Last week, Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to intimidate player representatives during a negotiating session, complete with tough talk and tapping his fists together before starting to walk out of the room and ultimately stewing in a corner for roughly 30 minutes.
The Cowboys generally disputed the report, but Jones hadn’t addressed it. Until today.
At the league meetings in New Orleans, Jones said he wasn’t trying to intimidate anyone.
“I was in the room to do everything that I could do to negotiate,” Jones said, per Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. “And like I say, it’s understandable when you don’t agree.”
Watkins says that Jones’ fist-tapping was “more about moving quicker in the talks than telling the players a lockout is coming. “
“I just think you really want to in any relationship keep it in house as [much as] you can,” Jones said. “It’s easy for me to understand. As an example, that if we’re negotiating, and I’m not saying the things that you agree with, that you might not like the color of the shirt that I’m wearing that day. It’s just human nature. When you’ve done as much as I’ve done in my career, I understand that. No I don’t [get upset] whether it’s a misplaced [comment] or not or criticism of a comment that might have a negative tone to it. No, I don’t look at it.”
So, if we understand Jones (and frankly we’re not sure that we do), he’s saying that he did what Trotter said Jones did, but that he didn’t do it in order to intimidate the players into thinking that a lockout was coming, but apparently to intimidate the players into moving the talks along faster to avoid a lockout.
If that’s the case, Jones perhaps should have directed some fist tapping to the contractors who were putting in the temporary seats in the weeks prior to Super Bowl XLV.