Technically, the sun is a star, so you’d think it would be rooting for the team with one of those on its helmets. On Sunday, though, it decidedly was not.
As the Cowboys tried to make a late fourth-quarter comeback against the Giants at AT&T Stadium, their receivers had to deal not only with defenders but also with the bright rays that streamed in through the western end of the ginormous building.
The ends of AT&T Stadium are glass and allow sunlight to pass through, and in this case, it went directly into the eyes of some Dallas receivers who were trying to catch footballs thrown at them. Tight end Jason Witten in particular seemed to have trouble with the glare, and said as much after the game.
It was such an issue that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio interview on Monday that he’d consider putting up shades or curtains for future afternoon games.
“Probably if you’re going to have curtains and shades, you’re probably gonna have them throughout the game,” Jones said. “And those are things we’ll always continue to look at as well as any new technology to add with the tinting of our glass and things of that nature. But we’ve been playing in AT&T for many years now, and for the most part it serves its purpose well, but you’re always going to have situations that come to light that you certainly will take a look at and see if you can improve upon.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wasn’t buying into the sun excuse.
“The sun’s been there for five billion years and it’ll probably be there for five billion more,” he said Monday during his own radio interview.
Still, the Giants knew it could become an issue.
“We talked about that going into the game,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We had some pictures from the past, from the 2014 game. We noticed how it shines in from the west in the second quarter and then into the third and fourth quarters. If you have a chance, you help yourself in the kicking game and offense and defense with the glare, and if you don’t, you have to learn to play through it.”
McAdoo said there is very little advantage in going into the setting sun or away from it.
“Whether you’re looking into it or it’s at your back, it’s going to impact both sides of the ball,” he said. “If you’re a quarterback and it’s in your eyes, it’s better for the receivers that way but it’s tougher to read the coverage, and vice versa.”
So did the Giants outsmart the Cowboys in their own building?
“It depends on how the coin toss goes. That really impacts everything,” McAdoo said. “You can’t control the coin toss. Some people like to think that you can, but you can’t. You have to roll with the punches after the coin toss.”