LANDOVER, Md. — Gold and burgundy stands encircle FedEx Field. But ahead of the Cowboys’ 1 p.m. kickoff at Washington, four “COWBOYS” logos on the Dallas sideline stirred conversation.
The story: The Cowboys imported their own customized sideline benches to the division contest, the benches conspicuously bearing the team’s name and star logo. Fans wondered whether this was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones further flexing the deep Cowboys presence at the game.
To some degree, yes. But alas: This decision was practical.
The Cowboys equipment team spoke with equipment staffers from the Seattle Seahawks, who played at Washington Nov. 29. Dallas learned that Washington’s benches, and particularly the heating function that teams find at the outdoor venue, “weren’t in great working order,” a person with knowledge of the conversation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly disclose the information. The Cowboys were advised to rent benches more effective than Washington’s older equipment.
The Cowboys reached out to Cleveland-based Dragon Seats, who supplied their latest model of benches with both heating and cooling functionality, Dragon Seats COO Franklin Floyd confirmed to USA TODAY Sports by phone Sunday afternoon. Floyd said the company has long serviced the NFL, including Washington’s FedEx benches that he estimated were more than 10 years old. Dragon Seats supplies customized benches at home for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans. Dragon Seats has also supplied a visiting team with benches: The Ravens utilized the company at Buffalo last season during the playoffs, Floyd said.
But a customized bench…for the visitor at an NFL stadium? Dragon Seats had not debuted that before Sunday at FedEx.
“We wanted to bring the latest and greatest, our newest and best, to the Dallas Cowboys organization,” Floyd told USA TODAY Sports by phone. “We were excited…