Sports Outside the Beltway

Giving Jerry Jones His Due

FWST sportswriter Clarence Hill agrees that Jerry Jones deserves some kudos for taking one for the League in the NFL labor negotiations.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t personally win on Wednesday. The six-year extension on the collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association, approved 30-2 by owners after two days of contentious meetings at the D/FW Grand Hyatt, did not make him happy. But it was best for the continued growth of the NFL and best for fans of pro football, Jones said. “It showed in my effort to bend and acquiesce areas,” Jones said. “I felt so strongly for our fans that we couldn’t walk out of this building and not have a deal. I would have hung my head. We have a higher calling to have that happen. It was about this league. More important it was about the fans.”

Jones entered the meetings labeled a maverick who would potentially lead a group of high-revenue owners in a bid to derail an agreement. In the end he proved to be one of the deal makers Wednesday, going against his own philosophy to shepherd a new six-year agreement that included expanded revenue sharing and 59.5 percent of total league revenue going to player salaries.

Jones said the expansion on revenue sharing was not best for the Cowboys, but getting an agreement was best for the league. “I expected to come out of this without having my Christmas list intact,” Jones said. “I met my expectations.”


Per the revenue sharing plan, high-revenue teams will contribute roughly 30 to 40 percent more to revenue sharing than low revenue teams, Jones said. That contribution will be done proportionally based on the top five (including the Cowboys), the top 10 and the top 15 in revenue.

Jones said he didn’t want to approve additional revenue sharing because he felt the plan in place was working. He said the NFL has been successful over the past few years in the form of building new stadiums and TV deals.

“If I am anything, I can make a deal,” Jones said, and added, smiling, “I would never have got a chance to coach the Cowboys if I hadn’t been a deal maker.”

Coach the Cowboys? I’m hoping that was just the fatigue talking!

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