Playoff football at Cowboys Stadium -- at last!

Posted Friday, Apr. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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What was that you said -- when will we get some exciting playoff football at Cowboys Stadium?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might not seem inclined to oblige, what with dealing away his team's first-round draft pick until 30 other teams had gone ahead.

Fear not, though. Cowboys Stadium got the nod to host college football's new national championship, to be played Jan. 12, 2015.

Plenty of folks already consider the elite level of college ball a professional business anyway, just without overt payment of players. But let's save that moral and philosophical debate for another time. Maybe right after the exploration of "What was Jerry thinking!"

For now, let's woo-hoo wildly for the opportunities that Arlington, Tarrant County and, really, all of North Texas have to benefit from with a premier sporting event, with thousands of hungry, thirsty visitors needing hotel rooms and carrying spending money.

Switching from polls and computers to a playoff format for picking a national champion among the biggest guys was a struggle in progress for longer even than the Cowboys' struggle for regular-season success. (Sorry, some things just beg for comparison.)

Arlington beat out Tampa, Fla., for the first one.

The championship game is scheduled for nine months after Cowboys Stadium hosts college sports' other extravaganza, the NCAA Men's Final Four basketball tournament. The stadium also will be the site of the Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 21, 2014. The Cotton Bowl will become one of the six games that rotate as a semifinal leading to the championship.

The region already has done dress rehearsals of sorts for college football fans from some of the most fanatical -- OK, devoted -- parts of the country.

Last September, Alabama (national champion now two years running) smoked Michigan at its season-opening game at Cowboys Stadium before a crowd of more than 90,000.

According to published reports, it's estimated that Super Bowl XLV in 2011 brought $7.7 million to North Texas through city and county taxes. And that was with an ice storm and frigid temperatures.

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, who played in that Super Bowl, travel well. But better than, say, Alabama and Notre Dame?

Tarrant County can't wait to find out.

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