Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to reporters during a post-game interview after a loss to the Saints. (Jonathan Bachman / Associated Press)
October 6, 2015
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones emerged from NFL headquarters Tuesday with an unmistakable message.
He’s ready to get Los Angeles done.
“My role completely here is not one of selling anybody,” said Jones, standing just off Park Avenue on a pristine day when the league held smaller committee meetings. “My role is to just remind us that we don’t have but one chance to do it right in Los Angeles. Let’s get it right. And let’s do it.”
Make no mistake, there will be all sorts of sales pitches involved. The league’s 32 owners are trying to come to an agreement on how to return to the nation’s second-largest market after a 20-year absence. This game of musical chairs involves three franchises and two sites, with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke vying for his stadium plan in Inglewood, and San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis jointly backing a competing project in Carson.
All the owners will convene Wednesday at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, two blocks away from league offices, for their annual fall meetings. L.A. is the primary topic, which is almost unheard of for this time of year. Typically, talks about that market take place in the spring, when there’s more time to ramble on about which direction the league might be heading.
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But the clock is winding down on the NFL’s stated goal of making a decision in time to have professional football in the L.A. market by next season. And, although many owners are cryptic about which way they’re leaning, clearly opinions are beginning to solidify.
Jones has lavishly praised the deep-pocketed Kroenke before for his willingness to be bold and take a risk on L.A., much the way Jones took a risk when he bought the Cowboys in 1989, in the aftermath of the Texas oil bust.
“Lamar Hunt stood up in an owners’ meeting — and I was so proud when he said it,” Jones said, referring to the late owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. “He said, ‘The biggest risk I’ve ever seen in sports is Jerry Jones when he bought the Dallas Cowboys.’ … I was intoxicated and blind with passion, and I wanted to be involved in the NFL and I wanted the Cowboys, and I ignored that. That’s to me the passion that moves mountains. That’s the thing that gets it done.
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