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News » Debut may have to wait until Week 2 A prime-time game is expected, but it won't be season's first week


Debut may have to wait until Week 2 A prime-time game is expected, but it won't be season's first week


Debut may have to wait until Week 2 A prime-time game is expected, but it won't be season's first week
DANA POINT, Calif. - The Cowboys' christening of their new $1.1 billion stadium in Arlington will probably come in the second week of the NFL season against one of their NFC East rivals.


On Monday, the NFL announced the prime-time games for the opening weekend, and the Cowboys were left out of the mix partially because the Rangers are playing at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington that Sunday (Sept. 13).

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones believes the team's home opener in the new stadium could come in prime time in the second week of the season.

"I think we'll probably have a chance there that we may have a national game since it will be the first game in the stadium and not being able to play in it the first weekend," Jones said.

The full NFL schedule will be announced in early April.

The scheduling of Cowboys' preseason and regular-season games has been more difficult this year because of the proximity of the stadiums and parking. The Cowboys will use the Rangers' lots for their games to accommodate the 80,000 or so fans.

"It's a challenge. ... It's something that's going to have to be worked around," Jones said.

The Rangers have 2:05 p.m. games scheduled on Sept. 13, Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, but Jones said the club has been working with the Rangers and the NFL "on some things," if the Cowboys have a night game in Week 2.

Moving the Rangers' game times could be a possibility, but "I don't want to get into those details until something is finalized," Jones said.

Rangers spokesman John Blake said the team is waiting for the NFL to set the schedule.

"We've known all along there was a possible conflict," Blake said. "We're not going to conflict with them head-to-head."

The NFL also announced Monday that the Cowboys will host Oakland on Thanksgiving, which will be the Raiders' first holiday visit.

While there have been discussions recently about possibly rotating the Thanksgiving Day games between teams, commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday no changes were imminent. And if there were in the future, the Cowboys would do all they could to keep the game, according to Jones.

"It's very important to us, not from a competitive standpoint," Jones said. "I think all of the facts have been put out on the table that it's not a competitive advantage. It's more Tex Schramm. ... Obviously it's something we certainly want to have every chance if anything was ever being considered differently to keep that game for our fans."

Two more draft picks: The 2008 free-agent losses of running back Julius Jones (Seattle) and cornerback Jacques Reeves (Houston) turned into gains Monday when the Cowboys were awarded two compensatory picks by the NFL.

The Cowboys added picks in the fifth round (No. 172 overall) and sixth round (No. 208), giving them 11 total for next month's draft, although they are without a first-round selection. The Cowboys now have three picks in the fifth round, two apiece in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds and one each in the second and third rounds.

The NFL awards the compensatory picks based on a formula that includes salary, playing time and postseason honors. They cannot be part of any trades.

tarcher@dallasnews.com;

bhorn@dallasnews.com



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 24, 2009

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