ARLINGTON (KRLD) – For the third straight year, attendance is down at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

In the stadium’s first year, the team drew an average of 89,700 fans. Even last year’s 6-10 team managed to attract 87,000 fans. But this year, the fan attendance number dropped to just 85,000 fans – despite the fact that Cowboys have a chance to win their division this weekend.

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RJ Choppy with 105.3 The Fan analyzed the attendance drop from a few different angles, but does not see it as a huge problem. “The Cowboys have been sort of mediocre and the economy has been in the tank,” he said. “I don’t really think it should be such a long-term problem, but in the short-term, it certainly is a little bit of a concern.”

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If the team starts winning consistently again, Choppy predicts that the attendance will go up again. “So much of it is economics,” he said. “You have to pick things that you want to cut from your life and, unfortunately, one of the first things that go are recreational.”

Adding to the attendance concern is the sheer size of Cowboys Stadium. While other NFL teams have been building smaller arenas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones bucked the trend and went bigger. “Everyone who builds these new stadiums, they’re going smaller, more intimate, more quaint,” Choppy said. “I think the natural feeling that, well, that Cowboys Stadium is so big. It’s almost to the point where it’s not practical.”

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But that bigger size might be needed in the coming weeks. If the Cowboys can topple the New York Giants on the road this Sunday, Arlington will be hosting an NFL playoff game the following week – and that is sure draw excited fans to the stadium.