Pope meets with NFL delegation, urges 'culture of encounter'

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met with a Pro Football Hall of Fame delegation that included Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday and urged them to translate values of teamwork and fair play from the football field to the broader community and help build a "culture of encounter."

Hall of Famers Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, Franco Harris, Jim Taylor, Ronnie Lott and Floyd Little also were in attendance.

Speaking Wednesday during a special audience, Francis said such values help "combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family."

The pope joked that he is an avid fan of football -- but the Argentine kind.

"As many of you know, I am an avid follower of football, but where I come from, the game is played very differently," he said.

Francis recorded a video message on the eve of this year's Super Bowl in which he repeated his call for sports to encourage a "culture of encounter."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.