Dallas Cowboys practicing in mostly empty Alamodome

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jonesloves San Antonio — likely because Texas’ second-largest city has a dome but no NFL team.

So once again Jones has hitched up the wagons and rolled into town for some summer practices, no doubt expecting open arms at our city limits and filled seats in our Alamodome.

But despite the fact that the Alamodome can provide a cool escape from the brutal South Texas heat, San Antonians have so far found other things to do this summer.

Kristi Scales reported this week for Arlington.org that a total of only 36,768 fans had shown up for the first five days of Cowboys camp in San Antonio.

That’s an average of only 7,354 fans per day — in a building that seats 65,000 for football.

Some high school gridiron games at the Alamodome attract more fans. And unlike Cowboys practices, those games aren’t free.

The City of San Antonio reported that the total turnstile count for the Cowboys’ 2010 training camp, which ran from July 23 to Aug. 6, surpassed 200,000.

The Cowboys’ 2011 camp began on July 28 and ends on Aug. 10.

If the Cowboys hold open practices each day between now and Aug. 10 and draw the same number of fans on average that they have attracted so far at this year’s camp, the 2011 turnstile total will be less than 96,000.

That’s less than half the number of people who showed up last summer.

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