How rare is a punt hitting the center-hung HD board at AT&T Stadium?
Chris Jones, who has punted at the stadium in only two regular-season games the past two seasons, didn't even know what the rule was when his first-quarter punt hit it.
"Not planned," Jones said. "I was just more worried about getting a good ball, a good hang time. It’s what Rich [Bisaccia], our coach, he stresses that a lot. Got a good hit, and that’s what happened. I didn’t know I was going to have to re-punt. I didn’t know how any of that worked."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thought he might never see it.
"Yes," Jerry Jones said, "I was very surprised."
It had happened only one time previously, and that was in the first exhibition game ever at the stadium. It has never happened in a regular-season game.
The 160-foot long HD screen, which is 90 feet above the playing field, was hit in the first game at the stadium in 2009. Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso hit the Mitsubishi sign that formerly hung below the board during an exhibition game.
Chris Jones said he hit the HD board during Thursday's open practice, but the scoreboard was lower than its NFL-required height. He said he has hit it "six or seven times" just messing around in pregame warmups.
Jones' re-kick went 45 yards, but Bengals returner Brandon Tate went 75 yards for a touchdown.
"I just go out and try to kick the same ball every time," Chris Jones said. "I got every piece of that ball, and it ended up hitting the scoreboard. They said they were going to have to review it if they saw that it hit it, and I would have to go back and re-kick it. Then, I had a good ball on the next one. I think I had a 4.89 or a 4.9 hang time, which is pretty good, and we’ve just got to go look at the film and see what happened on that one [that was returned for a touchdown]."
-- Charean Williams