Either way you choose to interpret it, Tony Romo was complaining Sunday that some Dallas Cowboys fans had resold their seats.
Thousands of Cowboys fans did, actually, which sort of validates Owner Jones’ radio boast Tuesday morning that his team is “the hottest thing there is” on the scalped ticket market.
Jerry should know. He put most of those tickets on that second-hand market.
Clearly, the simple math of it eludes Romo. The work ambiance apparently wasn’t to his liking Sunday at AT&T Stadium, and he probably assumed a vocal minority of local malcontents had eBayed their vouchers to Houston.
“I was a little bit surprised at the number of Houston fans out there,” the quarterback said, complaining that he often had to use a silent count.
“We need to do a better job as a team — a fan base and everyone — to make sure that we understand how big a difference playing at home is. I think going forward I’m just going to push that issue a little bit.”
Great. We can’t wait to see the commercials.
Romo has to realize, one would think, that the very people he was disparaging also help to pay his $18 million average annual salary.
It was a postgame reporter’s reminder, by the way — not Romo’s — that he could always use his $108 million contract to buy some of those second-hand tickets.
Romo flashed his dimples and turned the suggestion into a joke.
“We just need to tighten up, maybe, on selling our tickets,” he said.
Right. How dare you hourly wage-earners try to recoup the personal seat license — average price $29,700 — plus the 30 years of season tickets that stadium PSL holders are required to buy.
In the event your memory is fogged over by the 4-1 start, Romo has a 29-29 record as the Cowboys starter since the 2010 season, and he’s won only one playoff game in nine seasons.
The head coach handled the ticket issue much more deftly Monday.
“One of the things we have to do as a team is we have to give our fans reason to cheer,” Jason Garrett said.
What Romo seems to miss is that he, as Mr. December, and Owner Jones, in particular, are two of the reasons why people deemed it attractive this year to unload their 2014 tickets.
But why should Romo, the highest-paid player on the team, admit that? He’s got his money, and Jones is the sugar-daddy who gave it to him.
Romo, at least, was thinking about the cheers. Jones’ obsession is with the cash register.
Ever try to buy a couple of single-game Cowboys tickets? The team never seems to have any. Before the general public can get its credit cards out, Jones, like a lot of NFL owners, has diverted those single-game tickets to secondary sellers, such as StubHub and NFL Ticket Exchange, where buyers routinely will pay a premium.
Jones profits on both ends of the sale.
The more plausible root of the nefarious Super Bowl ticket scandal of 2011, therefore, wasn’t that Jones wanted to break the big game’s attendance record, but rather that he wanted the cash from reselling those extra seats.
The Cowboys themselves have benefited from the second-hand ticket market for years. Cowboys fans annually find tickets and show their colors almost everywhere, including the home stadiums in Philadelphia, New York and Washington.
Sunday’s cheers for the Texans, therefore, was a lot like the Cowboys having to swallow their own medicine.
Homefield advantage? Jones, like Garrett, knows the answer: If you win it, they will come.
In the meantime, Romo needs to speak up — in the huddle, not on the postgame podium.