FRISCO - An emotional Jerry Jones insists there will be a 2020 NFL season. A more somber Mike McCarthy suggests there might not be a Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard - with a whisper to us that we should plan on the team spending the summer at The Star in Frisco.
And now this: By now, annually, we know the upcoming schedule - details upon which to plan and to dream. But COVID-19 is forcing the NFL to consider contingency plans - "what-if's - that according to insider Peter King could mean a 14-game schedule or a 12-game schedule or changed even more drastic.
According to John Ourand and Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, some of the alternate considerations are now being locked in, including:
*An October 15 start to the regular season - that's a month-and-a-half delay.
*The elimination of bye weeks - not the move that ensures safety for the players, but one that helps the calendar squeeze.
*The elimination of the Pro Bowl - and outside of revenue lost, not many will miss it.
*The postponement of the Super Bowl until the last day of February.
The report suggests that the initial schedule release will look like a "standard 16-game, 17-week slat'' but will come with various contingencies. The report also suggests that the NFL is trying to be sensitive about even releasing the schedule, and about when might be an appropriate time, given the public sensitivity as we all deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL is one of the world's most prominent and powerful businesses, so decisions like this will be considered at the highest level, even up to the White House, where Cowboys owner Jones and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are among those on President Trump's "Re-Open America'' sports committee.