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Home Field Advantage

Everyone always wonders if there really is an advantage to playing at home in the NFL. So, is there? I guess it depends on who you ask?

If you ask the 2009 Dallas Cowboys, playing at home makes all the difference. The Cowboys went 6-2 in the regular season at home and the two losses were games that could have gone their way. The games against the Giants and Chargers were only 3 and 2 point losses respectively. But the best example of home field advantage undoubtedly came at the end of the season against the Eagles and Vikings. When the ‘Boys needed a win to get secure a playoff spot and the NFC East crown, they won back to back games at home against Philly. But they could not deliver on the road in the playoffs.

In 2010, the Cowboys will host their division’s usual suspects along with Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Tennessee and New Orleans. Now I know what you’re thinking, if they can go 6-2 at home again they’ll be in good shape. But this year 1 loss at home, say to the Saints, could be the difference between playing here or in the Super Dome in January. Last year the Cowboys were in good shape until it came time to pack up for Minnesota. We all remember how the season ended, it was not pretty.

When you put it all in perspective, home field advantage is the eye of the beholder. Just ask the Eagles, who lost in Dallas 2 weeks in a row. Or ask the Cowboys who lost on the road to the Vikings to end last season. But, the best example of home field advantage last year is the Saints. They won at home when it mattered, all the way to the big show. In the end playing at home, makes a lot of difference.

This season however, playing at home will take a new meaning for the Dallas Cowboys. In case you haven’t heard, Super Bowl XLV will be played here in North Texas at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. It is expected to be the biggest, single event in Metroplex history. So, if the Cowboys play their cards right, we could see history being made. You see, no team has ever played at home in a Super bowl. So, who better than America’s team to change that? It’s not an easy feat, but with the talent and expectations for Dallas this year don’t be surprised to see this become reality. Cowboys Stadium is the greatest sports venue in the world and it just so happens to be home to the ‘Boys. So, what a better way for Dallas to celebrate a Super Bowl win than to do it at home, in the house that Jerry Built.

Jose Peralta

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