No Cowboys This Thursday

By Hema Mullur
NewsWest 9

Crisis in Cowboy country. 

Fans looking forward to this Thursday's game may find themselves disappointed.
It's only being shown on the NFL Network, and unless you have Grande or a dish, you're out of luck. 

"It's arguably the biggest game of their season:  the 10-1 Cowboys take on the 10-1 Packers, but for fans the only thing worse than watching their team lose on the big screen, would be not watching them at all."

"I watch every game that's on," said Larry Sparkman.  "And I can't believe they're having a game that they're not going to show on regular TV."

Ask any Cowboys fan and you'll know, no one loves their team more.

So when the news came that this week's match-up against the Green Bay Packers wasn't airing on network TV, it didn't go over so well. 

"I don't think it's fair to most of the cable viewers," said Mike McDougall.

"I think the NFL is wanting too much money, and they're asking too much from fans," agreed Cindy Terrell.

The NFL Network is a channel owned by the National Football League.   

Launched in 2003, last year they began broadcasting 8 regular season NFL games.

The only problem, a dispute with several cable companies who don't want to carry the channel as part of their basic programming.   

In our area the only options are to get cable through Grande Communications or a satellite dish. 

"Part of the reason I switched to Grande was to get the NFL Network, and to have access to those games," said McDougall.

But for those who can't watch at home, they choose the next best thing. 

"We've had a ton of phone calls already asking us are you showing the Cowboys game," said Mandy Salgado, manager of the Buffalo Wild Wings in Odessa.

Some say too packed. 
"Did you come here last year?"

"I tried and couldn't get in," said McDougall.

Despite the setback, some fans will do anything for their team.

"We have a ranch that has Dish Network, but we have to drive two hours away to watch the game now, and it's the best game of the year so it's kind of disappointing," said Shane Hamilton.

"Are you going out there?"

"Yes we will!"

As they say, the game must go on, and it'll have to go on with a few less people cheering from West Texas. 

"It's sad, because some Cowboys fans are not as fortunate as others," said Jacob Valdez.  "If it was up to us you know, we'd be at the stadium watching it live."

"The Buffalo Wild Wings in both Midland and Odessa are among the places showing the game this Thursday night, but if you're planning to come out, you're going to want to come early, because these seats won't stay empty for long."