Sometimes, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says things not rooted in reality. Sometimes, he’s on the mark.
His most recent comments may indeed be on the mark.
On the question of whether the NFL needs union approval to expand the playoffs, Jones said Monday, “Not to my knowledge.” As best we currently can tell, the league would agree with that assessment.
If that’s the NFL’s play, it would be a stunner. When the league and union met following the annual NFL meetings in Orlando, the league had planned to bring up the issue of expanded playoffs. But the question never arose — and now the strategy could be to not raise it at all with the union and instead to play the proverbial Nike card.
It seems that an expansion of the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams would constitute what the lawyers would call a mandatory subject of bargaining. Which means that the NFL couldn’t implement the change unilaterally, without the union’s blessing.
Getting the union’s blessing apparently would entail giving something up. It appears that the league may have decided to try an approach that would require giving up nothing.
If the league ultimately has nothing to lose, the NFL may be willing to give it a shot. Like Jerry, there’s a chance the NFL will hit the bull’s eye.