Dallas Cowboys: Why Preseason Games Must Be Changed or Eliminated

Nov 9, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (left) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (left) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys suffered a major loss this preseason. That’s just another reason these exhibitions must be changed or eliminated altogether.

For all of the things that the NFL gets right, preseason isn’t one of them. It’s stupid and should be eliminated like the meaningless Pro Bowl. I’ve felt this way for years, but Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo‘s injury puts preseason under an intense spotlight. For all of the talk about player safety, nobody wants to talk about the absurdity of players participating in four preseason games. The root of it is focused on greed.

Any fan will tell you that there’s no reason for the teams to charge full ticket prices during preseason games. When the schedule comes out, who is seriously rushing to book airplane tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars to travel for a preseason game? Is it worth the headache and financial expense to see receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten take the field and play for two possessions? No. Absolutely not.

Preseason games are like paying full ticket prices to see Beyonce perform at a sound check and concert dress rehearsal. NFL teams think they’re slick by packaging the preseason games into the regular season ticket packages. That’s greedier than Mylan raising the price on the EpiPen. The NFL simply has a monopoly on the sport. For that reason, I liked the XFL – unfortunately, I was the only one. #SupportYourArenaFootballTeam

Is the NFL the only league with a preseason? No, but our sport is terribly violent and owners should be interested in protecting the financial investment in their players. Tony Romo’s average salary is $18 million – let me add the zero’s – $18,000,000.00. Have you ever gotten upset because you forgot to cancel a trial membership and got charged $20? If Romo didn’t play at all this season, that’s how Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would feel – but minus $18 million. Why would you risk that during a meaningless preseason game? I could find 20 billion members of Cowboy Nation that would tell you – Romo shouldn’t have been on the field at all – and they’d be right.

The arguments that the coaches use for preseason are ridiculous and contradictory. An excellent example is found in the final preseason game against the Houston Texans. Dak Prescott isn’t going to play. Just be clear – A rookie quarterback that has never started or played in a regular season NFL game doesn’t need any reps during the final preseason game. However, Tony Romo – Mr. four time Pro Bowler – Mr. 13 year veteran – Mr. 4,331 passing attempts – Mr. 65.3% completion percentage – Mr. 34,154 yards – Mr. 247 touchdowns – Mr. 97.1 career passer rating – Mr. That’s My Quarterback – Yes, Mr. $18 million dollar average salary needs to get preseason reps? Absolutely not!

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I’m not even going to mention all the fans that are comfortable with Prescott getting his first start and throwing his first NFL pass but held that against my boy Kellen Moore last season. Moore was being developed by offensive coordinator Scott Linehan behind quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Romo. Moore sat for three years before finally getting his first chance last year. That was supposed to be the plan with Prescott learning under Romo. We’re just playing the hand we’re dealt this year, but Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel kept us out of the playoffs last year.

The NFL is big on giving back. They support breast cancer awareness, children’s hospitals and youth football with the NFL Foundation. I believe that Jerry Jones could make preseason great again. Jones mentioned that he would like to see a high school players walk onto the Cowboys practice field at The Star in Frisco and meet members of the team. That’s a fantastic idea.

I would start by proposing that NFL teams have two scrimmages at local colleges and high schools. In Texas, some of the high school stadiums look better than Fed-Ex field (every field is better than Fed-Ex Field). Use the money for teacher salaries, better, safer sports equipment, new textbooks or building maintenance – get the school a new heating and air conditioning unit. It’s not a stretch because teams already coordinate with each other to have joint practices. Just have an event at a facility that would appreciate your attendance and could also benefit from the additional funds generated.

The NFL should also consider starting the season a week earlier, but adding an extra bye week. If the concern is really about player safety and putting the best product on the field – two bye weeks during the first 12 games is realistic. One bye week every six weeks of the season as long as they aren’t back to back. The last four games of the season is a battle to make a strong playoff run and earn a third bye week at the start of the playoffs.

Season ticket holders have already purchased preseason tickets – don’t be bullied! Getting the NFL to change or eliminate preseason will take a coordinated movement but Cowboy Nation is big enough. Fans league wide would have to start by boycotting preseason games at regular ticket prices. That would be a good start. If you feel the same, we have to contact the NFL and teams by phone, email, twitter and facebook, so it could be discussed during the next owner’s meeting.

Next: Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projection (Defense)

Preseason is meaningless. Players get removed from teams during training camp and practices, you don’t need four preseason games to evaluate players. We can make preseason better for fans, players and communities. The biggest obstacle is convincing those Houston Texan fans that playing the Cowboys in preseason isn’t the Super Bowl – but when you don’t have any rings, we understand.



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