor production will begin with a video presentation and will introduce 500 troops from all five U.S. Armed Forces branches and three Medal of Honor recipients from Texas.
"With that, we have the band playing, we have a nice video courtesy of the Medal of Honor Foundation with Brian Williams that explains the history of the Medal of Honor," Coy said. "We've also got messages from around the world from troops deployed and here at home that are in bases that are big Cowboys fans that we'll play throughout the game."
The crowd will then be asked to join in singing America, The Beautiful to honor all U.S. military and veterans.
The Military Appreciation Game goes hand in hand with the NFL's history of honoring veterans and active duty members of the military during the Salute to Service campaign each November.