DALLAS — As the Dallas Cowboys were attempting to score points 35 seconds before halftime, receiver Cedrick Wilson simply watched Dak Prescott's pass sail right by him; didn't even stick his hands out to catch the ball.
Upon further review, Wilson's line of sight may have been on target with the ball, but he couldn't see the football due to the glare coming from the sun peeking through the glass doors at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 16 during the NFC wild-card against the San Francisco 49ers.
Dallas trailed 16-7, and they had a rare opportunity to close out the first half with a chance for points and open up the second half with possession — known as the "double-double." The Cowboys could have chipped into or erased the 49ers' nine-point lead perhaps if the sun didn't blind Wilson on that third-and-19 that would have given Dallas a shot to have kicker Greg Zuerlein attempt a 55-yard field goal.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made his final appearance of the season on 105.3 "The Fan" [KRLD-FM] on Friday and told "K&C Masterpiece" that there would be no changes to the game day experience to prevent the sun glare from being a factor.
"I wish to hell all I had to worry about was a ball hitting the screen or a little sun getting in there," Jones said. "Conditions and elements have been a part of football since it was spelled the first time. No. That’s about 10,000 on my list of things to worry about. And, no, we’re not going to do anything with it."
Jones pointed out that the glare from the sun "goes both ways."
"Both teams had a chance to get in the sun, both teams had a chance to get out of the sun," he said.
The Cowboys fell 23-17 to the 49ers. Dallas has failed to reach the NFC Championship Game since 1996, the third-longest streak in the conference. Only Washington and the Detroit Lions, both of whom were competitors in the 1991 NFC Championship Game, have a longer drought.
For Jones, the nitpicking over the sun glare is emblematic of the frustrations of a 12-5 club that won the NFC East failing to win a postseason game at home.
"When I’ve had my ass kicked or people mad at me, then I’m going to pick something out that I’m going to pick on them," Jones said. "Well, they don’t color coordinate or they don’t wear something I want them to wear when it’s really something much more important than that. What we got on our mind is that we didn’t play well enough in the first playoff game with a hell of a team. Those are the other issues.
"I’m not going to worry about the popcorn over this. I’m not going to worry about a lot of stuff over this. I need to worry about something frankly that gets us back this week, next year in the playoffs.”
Do you think it’s time to pull down the shades at AT&T Stadium? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.