Jerry Jones says 18-game season would be safer for the players

By Vincent Frank

About this time every single year a debate rages around the NFL world. It surrounds whether teams playing four preseason games is in the best interest of both the league and the safety of its players.

All 32 teams will take to the field on Thursday in a slate of games that will feature a vast majority of players who won’t even be on rosters following Saturday’s cutdown deadline.

In talking about this, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones rehashes a longtime argument from those within a power position in the NFL. He believes that the league needs to switch to an 18-games regular season and limit preseason action to two games. Jones’ explanation? He thinks it would make for a safer product for the players.

There’s an obvious reason for this belief. Sure Jones will point to it somehow being safer for players. But the real reason behind it is more revenue for the league and its teams. Two more regular season games would be a financial boon.

The counterpoint is obvious. If the NFL does move to an 18-game season, the NFLPA and its players would demand more cash. Players are currently being paid to suit up for 16 games. Asking them to play 18 regular season games would cause some collective bargaining issues.

As it relates to Jones’ initial point, there is absolutely no reason to believe that adding two regular season games would make the product safer for players. It’s a ridiculous conclusion to come to. Play more, and the risk of injury goes down. What type of spin is that?

Jones could at least be honest in noting that his stance is more about financials than player safety. And to use player safety as a guise is utterly ridiculous.