Watch Now:
2020 NFL Schedule: Dallas Cowboys

Mike McCarthy would prefer to do away with all things fugazi. With so many obstacles already placed ahead of him in his first year as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he admittedly has more pressing matters to attend to in an offseason nearly derailed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s one thing McCarthy would rather do without. With only two weeks to go ahead of the NFL regular season kicking off, teams around the league have been prepping to have their respective club pump fake crowd noise into arenas. The Cowboys got their first real taste of it when they held their annual “scrimmage” on Sunday, and not everyone was a fan — no pun intended.

If McCarthy could have it his way, he’d rather do away with it altogether, but he understands it’s out of his hands.

“I’m not a big fan of fake crowd noise,” he confessed to reporters on Sunday. “There’s a reason for it, and we’ll be fine.”

He then explained the reason, so there’s no confusion for those who believe it’s optional.

“Well, it’s league mandated,” he said. “They’re trying to pull all the football criteria together for the regular-season games. It seems like they’re not settled on a decibel level — a level of noise — so I was kind of waiting to see exactly how loud it was going to be, [and] particularly the crowd noise that’s going to be the same in every stadium. So that’s a pretty accurate example of what to expect.”

Not all of the noise during the season will be fake, so McCarthy can at least take mental refuge in that fact. While some teams are banned from letting a single fan in their stadium, Texas governor Greg Abbott will permit the Cowboys to house up to 50 percent capacity at AT&T Stadium. Owner Jerry Jones made it clear they won’t allow that many in an arena that is accustomed to housing more than 100,000 on any given game day, but instead the team will employ a pod format that helps ensure social distancing and an environment that helps curb/prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

It’s undetermined how many fans will ultimately be permitted by the Cowboys, as Jones and the team continues to “play it by ear.” For the empty seats that do exist, maybe the fake fan noise won’t be too bad, or maybe it will; but there’s nothing McCarthy can do but grit his teeth and get through a year of unprecedented NFL quirks. 

He won’t be alone in feeling the way he feels, though. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here