Jerry Jones: NFL is “evaluating” preseason length

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Lost in the explosion of news regarding the Andrew Luck retirement is the possibility that the NFL will lose half of the preseason.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones addressed the situation with reporters after his team’s most recent preseason game, against the Texans.

“We are evaluating,” Jones said. “I’m involved in our labor negotiation and we’re having CBA negotiations every Monday and Tuesday. Have been for several weeks. We all — players, the league — are looking at preseason and looking at what we can do to make preseason better for our fans.”

To the extent Jones is still a fan, he may be the only fan who doesn’t mind the preseason.

“I’m one of these guys that there’s an element of preseason that’s exciting to me, but everybody doesn’t look at it that way,” Jones said. “I thought that when you look at the fact that there are a hundred players apiece almost out there on that field tonight, which represents probably several hundred million [dollars] worth of talent, that’s enjoyable to me to watch those guys get out there and play. But the bottom line is that everybody knows that at the end of the day, it’s my town against yours and we want to see competing right down to the last down and so getting there with [the] preseason doesn’t happen. So we’re taking a look at it. . . . It has been a subject of evaluating, looking at, critiquing since I’ve been in the league for 30 years.”

That’s fine, but the critiquing has reached critical mass. With more and more teams playing fewer and fewer starters in the games that don’t count, fewer and fewer fans care about those games. At some point, some of those games have to go away.

But the owners won’t give up the revenue that comes from those games without a way to replace it. And those games won’t be replaced unless and until the NFL Players Association agrees to play more games that count. And the NFLPA won’t do that until the NFL makes an offer that the NFLPA can’t refuse.

The NFL already may be at the point where it can’t fail to make that kind of an offer.

10 responses to “Jerry Jones: NFL is “evaluating” preseason length

  1. All this hand wringing about the pre-season games is foolish. I simply sell those tickets, ain’t no big deal. And if you don’t like those games for whatever reason, then don’t watch them. I remember when there were 6 preseason games per year, and 14 real games. Now with the sissy practice rules from the last CBA, we still only have 14 real games per year at most because it takes teams 3 or 4 games to get up to speed. You think that will change by eliminating 2 preseason games? You’re dreaming.

  2. Why does it have to be a “game” in the traditional, 4 quarter-rules-are-the-rules sense?

    Why not shorten the games, but add additional drills in a competitive sense? So many teams want to joint practice these days, figure out ways to incorporate drills that made add to a score? Or a skills competition with non-starters?

    I don’t know, figure out ways to get people in the building, add competition and evaluation and make the preseason kind of exciting.

    What I DONT want is for the game to have less practice and get worse fundamentally than it has been. Considering since the last CBA, the cohesiveness has lacked for many teams…

  3. Relax the drug policy and I’m sure they’d consider agreeing to two more regular season games

  4. My opinion is simply… $$$

    As mentioned above, the coaches and players can certainly use the preseason as live evaluation time, and to show what they’ve got as far as talent.

    It’s beyond ludicrous to even suggest that these scrimmages should be valued at the same rate as the ones that count… the ones that the first team plays for the entirety of the game.

    I find the preseason to be interesting enough to DVR and watch, but only for the fact that I rather enjoy following my team closely. The only merit in these games, as a consumer, is to see the positional battles, and/or to attempt to form an opinion on whom one may prefer to make the 53.

    Other than that, preseason is largely useless for the consumer. The league i.e. the owners have gotten away with this because they can. Now that the consumers are finally getting fed up with sub par play from non-household names, something must be done.

    It’s really not a difficult concept to grasp, though whatever the answer may be looms large, both in the court of public opinion, and quite likely more importantly, regarding the CBA negotiations.

  5. This CBA agreement could be so easily accomplished if they proposed the following:

    3 week Preseason (2 games actually + 1 practice/scrimmage week (with another team)
    17 Game season (with 2 bye weeks).
    1 international game for every team (teams alternate home/away each yr)
    international week to be played 1st week of season (every team gets a bye week after international week).
    other 16 games of the season played out as normal after the international bye week.
    increase playoffs to 16 teams (insures all division winners get a home playoff game).
    Playoff week 1 = 1-8,2-7,3-6,4-5
    Playoff week 2 = winners week 1
    Playoff week 3= conference championship
    Playoff week 4 & 5 = Super bowl

    Only extends NFL season 1 week due to an extra bye week,
    insures all teams get international exposure every year
    expands current playoff system without adding extra weeks(eliminates bye’s in playoffs)
    Gives teams an extra week to rest starters, add/change rosters during beginning of season
    adds 1 more meaningful game to schedule being fair to each team.

    Agree to a more practical drug system.

    CBA accomplished (everyone claims the won) BOOM DONE

  6. texans44 says:
    August 27, 2019 at 2:41 pm
    This CBA agreement could be so easily accomplished if they proposed the following:
    Wait. Are you suggesting every team plays internationally in week 1? And then everybody gets a bye immediately after that? Where are all those teams going to play for that week 1? And why in the world would you want every team to have a bye week in the 2nd week of the season? And with 2 preseason games, how are you making up for the lost revenue? No. Just a bad plan.

    I dislike preseason along with everybody else, but the fact remains any plans that are discussed have to increase revenue for everybody, because that’s the game. Players whine about preseason, whine about Thursday night games, whine about most things. But none of those guys are giving up that fat paycheck to just play at noon on Sunday’s. And billionaire owners aren’t giving up any money for anything.

  7. texans44 says:
    August 27, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    increase playoffs to 16 teams (insures all division winners get a home playoff game).
    Playoff week 1 = 1-8,2-7,3-6,4-5
    Playoff week 2 = winners week 1
    Playoff week 3= conference championship
    Playoff week 4 & 5 = Super bowl

    Only extends NFL season 1 week due to an extra bye


    I’m not in favor of increasing playoff eligible teams. Too many lopsided games as it is in the playoffs

  8. My opinion is that the league should keep 16 regular season games, the market is already becoming over saturated with games on Monday Night, Thursday Night, Sundays and then Saturdays during the last couple of weeks. A workable solution would to hold two joint practice sessions that are exclusive to season ticket holders or purchasers of at large tickets, and only play two preseason games. But the key is to make the joint practices a substantial event for the fans, like having designated autograph times/tents, competition events for different age groups for kids (like kick, pass and run), food trucks, beer fests, field access, etc. That would be more entertaining for fans then watching 80% of guys that won’t be in the NFL play two different preseason games and something that people might actually want to pay to attend.

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