Cowboys' HD Mega-Screen gets National Look-See

It was show-and-tell night for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday (Sept. 20) for what it bills as the world's largest HD screen hovering nearly a hundred feet above the center of the field in the NFL team's brand new $1 billion-plus stadium. And for much of the four-hour broadcast on NBC, both the fans and announcers raved about the $40 million HD video screen that measures 160-by-72 feet and features an estimated 30 million LED lights.

Even Al Michaels, the typically low-key play-by-play man, spent much of the telecast gushing over the new facility and its front-and-center HD screen to an audience that at one point (according to Nielsen) climbed to more than 23 million. His partner, Cris Collinsworth, at one point remarked that because it was so unusually large, the HD video actually became part of the game's presentation — rather than a mere distraction as in some other stadiums.

And despite its 90-foot height, no punts or kick-offs during the team's first home game came close to hitting the HD screen — something that had occurred at least once during an earlier exhibition game (albeit amid charges that the opposing team's punter had hit the screen's underbelly on purpose).

Still, as it turned out, what the world's largest HD video screen showed up close and personal for the 105,000-plus fans inside the stadium (an unofficial NFL attendance record) was what they didn't need really to see in instant-replay: the Cowboys losing to the New York Giants in the closing seconds by two points.