Much has been made about declining ratings and waning interest in the NFL this season.
Conflicting theories as to why range from players kneeling for the national anthem to a subpar on-field product to too many commercial breaks on TV.
Whatever the real reason, it appears to have infected the in-game attendance for the Dallas Cowboys’ Thursday night game with their heated rivals from Washington.
Several reporters tweeted photos from the press box at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, noting several empty seats for the prime-time matchup.
Like this pregame photo, from Jon Machota of the Dallas News:
A lot of empty seats in the building tonight pic.twitter.com/UBcnzOPSlM
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 1, 2017
Or this one, taken after kickoff by Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams:
And this wide photo, shared by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, showing a sea of empty seats in the upper decks:
Better picture of seats open in Dallas for the opening possession tonight. pic.twitter.com/OLVkAYrM4r
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 1, 2017
While much of the talk over waning interest in the NFL is biased and politically charged, here’s guessing the answer to Thursday’s attendance issue has a simple answer.
The Cowboys failed to score in double digits for three consecutive games since Ezekiel Elliott got suspended, and fans got tired of making the drive to Arlington to watch bad football.