Sportress of Blogitude

Dallas Cowboys send out playoff tickets because what the heck, right? (photo)


In a decision demonstrating desperation, hubris or some combination of both, the Dallas Cowboys this week mailed out playoff tickets to season ticket holders.

In an envelope containing tickets to the team’s two meaningless preseason tilts and eight regular season games, Cowboys season ticket holders likely were surprised to find a sheet of tickets to playoff games that may or not come to fruition.

The sheet featured tickets for three playoff games: A possible Wild Card game, a Divisional Round game and an NFC Championship Game, the latter being a game Dallas hasn’t played in since 1995.

While messages left for the Cowboys were reportedly not returned, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports the ticket package included a letter containing the following message.

“Included in this package are your 2014 playoff tickets and parking (if applicable) for two potential home games at AT&T Stadium. The barcodes on the tickets will be activated when a home playoff game is clinched and the tickets have been paid in full.”

“When a home playoff game is clinched”? Perhaps that should read “if a home playoff game is clinched.” Considering the Cowboys are coming off three consecutive 8-8 campaigns and haven’t reached the postseason at all since 2009, when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home 34-14 only to get spanked by the Minnesota Vikings 34-3 on the road.

Since that home 1995 NFC Championship Game, a win over the Green Bay Packers to advance to Super Bowl XXX where Dallas beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cowboys have hosted five home playoff games, a paltry total for an organization still erroneously referred to as “America’s Team.”

Rovell reports that no other team is taking the same action as the Cowboys and mailing out tickets for the postseason, but according to NFL senior vice president of club business development Brian Lafemina, the league expects teams to follow Dallas’ lead in the coming years.

“It’s operationally efficient for the teams, and it’s convenient for the fan,” Lafemina told ESPN. “There are times when teams don’t know if they are hosting a playoff game until a week before, and doing this helps eliminate some of the friction that exists among the teams and fans. This dovetails nicely with our new policy. If a fan says they will pay if a game is played, the team can now charge that fan and the ticket is already in hand.”

Even so, it seems like pretty risky business. Sure, if a team makes the postseason the decision to send out playoff tickets will look good in retrospect. But if the team does not qualify for one home playoff game, much less an appearance in an NFL Championship Game in front of the hometown fans, it will only serve as a stark and sobering reminder to season ticket holders that their beloved squad have come up short once again. And it will come only months before the team comes calling, asking them to re-up their costly season ticket package for yet another possibly disappointing season.