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Despite limited capacity at AT&T Stadium, diehard Cowboys fans are still thankful for tailgating tradition

“Even with all the other mess going on in this world, I never gave it a second thought about being here,” Cowboys fan Cy Ditmore said.

Capacity is limited at AT&T Stadium, but that doesn’t mean the Thanksgiving Day traditions involving the Dallas Cowboys stop.

“Even with all the other mess going on in this world, I never gave it a second thought about being here,” Cowboys fan Cy Ditmore said. “I live for the star on the helmet and that means Thanksgiving in the parking lot at Cowboys Stadium.”

 Ditmore said he hasn’t missed a Cowboys home game in 32 years. On today’s holiday, he honors his late brother by sticking turkey wishbones in his hat.

“My brother started that tradition many, many years ago on Thanksgiving. Lost my brother three years ago. And I’m just trying to carry on the tradition,” Ditmore said.

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In the hours leading up to kickoff, there were fewer tailgaters and tents in the stadium parking lot. And for those that were tailgating, they had fewer people in their group.

“Instead of the 20 people that used to come with, we only came with four,” Jeremy Jesse said. He and his wife are celebrating their 45th birthdays at Thursday’s game.

“This is our tradition for 14, 15, 16 years now. It’s what we do for Thanksgiving,” Jeremy Jesse said.

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With fewer people tailgating, that means less food was being prepared.

“Last year at this game, I fed -- off of my cooking trailer -- probably 350 people. Smoked 14 turkeys. Six hams. And everybody went home full and happy. This year, it’s considerably less people,” Ditmore said. 

RELATED: As cases spread and NFL tightens COVID-19 protocols, plans continue for fans at Cowboys games

Last week, Tarrant County officials said at least eight residents who tested positive for COVID-19 told contact tracers they recently attended events at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, according to a county spokesman. But AT&T Stadium officials said they hadn't been notified by county health officials of any contract tracing that included people who had been in the facility.

Tarrant County says the numbers don’t mean the people contracted the virus before, during or after the events -- only that they told tracers they had attended before later testing positive.

The exposure dates for those positive cases coincide with Cowboys games.

However, today’s fans told WFAA they feel safe with the precautions put in place.

“Everybody is taking care of everybody right now,” Molly Jesse said. “Everybody’s doing their part. So I feel as though the Dallas Cowboys are going to take care of us.”

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