The Dallas Cowboys were playing a big game in prime time Sunday night, a game that had big NFC East implications. For the Dallas NBC affiliate broadcasting the contest, that briefly trumped alerting citizens to take cover during a tornado warning.

Channel 5 apologized Monday evening for not breaking into coverage of the game for six minutes when the twister, preliminarily judged to be an F3, struck at around 10:15 p.m. Eastern time, just as the second half was beginning. The tornado, deemed “life-threatening” by Fort Worth’s National Weather Service, struck on the north side of the city, lifting debris 20,000 feet into the air, producing significant damage and knocking out power to tens of thousands of people with winds in the 140-mph range. There were no reports of fatalities or missing people as of Monday evening.

“Considering the path that the storm took — it went across a pretty densely populated part of our city — we should consider ourselves pretty fortunate that we didn’t lose any lives, no fatalities, and no serious injuries,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said Monday (via the Capital Weather Gang). “Property damage, we’re not concerned about that. … We’ve dealt with [that] before. Our number one priority is that people are safe.”

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Given the severity of the storm, the NBC station realized it erred by waiting to interrupt the game for six minutes, precious time when a tornado is on the ground.

“During Sunday night’s Dallas Cowboys game, we made a mistake by not immediately interrupting the football game with a Tornado Warning,” the station said in a statement. “Although our meteorologists were tracking thunderstorms across the area when the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Dallas County, we delayed breaking into programming for six minutes. Our meteorologists were also streaming live weather coverage throughout the evening on our site, NBCDFW.com. We also alerted the football audience to our weather live stream throughout the game.

“When it comes to dealing with severe weather, we know that seconds matter. We should have broken into football programming sooner. We apologize and want you to know that we’re doing everything in our power to make sure this does not happen again. We look forward to regaining your trust, and anyone who we may have disappointed.”

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With a 37-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys broke a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-3. Fans were watching nervously, their anxiety compounded by what was happening in the skies.

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