ARLINGTON, Texas -- Now that Chris Jones has hit the center-hung digital board at AT&T Stadium with a punt, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has a plan in place.
“Lowering it,” Jerry Jones joked. “Probably too high.”
The Cowboys paid the biggest price for Jones hitting the board because Brandon Tate took back the re-kick 75 yards for a touchdown. The officials needed replay to change the call on the field.
Chris Jones became the second punter to hit the board. On Aug. 21, 2009, the first game at the stadium, Tennessee’s A.J. Trapasso hit the Mitsubishi Electric sign that hung below the board. The NFL instituted a re-kick immediately, and coaches immediately feared the coverage unit would be tired from covering the first punt.
Tate was barely touched on his return.
“We didn’t get in our lanes and didn’t make the plays when we were there,” coach Jason Garrett said.
Jones said he was told after the game of his historic -- perhaps -- punt but he did not change how he approached the rest of his punts that night.
“It’s not a mindset that I have to adjust to be like, ‘OK, I’ve got to kick a liner. I’ve got to kick it lower or not as hard or any of that stuff,’” Jones said. “I just go and try and hit the same ball every time. I got every piece of that ball and it ended up hitting the scoreboard ... I had a good ball on the next one I think I had 4.89 or 4.9 hang time, which is pretty good.”
There have been 284 regular-season punts at AT&T Stadium without a punt hitting the digital board.