Jerry Jones is being noticed today for exhuming that old 18-game regular season corpse, and you had to figure the Dallas Cowboys owner would pop up at some point since being muzzled about the National Anthem and his own ludicrous inconsistencies on that topic.
But here he is, The Man Who Cannot Keep Still, telling the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw and Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan that not only is an 18-game regular season and two-game preseason the best way to make more money but the best way to keep players safer.
The first, of course, is indisputable. Practice games stink so much that even coaches are investing less value in and use from them. But the idea that more of an unhealthy practice is safer than less of an unhealthy practice is a level of true-isn’t-true that could only be passed off by a top-level BS artist or a politician.
“I can make the case that we have an uptick in concussions in the preseason,'” he told Cowlishaw. “If you look at it, I would contend there would be less exposure” because of a shorter training camp.
The radio show, though, caused him to be even bolder in expressing his highly-valued medical opinion.
“I think candidly it's probably physically better for players than it is to have the longer preseason, the longer practicing," he said. "Our studies show that we actually have a ramped-up injury situation with players during preseason as opposed to the injury factor in the regular season.”
He did admit that it is “debatable” as to whether there is more of a health risk, but went on to say, “I think it's defensible, and really I did present it on the basis that it's something I think it does, and that's create a safer game for the players.”
Well, let’s get to the point here, which is that he’s preposterously wrong (and in fairness, he is carrying some public water for commissioner Roger Goodell, who also whinges on command about training camp/regular season game ratios on an annual basis). The only rational affect of preseason games on injuries is that they happen in meaningless games and more often to players whom the teams regard as expendable (read: cheap and/or not part of the grand plan). It is at best a false economy, at worse a poorly-told fib.
Put another way, when a football owner with Jones’ record for blowhardery says something is A, it is not only B, but might indeed be C, with a side of F.
Except in this one aspect:
“It would provide more than $1 billion to the players. It's certainly worth considering. It would direct more value for what the players expend to the players.”
Yes, the money. Always the money. But even here, he didn’t mention how much it would bring to the owners, which safely can be estimated as a hell of a lot more than $ billion, and unlike money to players, the owners’ share is guaranteed.
In short, Jones is firing off the annual end-of-training-camp training-camp-must-be-curtailed screed, and given that the CBA talks start in only three years’ time, an equally traditional bartering ploy.
Now if he wants to get in line with coaches like Bill Belichick, who values practices with other teams over than games, or Sean McVay, who didn’t bother to point most of his offensive players to the game-day field in preseason, then maybe we’d bite. If he wanted to make the case that two practice games and 16 regular season games was safer and more logical, we wouldn’t be leaning so aggressively into this bucket right here.
But since Jerry was, is, and will always be about the short money, he will trot out the longer regular season pony to cavort with the shorter training camp dog. And by saying it would be safer as well as more lucrative, he is now showing his natural propensity for telling the whopper too big to die.
You have to give the man his due, though. No other owner would gnaw through his muzzle and bark louder about something that doesn’t exist. It’s a gift. Just not one anyone would ever want to open wth any hope of there being something useful therein.