IRVING, Texas – The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a difficult place to play, even if the New Orleans Saints have lost six straight games there.
It will be loud, especially early with the Saints fans feeding off the expected return of Drew Brees and the desperation for a win after a 0-3 start.
To combat the noise, the Dallas Cowboys are working with loud music at practice, but that’s something they do every week.
“It’s hard to simulate it,” Brandon Weeden said. “From what I hear it gets pretty loud there. Just got to rely on the assignment, rely on the communication and got to be on point with the communication. That’s first and foremost. And if you’re changing plays, whatever it may be, you better be clear.”
Coach Jason Garrett said the challenge for Weeden is no different if Tony Romo was available. To alleviate possible issues, quarterbacks will often call the play in the huddle quicker during breaks in action before the crowd gets too involved.
At the line of scrimmage, hand signals are often used to overcome the noise.
“I think in general you want to make sure the plays are in quickly and communicate loudly and clearly in the huddle and you have time in the huddle and you have time at the line of scrimmage if you need any adjustments,” Garrett said. “I think tempo and communication is a big part of playing well and executing well on the road.”
When the Cowboys played at the Superdome in 2013, they had just two false starts and one came in the third quarter on a punt. This season the Cowboys have had eight false-start penalties, which is 29th in the NFL.
“The only time I really think about the noise is when I run out for the first time and you hear it,” center Travis Frederick said. “But after that you’re so focused on the game that it really has nothing to do with what you’re doing. You just have to figure out how to work around it. You do it all week in practice and then it becomes second nature during the game.”