Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is pushing for an 18 game regular season and two preseason games. Jones claims that the Cowboys studies have shown that there is a higher liklihood that players will get injured during the preseason than during the regular season.
I, for one, would love to see the research that backs up Jones’ thoughts on the preseason because it sounds like it is very thorough scientific study. I would also like to point out here that the Cowboys have routinely limited starters playing in preseason games to limit the potential for injuries. Which is a practice I can get behind, as long as fans aren’t playing high ticket prices for preseason games, because it’s bad form to charge high ticket prices when starters aren’t even playing in the preseason game.
While Jones is pushing for an 18 game regular season, he doesn’t have any ideas on how it work in terms of timing and scheduling. As it stands right now, the National Football League’s regular season ends on December 30th, which includes one bye week for each team. Adding two additional games would push the regular season to most likely 19 weeks and push it into the first two weeks of January, pushing the playoffs back another two weeks with the Super Bowl ultimately happening towards the end of February.
If the league does add two additional games, does that mean that teams will get an additional bye week? How would that even work because ideally one bye week would the first one happen in the first part of the season and the second towards the end? Is that even possible? I don’t think so because it would take a lot of creative maneuvering to give each team two bye weeks while still having a full game schedule each week. But if they don’t give an additional bye week that’s putting even more stress on the players to play at a high level for 18 games (not including playoffs and the Super Bowl) with only one bye week that for some would be wasted in the first half of the season.
Jones may think that 18 games is a good idea from a business standpoint, because it’s a fantastic idea. It gives owners at least one more additional home game to gain revenue. It also as a whole gives teams more money because they make money from the TV revenue that comes from the league. So really Jones probably only wants 18 games to make more money, which little regard for the health impacts it would have on his players.
Unless Jones releases the studies he used to form his 18 regular season game schedule opinion, it feels purely like a money grab that will only hurt players in the long run.