SBD/Issue 72/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Discusses NFL Economics On "FNIA"

Jones Says Owners "Wouldn't Have Opted Out"
Of Current CBA If It Worked For The Future
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said league owners “will not let economics play any role in the competitiveness between the teams of the NFL” in a new CBA in an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas on “Football Night In America.” During a portion of the interview, Costas focused on the upcoming labor talks:

COSTAS: “I don't want to get you in trouble with the Commissioner again, he already hit you with a fine. But with the possibility of an uncapped year, and possibly either reduced or eliminated revenue sharing, are we looking at a radical restructuring of the business model of the NFL?”

JONES: “We do want to have a deal with the players that would continue the playing of football right on through any given year. We want to get that done. On the other hand, we wouldn't have opted out of the existing deal that we're in right now if it would work at all, and it doesn't work for the future at all. So, we've got a lot of work to do, but let's get it done in a way that's good for the fans.”

COSTAS: “The two things that concern the average football fan is, A) uncapped year in 2010. Does Jerry Jones in Dallas or Dan Snyder in Washington become the George Steinbrenner of the NFL and leave the Buffalo’s and Cincinnati’s and Green Bay’s further in their wake?

JONES: “The way we are structured, we share the majority of all the revenue.”

COSTAS: “Will that continue?”

JONES: “We share it equally. And yes, that would continue.”

COSTAS: “Let's say I'm a fan in upstate New York, a fan of the Buffalo Bills. I say to myself, ‘No matter how smart, no matter how daring, no matter how resourceful Ralph Wilson or his successor may be, we don't have the wherewithal or the upside possibility (to compete with high-revenue teams). ... So what are we to do?’”

JONES: “First of all, let's look at the past. Economics have never played a part in the competitiveness of an NFL football team.

COSTAS: “Which has been the greatest thing about the NFL.”

JONES: “And it's fabulous.”

COSTAS: “Which is why a Steeler fan knows he's in a different boat than a Pirate fan.”

JONES: “We will not let economics play any role in the competitiveness between the teams of the NFL. It hasn't in the past and won't in the future.”

SLOW GOING: After the taped interview, Costas said, “You heard Jones say that in his view, the NFL’s present system no longer works for the owners. Peter King is reporting, meanwhile, that negotiations between players and owners are now going very poorly, and some on the players side who once were optimistic about a deal getting done, now believe there will in fact be a lockout in 2011” (“Football Night In America,” NBC, 12/27). King today writes, "I hear progress is virtually nil and the players are pessimistic that a new deal will get done in time for them to play the 2011 season. It was clear listening to Jerry Jones on NBC last night that the league wants to blow up the current system it views favorable to the players, and it's just as clear that if that happens, the players want something significant in return" (, 12/28).

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