The Dallas Cowboys beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-18 on Saturday in a preseason game, but the Cowboys video board at AT&T Stadium helped the Bengals
make it a closer game.
With a little less than four minutes left in the first quarter, a punt by the Cowboys' Chris Jones sailed high and ricocheted off the bottom of the stadium's huge video scoreboard, which hangs over the field, reported USA Today
. Referees told the Cowboys to punt over since the scoreboard is considered not in the field of play.
On the second try, Jones missed the video board, but the lower trajectory did not give the Cowboys return team enough time to cover the punt and Cincinnati return man Brandon Tate took advantage, returning the kick 75 yards for the game's first score.
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"I got every piece of the ball and it ended up hitting the scoreboard," Jones told the Dallas Morning News
, adding that he did hit the board "six or seven times" in warm-ups.
According to the newspaper, out of 284 regular season punts, none have hit the video board. The last time the video board was hit during an exhibition was in August 2009, when Tennessee’s A.J. Trapasso banged a football off the video board during a punt.
At the time it was created in 2009, the video board was the world's largest at 72-feet high and 160-feet wide, covering 11,520 square feet per side, according to the Dallas Cowboys website
. The board, produced by Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision, takes up the space of 4,920 52-inch flat panel televisions.
But the video board is no longer the largest in the NFL, as the Cowboys were overtaken by in-state rival in Houston when the Texans installed a 277-foot wide video board in Reliant Stadium at a cost of $16.5 million, according to the Houston Press
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"That price tag comes out of the stadium repair and replacement fund, which is derived from hotel, motel and rental car taxes," said Jeff Balke in his Houston Press story. "So, every time you rent a car or stay in a local hotel, you're helping to pay for the world's largest flat screen. Lucky you."
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