In an unprecedented move, the Dallas Cowboys, who haven't had a winning season in four years, have included playoff tickets in their mailings to season ticket holders this week, according to an ESPN blog.
Including tickets for the NFC Championship game.
And you thought owner Jerry Jones had chutzpah for acting as his own GM.
Partly, the move seems to be in response to league-wide concerns about the difficulties of selling playoff tickets on short notice at the end of the season. Last year, the Green Bay Packers (who insisted fans commit to multiple playoff games), the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals all had trouble selling out on Wild Card Weekend.
"It's operationally efficient for the teams, and it's convenient for the fan," NFL executive Brian Lafemina told ESPN's Darren Rovell. "There are times when teams don't know if they are hosting a playoff game until a week before, and doing this helps eliminate some of the friction that exists among the teams and fans."
Apparently, Cowboys fans won't have to pay until a playoff game is clinched.
Unclear at the moment is when fans have to decide, whether the team wants an answer before the season starts about future billing or charging of credit cards.
The letter from the Cowboys reads,"The barcodes on the tickets will be activated when a home playoff game is clinched and the tickets have been paid in full."
Of course, the Cowboys won't complain if some fans choose to pay up early.
Another theory is the move is smart marketing strategy, a tangible way to remind fans they're not just buying season tickets but an option for playoff tickets, too.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.