We’re only in the second year of the 17-game NFL regular season schedule, but Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is already eyeing an additional game.
During an appearance on K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk), the 80-year-old Jones stated that he’s “a big proponent” for an 18-game regular season schedule:
“One more I see, and I’m a big proponent of it. I think that’s the right level. That allows us to, as we go into the early games of the season, that allows us to have those games. You will get better if you play those games because you will play less preseason games. You know at one time they played six preseason games in the NFL for you history buffs. But still I like to play two or three preseason games and 18 regular season games and have been a proponent of that.”
As part of the new CBA, NFL owner had the option to expand the regular season schedule from 16 games to 17 in 2021. The league decided to make the 17th game an extra AFC team vs. NFC team matchup.
The 17th game has allowed the league to run several marquee matchups that we’d otherwise only see once every four years in the regular season. For instance, the 17th game allowed us to see Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady Part 6 this year, and the Buffalo Bills vs. the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the Kickoff Game.
The NFL expanded from a 14-game regular season schedule to 16 games in 1978, and the format stayed that way until the 2020 season.
Jones and the other NFL owners would stand to make significantly more money with an extra regular season game. But a large number of players will understandably have health and safety concerns over expanding the schedule for a physically-demanding and violent sport.
The addition of the 17th game is one of the two drastic changes the NFL has made going back to 2020. That year, the league expanded the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams, with only the top seed in each conference getting a first-round bye.
Even if the players are keen on the idea of an 18-game regular season schedule, a change likely wouldn’t take place for several years. But if you’re Jones, it doesn’t hurt to at least float the idea around.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.