Jerry Jones sees no issues with short-week football

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Thursday Night Football debuted 11 years ago, with a partial schedule of games aimed at boosting NFL Network by giving it exclusive game content. Since 2014, the NFL has played Thursday games for most of the season, fueled by a contract with the CBS at first and, since 2016, CBS and NBC.

But short-week football is hardly a new phenomenon. From the inception of the league (and with the exception of 1941 through 1944), the NFL has played football on the fourth Thursday in November. Despite regular complaints about Thursday Night Football, no one ever complained about Thanksgiving football.

Since 1966, the Cowboys have hosted a Thanksgiving game. Owner Jerry Jones commented on the phenomenon of short-week football during a Tuesday appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

“Well, we’ve been playing on Thursdays with short weeks and long weeks for ever since I’ve been involved in the NFL,” Jones said. “Nothing, not one shred of statistics show it to be a disadvantage, show it to be inordinately challenging physically for the players. We’re the poster child of playing on Thursday [and] as a result what it does to the demand for players being rested or being healthy.”

During a Tuesday media briefing, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills explained that, over the past five years, the injury rate for Thursday football is actually lower than the injury rate for games played on other days of the week. That’s not a new claim from the NFL. This one was: Dr. Sills said that, of all intervals between games, the period of four days has resulted in the lowest number of injuries.

There’s no reason to doubt the accuracy of that information, but it still misses the point made by many players. Regardless of whether new injuries are incurred on a given Thursday, it’s harder to recover from the general wear and tear of playing football with only four days between games instead of seven.

That’s the one point that continues to be glossed over by the NFL — and by some in the media who blindly defend Thursday Night Football (possibly in the hopes of getting a job with NFL Media). Unless every player who has complained about the recovery time is lying, it’s a legitimate concern.

Maybe the excitement of playing on Thanksgiving made players less willing to gripe before Thursday Night Football became a thing. Maybe the league’s concussion-induced sensitivity to player health and safety over the past eight years has caused players to realize that playing on only four days’ rest isn’t conducive to player health and safety. Regardless, some players will continue to have concerns about Thursday football, no matter how hard the league or some in the media try to dispute them.

30 responses to “Jerry Jones sees no issues with short-week football

  1. I love how nearly all of the players repeatedly point out how hard Thursday games are on their bodies. Jerry Jones just comes right out and says “Nothing, not one shred of statistics show it to be a disadvantage, show it to be inordinately challenging physically for the players”. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why everyone has had enough of rich, powerful men. Just can’t put my finger on it!

  2. We don’t like playing Thursday games, we don’t like long travel, we don’t like to practice, we don’t like the country, We don’t want to play pre-season games, we don’t want to play more regular season games, We won’t work out in the off-season if you don’t pay us, WE DO want to get paid a lot more money….honestly, can’t wait till one day it’s robots playing.

  3. History : Green Bay – Detroit was always a Thanksgiving Day game with alternating home and home . The AFL started a Thanksgiving Day game and in 1966 Dallas pushed their way in always having a home game on a short week while the other team travels.
    If Dallas wants to play on Thanksgiving they should travel in alternate years.

  4. “What’s wrong with being tackled at full-force by 300-pound men every two minutes for three and a half hours—twice—within a four-day span?”

    Okay, Jerry.

  5. mmack66 says:
    November 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm
    Last time I checked, Thanksgiving only happens once a season.
    The last time I checked all teams only play ONE THURSDAY NIGHT GAME!!!! AND then they get a mini bye week with not seven but TEN days off after the Thursday night game! So where is the problem?

  6. I for one would like to see the stats that show how the home team does on these THursday night games. I would think that it would be a DISTINCT advantage to be the home team on a short week.

    I guess the only way to make it fair for everyone is to figure it it out so that everyone who plays on Thursday will be coming off a bye.

    BTW- I doubt it is much of an issue during the first month of the season, however as the season goes one, the effects get larger, simply because players are more banged up. Maybe the compromise is to end Thursday Football after Thanksgiving

    Personally, I’d end it completely if only because they are over saturating the market.

