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Jerry Jones Says Players Would Benefit Physically From 18-Game Schedule

Jerry Jones says a shorter preseason and less practice could lead to a reduction in injuries.

In an appearance on Shan and RJ on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said a shorter preseason and an 18-game regular-season schedule would be his solution for helping to make the NFL safer.

Jones said it is "debatable" whether or not an 18-game regular season would really "create a safer game for the players" but added that he did use that reasoning when he lobbied for a longer regular season previously.

"My solution is real simple, cut back on preseason games," Jones said. "Have one at each team's home, play a couple of them and then add two games to the regular season, which I've been a proponent of for several years. That's a better equity or a better way of players using what they bring to the table, their talents, their skills, their professional time in pro sports. That'll give them a bigger pay day that's fair. The other thing it does is it certainly gives our fans what we all think they deserve and that is a competitive game."

Jones did not provide specific details on how the timing and structure of the schedule would change if the regular season moved to 18 games, but he did explain his logic behind why he thinks more regular season games would be safer in the long run.

"I think, candidly, it's probably physically better for players than it is to have the longer preseason, the longer practicing," Jones said. "Our studies show that we actually have a ramped-up injury situation with players during preseason as opposed to the injury factor in the regular season."

The Cowboys will close out their preseason Thursday on the road against the Texans, and they will not play their starters in that contest. Running back Ezekiel Elliott has not played at all in the preseason and Thursday's game will be the second that quarterback Dak Prescott sits out.