Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Monday, December 9, 2013
Cowboys will make sure gear is right

By Todd Archer

CHICAGO -- Soldier Field is one of the most historic venues in the NFL. It also has one of the worst playing surfaces.

So in addition to the cold, the Dallas Cowboys will have to make sure they wear the correct cleats for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears.

Most will shoes with longer cleats for better traction. Sometimes that doesn’t even work. The field was re-sodded not too long ago and has a heating system to keep it from freezing, but the turf is often loose and unsteady. It can make for challenges in the kicking game as well.

Kicker Dan Bailey said he will go out earlier than normal to get used to the footing and the wind. Players often test different cleats to see which work best.

“One of the things we emphasize is (to) make sure you get your gear right,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You think about it. You spend time making sure this is going to help me feel warm, but I still can function with whatever these sleeves are, whatever these gloves are, the tights, whatever you wear on your feet. The goal when you’re playing is you’re not thinking about the cold. You’re just playing football.

“You’ve got to be mentally tough enough to focus on the task at hand and don’t let the elements be a factor.”