  7. Maybe the players, knowing that aside from Thanksgiving, Thursday games are usually bad match ups and simply don’t like the inconvenience of Thursday games that over half the time are only on the NFL network and therefore basically hidden from most fans. In other words, it’s possible that a number of these players are exaggerating the ‘wear and tear’ to denigrate something they simply don’t like. Routine is something that helps in sports, and Thursday games break it for everyone, not just Dallas and Detroit.

    Also, it is noteworthy that injury evidence compiled by a doctor was marginalized in this article in favor of players’ “feelings”.

  8. regaliaimagewear says:
    November 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    So where is the problem?

    The short week before the game, and one team has to travel.

  9. So what if 4 days isn’t enough to recover from general wear and tear? If you don’t get more injuries, it just means you’re more sore during the Thursday game than you are during a Sunday game. Is that a big problem? Roethlisberger said 7 days wasn’t enough to recover either, so now the teams playing on Thursday get 10 days to recover before the next game. Maybe that’s an advantage because you actually would have enough time, or at least more time, to recover in that case.

  10. It’s too bad Jerry glosses over the medical and health concerns while completely ignoring the quality of play.

    I am tired of non-competitive football.

    That should be his primary concern. I’m in the NEWLY IMPORTANT old guy classification of the fan base. We are the ones consuming football, so they should care what we think about the product.

  11. We’re the poster child of playing on Thursday [and] as a result what it does to the demand for players being rested or being healthy.”

    Your team never travels on Thanksgiving, probably a bit of an advantage, eh Jerry?

  12. limakey says:
    November 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Jones is going to do everything he can to muddy up the issues. He is pissed that Goodell has sided with the players on the anthem issue.

    So that’s what he’s pissed about? It’s s good thing you got the inside scoop for us. We need to get the word out right away! You wouldn’t believe how many people think it’s about some player getting suspended.

  13. Yeah, but this is the dummy some of you see as your savior for Roger. Roger has done all of the dumb stuff this moron has been the captain of because he thinks making money is more important than putting out a good product, and that was apparent way back in the 1990s. Back then he had more senior owners that kept him in check. He’s run amuck the last 10 or 15 years as he’s gained seniority since he’s got the blueprint down to a science in Dallas literally putting a .500 product on the field and making money hand over fist anyway. But let Zeke or Dak have career ending injuries on Thursday night. He’ll suddenly be against it before he was for it.

  14. So that’s what he’s pissed about? It’s s good thing you got the inside scoop for us. We need to get the word out right away! You wouldn’t believe how many people think it’s about some player getting suspended.


    Strange comment from a troll who yesterday put words in a Suh’s mouth.

    Thursday football is bad on the players bodies and the quality of the games….but Jerry doesn’t care.

  15. How misleading can they be?!?

    Dr. Sills claim that the period of four days sees the smallest number of injuries is due to how the NFL tracks injuries. The NFL doesn’t track injuries by game, but rather injuries reported before a game. Injuries that show up on that report can be due to the prior game (either 4 days or 15 days ago on bye weeks), various practice sessions, or even off-the-field reasons.

    You would expect data collected this way to show fewer injuries with fewer days covered.

    The truth is – they aren’t tracking the injuries by game throughout the NFL, just whether or not an injury will keep you from playing your next game.

  16. Jerry is just throwing more fuel on to his own stake. He wants to pit owners against their own players. I hope this Thanksgiving every single Cowboy kneels in protest of their owner. That will muzzle Jones.

  17. Remember Jerry Jones is the guy that didn’t have the common decency to let Tom Landry resign. Jones insisted on firing him first.

    What a class act, that Jerry!

    Jones showed his spots the moment he took over the team. No matter how much he tries–or tries not, to cover them, how many can say they have really been fooled?

    I say let Jerry keep his NFL franchise. As long as he continues to micromanage & coach the team, from the owner’s box; we can all enjoy watching Jerry’s team choke, sputter & fail.

    And, the best part is, everybody but Jerry, knows it’s all his own fault.

  18. Jerry sees no issues with domestic violence either. He has zero tolerance for it. Yet Zeke is sitting games. He had no issues with Greg Hardy either until he knocked a clipboard out of someone’s hand. That’s what he had the issue with. Not domestic violence.

  19. And this is the man you want to have replace Goodell with his own puppet. Can’t see that cliff a block down the street, huh?

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