FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones wants to see 18 regular-season games and two preseason games, and he said he does not believe the players' health will be adversely affected.
"I think candidly it's probably physically better for players than it is to have the longer preseason, the longer practicing," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. "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."
Jones acknowledged it is "debatable" as to whether there is more of a health risk, but said, "I think it's defensible, and really I did present it on the basis that it's something I think it does, and that's create a safer game for the players."
In recent years, teams have cut back on how much their starters and regulars play in the preseason. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will enter the regular season without any work in the preseason for the first time in his career. With injuries on the offensive line, Dak Prescott did not play last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cowboys close the preseason against the Houston Texans on Thursday and will not play their starters.
Jones said he has been a proponent of an expanded regular-season schedule for years. He said the topic of an 18-game regular season will be brought up in the impending talks around a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association.
"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," Jones said. "That will give them a bigger payday that's fair. And the other thing it does is certainly give our fans what we all think they deserve, and that's a competitive game."