DALLAS — The NFL is played mostly outdoors, and even indoor venues like AT&T Stadium can be affected by the weather. For example, what happens if there are clear skies and the sun is blazing through the west windows and creating the notorious late afternoon glare?
That routine blinding occurrence impaired the Dallas Cowboys as recently as the wild-card loss to the San Francisco 49ers that ended their 2021 campaign.
A new report from the Action Network via meteorologist Kevin Roth reveals just how impactful weather can be in the NFL.
The data was compiled by looking at the temperature, snowfall, rainfall, and wind speed data for each U.S. location where there’s an NFL stadium. The data period was from September 2021 to January 2022, and then the data was ranked accordingly. In the case of Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo, who hosted playoff games, their postseason results were included.
Of all the weather variables — wind, rain, snow, heat, cold — wind tends to have the most impact because of how it affects the football, whether in the passing or kicking games. As such, games played in windy conditions are subject to low-scoring affairs.
Based on 2021 results, the Cowboys only have to worry about the wind when they take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 10. According to Roth's studies, Green Bay was the second-most windy NFL city with an average gust of 12.4 miles per hour during football season.
Green Bay also lands on the list for coldest and snowiest NFL cities. The good news for Dallas is they get the Packers in mid-November when the likelihood of it being cold or snowy is very low. Nevertheless, Green Bay ranked No. 4 (129.9 mm) and No. 1 (38 degrees) on the snowiest and coldest lists.
Two cities that were on the rainiest list were Nashville and Philadelphia, two places the Cowboys will visit in 2022. It may not be rainy in Nashville when Dallas plays the Tennessee Titans in Week 17, but Nissan Stadium did receive 3.54 inches of rain in 2021, the second-most across the NFL. Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Eagles, had 3.08 inches of rain, the fifth-most on the list.
Heat could actually be an issue for the Cowboys when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, even though it will be in Week 15. Jacksonville was third on the list of hottest NFL cities in 2021 with an average temperature of 64.6 degrees. If the Cowboys are wearing their blue jerseys in such a game, then it could be a scorcher against Trevor Lawrence and the Jags.
Overcoming elements is part of the game. Dallas shouldn't have to face too many from Mother Nature on the gridiron in 2022.
Do you think the Cowboys will be equipped to brave the elements in 2022? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.