Jerry Jones insists grass is no safer than artificial turf

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Numerous players, along with the NFL Players Association, and multiple coaches have called for universal grass playing surfaces. No owner has joined the choir.

Now, one owner whose billion-dollar football cathedral uses the fake stuff has begun singing a different hymn.

“Our league stats don’t see issues with the type of surface that we have as opposed to natural grass,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “We don’t see issues. No facts bear that out.”

Jerry’s “facts” undoubtedly come from statistics, which always can be massaged and characterized to support a given perspective. Regardless of whatever stats Jones would cite to support his position, the NFLPA has backed up its position with numbers.

“The data supports the anecdotes you’ll hear from me and other players: artificial turf is significantly harder on the body than grass,” NFLPA president JC Tretter wrote in 2020. “Based on NFL injury data collected from 2012 to 2018, not only was the contact injury rate for lower extremities higher during practices and games held on artificial turf, NFL players consistently experienced a much higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries on turf compared to natural surfaces. Specifically, players have a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries when playing on artificial turf. Of those non-contact injuries, players have a 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries on turf and a staggering 69% higher rate of non-contact foot/ankle injuries on turf compared to grass.”

There are the facts, Jerry. But those facts don’t matter when the real facts are how much it would cost to maintain a proper grass field, and more importantly to protect it when other events occur at the stadium. Some new stadiums have a system for rolling the grass field out of the building. Jerry World doesn’t, and it would be virtually impossible (or at least ridiculously expensive) to retrofit AT&T Stadium or other fixed- or retractable-roof structures that currently don’t have a removable grass field.

Jones is basically stuck on this one. Instead of admitting that the players and coaches who want grass are right and that he’ll spend whatever it takes to make the playing surface as safe as he can be, Jones will simply say (as he did) that it’s fine as it is.

Even if it isn’t.

27 responses to “Jerry Jones insists grass is no safer than artificial turf

  1. Sadly we live in the day and age where facts and statistics don’t matter to people when they don’t support their position. Then the same people ignoring facts and statistics will manipulate or present them without proper context to support their position.

  2. “I am very wealthy. What I says is the only thing that matters regardless of results or actual facts.” – signed owner who hasn’t won anything without Jimmy Johnson or JJ’s players.

  3. We have just discovered another job title for The Jerruh beyond GM, Doctor, Lawyer, Head Coach, and Talent (mainly female) scout. He is now the head grounds keeper of the Dome of Death. We are likely to see him in the remake of “Caddy Shack” where he plays the role of Bill Murray (along with all other cast members).

  4. Jerry,

    Take look at the Packers injury list during and after the Lions game. A few Lions got nicked up too. Tell me that was all coincidence.

  5. If statistics can be massaged (and thus are inherently suspect) when used by owners, why are the statistics given by the NFLPA given such respect and breathless reverence?

  6. If you count the cesspool turf at Soldier Field Jones is not exactly wrong.

  7. A lot of old old men owning NFL teams these days just saying whatever comes into their head.

  8. Having watched Jerry and understanding Jerry speak for decades. He finds no competitive advange to adding grass. At his point in life and richness, money is not a factor, if he belives one surface gained him an advantage in player availability, free agent attraction, or anything that helped the cowboys win he would do it.

  9. The players union can skew the data to favor themselves just like Jerry can skew it to favor himself.

  10. Jerruh doesn’t want to spring for real grass at Jerry World. Maybe he’ll get the Arlington tax payers to buy it for him.

  11. I don’t see how grass would work in many existing domed stadiums that lack the infrastructure to “move” the field outside into the sunlight (like New Orleans). Not even sure the translucent roofs that are in LA and MN would allow grass to grow. I suppose they could buy a bunch of indoor grow lights from the local marijuana growers.

  12. Is Jerruh also now taking on the role of professional horticulturist in addition to owner, head physician and trainer, general manager, scouting director, head coach, PR director, and psychologist?

  13. Done the stadium tour there and they can get grass in there for soccer games between European teams. They also would not be allowed to have any World Cup games by FIFA if it was artificial turf, grass pitches only for that tourney. So they can do it but Jerry just can’t be arsed doing it for the nfl

  14. Soccer players play on grass, and, despite performing at least as many leg and foot maneuvers as NFL players do, NFL players, who play mainly on artificial surfaces, have many more serious leg and foot injuries than do soccer players. THOSE ARE FACTS. All Jerry Jones and the NFL care about is their bottom line.

  15. I thought that these modern “field turfs” with the rubber and sand infill were supposed to be safer? We see a lot of these turf fields in college athletics and high schools now. Are there injury concerns in the NCAA and high schools?

    Would be interesting to see the data such as the type of injury and the venue — was it a grass surface or was it a synthetic surface. Field conditions at the time. Too many variables at play to just say that turf fields are not safe.

  16. I’ve been watching the bills play on turf my whole life. I can’t recall major ACL injuries on the bills turf. Tre white happened in NO. In fact, under the pegulas, the bills have generally been one of the healthiest teams in the league (in terms of man games lost). This is the first year injuries are happening left and right and I don’t think the turf is to blame.

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