ARLINGTON -- Texas A&M University, the University of Arkansas and the Dallas Cowboys organization have announced the formation of a football neutral site series to be played in the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The 10-year agreement calls for the series to begin in Oct. 3, 2009 with Arkansas serving as the home team in odd years and Texas A&M as the home team in even years. The stadium is expected to seat approximately 80,000 for this game with the distribution split evenly between the two institutions. With the configuration of the end zones the capacity could increase to 100,000.
“I am very excited about this agreement between our two schools and Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys organization,” Director of Texas A&M Athletics Bill Byrne said. “This provides a marquee non-conference game with national television exposure. The stadium is going to be one of the finest in the country and that should excite our players and fans. This game should generate additional revenue which will help our overall department and will give us more of a presence in the Metroplex.”
Arkansas leads the all-time series, 38-24-3. The last 10 clashes were split evenly with each school winning five times. The last meeting was Nov. 16, 1991 at Kyle Field with Texas A&M winning, 13-3, in a game nationally televised by ESPN. The Razorbacks came out in the wishbone formation on offense that day, but the Wrecking Crew held the Hogs to 121 yards of total offense.
“I was on R.C. Slocum’s staff in the late 80’s and early 90’s and we had some great games against Arkansas in the historic Southwest Conference days,” Aggie head coach Mike Sherman said. “I anticipate that the inaugural game scheduled for 2009 will be the first step in establishing a very competitive border rivalry which will become a fan favorite as two tradition-rich universities go head-to-head early in the season. It will be a great barometer for our team before we embark into Big 12 action.”
The two schools first met on the gridiron in 1903 with Texas A&M winning, 6-0. Texas A&M and Arkansas were part of the inaugural group of eight schools that formed the Southwest Conference in 1915. From 1934 through 1991, the teams met every season as part of the Southwest Conference. Arkansas withdrew from the league in 1991 to join the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M was part of the formation of the current Big 12 Conference in 1996.
“To play in a state-of-the-art facility like the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, under the spotlight of a nationally televised audience, will be a fantastic opportunity for our players, coaches and university, as well as being able to experience the excitement of playing in front of as many as 100,000 passionate Aggie and Razorback fans,” Sherman added. “No doubt it will be difficult to tell the difference between the maroon of the Aggies and the cardinal red of the Razorbacks. I can only imagine the yells directed by the Aggie Yell Leaders and our fans waving their 12th Man towels, against the calling of the Hogs by the Arkansas faithful wearing their Hog hats will make for a deafening, yet electric environment.”
“The opportunity to get an away game in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will only enhance our goal of strengthening our recruiting efforts in that part of the state,” Sherman stated. “Since Texas high school football is our top resource for talent and there are so many excellent high school programs, players and coaches in the Metroplex, this game will no doubt be a plus for us. Because of the proximity of this road game, it will allow our current and future players’ parents a chance to see their sons play still another game in the state of Texas, thus minimizing most travel concerns. Anytime we can get our players’ parents and relatives in the stands to watch our players play, it only enhances the football family experience.”
“I would like to thank Jerry Jones and his sons, Stephen and Jerry Jr., for their tireless efforts in putting this all together and allowing Texas A&M to become a small part of the future history of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium,” Sherman said. “I would also like to extend my appreciation to Texas A&M’s Athletic Director Bill Byrne and the rest of the Aggie athletic department, as well as Arkansas’ Athletic Director Jeff Long and his staff for their determination, effort and commitment in getting this game scheduled through the year 2018.”
“Our coaches and players will embrace this non-conference game as a great opportunity and challenge to represent Texas A&M, the state of Texas, and the Big 12 Conference against the University of Arkansas, the state of Arkansas and one of the top programs in the Southeastern Conference,” Sherman stated. “This game is what college football is all about!”