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Volume 26 No. 182
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Jerry Jones Continues To See His Influence On NFL Rise

Jones has taken the lead for NFL owners during the current CBA negotiations
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Jones has taken the lead for NFL owners during the current CBA negotiations
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Jones has taken the lead for NFL owners during the current CBA negotiations
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones has surpassed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as the "most powerful, most influential person in American sports," according to ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. Jones has "so much power and influence" within the NFL because he has "earned the respect of his fellow owners by finding ways to put more and more money in their pockets." Goodell "takes a lot of cues" from Jones, and "listens to him and respects his views, particularly on business." Patriots Owner Robert Kraft in '11 "took a front seat" during CBA negotiations, but Jones during the current talks has "muscled past Kraft." He has been the "dominant person in the room on the owners' side with Goodell." Jones has "been able to persuade" NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith "that they're partners," a contrast to negotiations in '11. Owners this time "wanted an 18-game regular season, but the players flatly said no." However, with Jones' influence, the league is now "close to getting a 17-game regular season." Meanwhile, Jones' rise to "more and more power and influence and league domination" has come even as the Cowboys "continue to flounder" on the field. ESPN's Mina Kimes called it an "interesting" dynamic for Jones that even as the Cowboys have "stagnated, his own prominence in the league has risen." Kimes: "It sounds like his legacy as a league operator is going to supersede his legacy as a GM, a football guy" ("ESPN Daily," ESPN.com, 10/21).