Talk of Fame Network
Listening to Dallas owner Jerry Jones, it seems certain that the NFL playoffs will expand from 12 to 14 teams — and sooner rather than later.
“One of the things that I think really would enhance the cities’ pride in their teams and involvement in their teams is to give a couple more teams a chance to be in the playoffs,” Jones said on the latest Talk of Fame Network radio broadcast. “We can do that, and it doesn’t — in my view — diminish the value of a game. That’s not enough additional playoff games to create a situation like you might have in other sports where you have too many additional games and diminish their value.”
The subject is expected to be addressed at a league meeting, with commissioner Roger Goodell saying he could see it happening as soon as the 2015 season. But Jones said any move would be contingent on “our television or the anticipated television agreements that we’ll make in the future.”
He also said he favors expanding into foreign markets, with “at least three, possibly four places around the world” that would make sense. One site, of course, is London, where the NFL annually stages regular-season games, but another is Mexico City — where the Cowboys once played a preseason contest.
“We have such a great following and our game is so popular there,” he said. “But, more importantly, we have such a great Mexican-American fan base, and that’s something the NFL not only cherishes, but wants to cultivate.”
Before that happens, however, the league is interested in returning to Los Angeles, and while no team will be headed there in 2015, there has been talk of a club or clubs relocating by 2016 or 2017. The country’s second-largest city has not had an NFL franchise since the Raiders and Rams left town prior to the 1995 season.
“When I look at how owners are viewed in the NFL,” Jones said, “and then we’re sitting here with no team in Los Angeles, I don’t like what that puts on our report card. It doesn’t look very smart.
“This is the best time I’ve seen (for something to happen). We have teams that have their situations where they are now and the cities (where) they’re in that will allow them to move if they wish to. But it needs to be accompanied be serious, talented management … engaged management, committed every way — not just financially, but every way. It’s too important to the future of the NFL and NFL football not to do it right in Los Angeles.”