Talk of an 18-game season has largely died down in the NFL since the end of last year’s lockout, when the owners agreed that they wouldn’t add two games to the regular season without the players’ consent. But that doesn’t mean the owners don’t want it.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said today that he still wants the league to expand the regular season, while reducing the preseason to two games.
“I like that,” Jones said on KRLD-FM, via FOXSportsSouthwest.com. “We really talked about it a lot in the negotiations with the players. The league had the right to do that with the consent of the players. Over the last television contracts, we all agreed that we would all agree to expand it if we did go to 18 and two preseason [games]. I’m for that.”
Jones acknowledged concerns that more games would lead to more injuries, but he said he thinks reducing the preseason by the same number of games should take care of that.
“As far as the NFL is concerned, I think it’s a real positive. We want to show how good the NFL and this new CBA, or labor agreement, how we’re doing relative to injury. That’s a factor here. Do you get more chance of injury in 18 games than you do in 16 [regular season games] with four preseason [games]?”
Jones added that he thinks fans will support a longer season.
“I can give you a lot of reasons why I think it’s good for the NFL,” Jones said. “I really think it’s good for the players. I know it’s great for the fans. I hope we can work to do that.”
So far, the players have resisted an expansion of the regular season. Jones and his fellow owners may have to persuade the players that two more regular-season games would be good for everyone’s bottom line if they’re going to convince the players to put their bodies through two more regular-season games a year.