First of all — wow. Cowboys Stadium is huge. Or at least the scoreboard makes it look as big as any venue I’ve ever been to — though Wembley was pretty huge as well.
OK, now to business. Football is back! Even the national anthem singer warming up on the field is exciting. And speaking of warming up, players are already jogging around on the field.
Jeremy Beal, Julius Thomas, Brady Quinn and Brandon Lloyd are among the handful of players stretching out as Darius Rucker is blasting through the speakers.
It’s a new season, so to remind you how this will work, just refresh this page every now and then for updates from the leadup to the game, including pregame photos. Then, when the game starts, we’ll switch over to the first half blog, which will refresh automatically.
5:42 p.m. CDT: Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are on the field now, chatting with an as-yet-unidentified Cowboys player. Meanwhile, Quinn is chatting with Tony Romo. There are already a handful of Broncos fans in the stadium, which appears to be open to fans with less than two hours remaining until kickoff.
6:04 p.m. CDT: The Broncos are wearing their home blue jerseys, as the Cowboys’ home jerseys are white. That works out nicely.
6:16 p.m. CDT: The overriding genre of the warm-up music has been country. We’ve heard Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett — but does he really count as country? Either way, some interesting choices for music to get the guys pumped up. Then again, they probably don’t need much help as they’re finally about to play football again.
6:34 p.m. CDT: I know plenty has been said about this giant TV in the middle of the stadium, but believe everything you’ve heard. It’s pretty sweet. I’m currently deciding whether to watch the field or the screen during the game.
6:38 p.m. CDT: More and more players are making their way back onto the field. The quarterbacks are throwing with receivers and tight ends, and the DBs are going through interception drills.
6:44 p.m. CDT: The entire team is huddled up in the far end zone. They just broke and the players are now walking single-file down the sideline then spreading out across the field on each 5-yard marker to stretch. It’s a very organized stretch period — pretty cool to watch.
7:07 p.m. CDT: We’re less than a half hour away from kickoff, and the Broncos have headed back into the tunnel to the locker room — the last two players off the field are Willis McGahee and Tim Tebow. Photos from the field courtesy of team photographer Eric Bakke are coming shortly.
7:09 p.m. CDT: While there’s no such thing as an inactives list during the preseason, here are the players it looks like will not be suiting up for tonight’s game: Syd’Quan Thompson, Derek Domino, D.J. Williams, Nate Irving, Richard Quinn, Demaryius Thomas, Louis Leonard and Mitch Unrein.
7:14 p.m. CDT: Frisbee dogs on the field for the pregame entertainment…always fun to watch.
7:16 p.m. CDT: Just got word Eddie Royal will not be playing tonight, either.
7:18 p.m. CDT: And the Cowboys cheerleaders are on the field. Football really is back. Hard to believe it’s already almost gametime.
7:21 p.m. CDT: Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Saccomano just sat down beside me in the press box. He asked if I knew the line by Marv Levy — “Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?”
7:24 p.m. CDT: The teams are about to run on the field, and the national anthem will follow shortly thereafter. Kickoff is a few minutes away — see you in the First Half Blog.