By The Associated Press
Jerry Jones likes to brag about the Dallas Cowboys being the top drawing card in the entire entertainment world. His premise: The Cowboys draw the highest ratings among NFL teams and the NFL is the highest-rated programming on television.
Games like Monday night sure help his claim.
Dallas’ 41-37 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles was filled with drama. The lead changed seven times, the momentum swaying on good plays and goofy ones, with big-name players from both teams at both ends of the spectrum.
Mix in the backdrop of a rivalry and division supremacy, a few injuries, some questionable officiating calls, several big milestones and the historic nugget of this being the final Monday night game at Texas Stadium, and it’s no wonder the Cowboys were ratings gold yet again — a whopping 12.95 million homes and 18.6 million viewers, the largest audience ever for a program on cable television. It’s the second time in three years Dallas has set that mark.
“What a way to have the last ‘Monday Night Football’ game at Texas Stadium,” Jones said. “It had it all.”
Jones’ joy obviously is tinted by his team coming out on top. Thing is, Tony Romo and the Cowboys are getting awfully good at winning these kinds of games — both those with the entire country watching and the wild-and-crazy variety.
Just last season in Buffalo, Romo threw five interceptions and lost a fumble, but rallied the Cowboys to victory. That Buffalo game, by the way, also was on a Monday night.
Romo is 11-3 in nationally televised games, the ones on Sunday night, Monday night, Saturday night, Thursday night, Thanksgiving and Christmas, when everyone in the NFL is among those gathered around the tube.
Alas, Romo, is 0-2 under the similar scenario but higher stakes of the playoffs. (At least Jones can take solace in both those games making for gripping television.)
==For what it’s worth, Romo and the Cowboys are on prime time again this week, on Sunday night against Philadelphia.
==Also, for what it’s worth, that MNF game was only the third highest-rated show in cable history, at 13.3. But that represents more viewers than it did back in 1987, when Chicago played Minnesota on ESPN, or in 1994, when Detroit played Miami in an ESPN contest. Hence, you can call it the most-viewed game.