Mac Engel

Nothing about the Cowboys is worth the price of face value right now

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee could miss at least two games with his latest hamstring injury.
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee could miss at least two games with his latest hamstring injury. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Here is some crushing news that will ruin your week: The Victoria’s Secret store at Jerry World has been closed, meaning there was one less reason to go to the stadium on Sunday night to watch the Cowboys steal people’s money.

I have no idea what to get my 79-year-old mother for Christmas now.

(Actually, there is no need to panic. The Cowboys will still sell your favorite Victoria’s Secret-themed merchandise at the stadium, but the actual store will be replaced by something else in a few weeks. Perhaps an adult video kiosk.)

From a football standpoint, no argument can be made that Dak, Zeke, Snake Lee or anyone else should have played against Arizona on Sunday evening. Or that they should even make the trip to Houston for the final fake game of this preseason on Thursday.

“You have to play the game at least a little,” Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said. “The only way to really get ready to play the game is to play the game. There is only so much you can do in practice. It’s not the same.”

Fine. Be that way.

Crack on Jerry Jones for a variety of factors, but he has always been acutely aware of the entertainment element to the product that is the NFL, which makes what his team did on Sunday night so offensive.

“After a preseason game is not the time, in my mind, to reference that,” Jerry Jones said after his team lost a squeaker, 27-3. “We know that we are trying to evaluate players out there. We know, in general, our fans don’t want us to take unnecessary risks. That’s what you saw tonight. It was almost comical out, relative to the turnover situation.”

Yes. The eight turnovers the Cowboys committed not only were funny, but entertaining, too.

Watching Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush play pitch and catch with Cardinals defensive backs was not exactly thrilling, even if his interceptions were caught in stride.

The only thing entertaining was watching defensive end Randy Gregory collect a first-quarter sack, and all but ensure his status as a Week 1 starter. This whole “We’re gonna take it slow with Randy” was always going to be garbage if he could play. He can play.

Other than scouts who don’t want to go home, and degenerate gamblers who don’t have a home, no one could call Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys preseason NFL action entertaining. Even Rowdy was checking his phone.

People paid a lot of money to watch the Cowboys’ “dress rehearsal” preseason game when only a few of their regulars actually played. Nearly every player of note, other than a precious few, is on ice until Week 1 of the regular season.

People paid as much as $245 to watch the Cowboys’ subs play the Cardinals’ spares. More than that, too. If it makes you feel any better, according to StubHub, seats were available at $6 per. That still feels like too much.

Of course, there is my friend, season-ticket holder Cory, who could not give away his tickets for either home preseason game. He tried. Several times. And he has good seats.

He actually found a sucker to take his tickets off his hands for the first fake game, at half face value. Then the person returned to their senses and wisely returned the tickets.

If the NFL insists on maintaining a preseason schedule of at least four games, the least the Cowboys and other teams can do is cut the price of a ticket in half. Actually, a 60 percent reduction feels right. Season-ticket holders are squeezed so much on these packages that to ask them to incur the price of two of these dull, fake games, which have zero meaning, is a tone-deaf gouge.

The NFL and its caviar commissioner are not exactly awash in good will these days, and reducing the price of a couple of trash preseason games may buy them some nice PR in the public eye.

The Atlanta Falcons wisely slashed the prices to their concession stands, and created considerable good will to their fans in the process.

Teams, and the NFL, can control the price of these tickets and concessions. What they can’t control is the demand.

Right now, at least for the Cowboys, the demand for regular-season tickets to watch our favorite blue and silver team is guarded to skeptical. Scan the secondary market for the Cowboys 2018 home games, and you will find scores of seats available at face value.

That’s atypical; normally, this is the time when there is a demand for Eagles at Cowboys, and Giants at Cowboys, et al. Now? There is curiosity, but not a demand to spend more than face value.

No one is selling this team just yet, and they certainly are not buying it.

Every Cowboys’ fan should be in the “Show me something” stage right now before committing.

And it would be nice if Jerry threw his customers a bone by slashing prices to the worst part of his product, because there is nothing entertaining about what went down on Sunday night.

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