Arkansas and Texas A&M will return to Cowboys Stadium after all.
The schools announced this morning they will resume their annual game in Arlington, Texas, for the 2014 season. It's part of an 11-year deal that will keep the game in Cowboys Stadium through the 2024 season. The new agreement amends the current contract, which stretched to 2018.
"We are excited to have reached a new agreement to return our series with Texas A&M to Cowboys Stadium,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said. “The addition of Texas A&M into the SEC will only increase the excitement surrounding the Southwest Classic played in the world’s most spectacular stadium. In the past three years, the University of Arkansas has seen the benefit of an annual appearance in the Metroplex with increased enrollment from the area and in student-athlete recruiting in all sports. We appreciate the efforts of the Jones Family and the Dallas Cowboys for working with both institutions to maintain what has quickly become one of college football’s premiere games.”
Arkansas and Texas A&M played in Cowboys Stadium during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons as non-conference foes. But the game was moved to campus for the 2012 and 2013 season with the Aggies moving into the Southeastern Conference. The Razorbacks play at Texas A&M this season. The Aggies travel to Fayetteville in 2013.
Long has been a proponent of playing the game in Arlington, Texas, and hoped it would return even though the on-campus sites were announced earlier this year.
The Razorbacks, who have touted Cowboys Stadium as their third home, are 4-0 in Arlington.
It includes three wins against Texas A&M and Arkansas' victory against Kansas State in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.
"Moving back there, again, I think is a presence that we should have," Arkansas coach John L. Smith said. "The University of Arkansas, having a presence in Dallas, where if I'm not wrong is our largest alumni ground, which is our largest booster groups, all of the above, and we recruit there heavily. So having that presence is a plus for us. That's a game we should have.
"Really, that will be a home game. We have to treat it as such. We have to make our players, fans, believe it is such. But I think it's a great deal."
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau