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Jerry Jones insists on expanded season

DALLAS -- While Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones declined to predict the length of the looming NFL lockout, he is prepared for a collective bargaining agreement battle that would wipe out the entire offseason.

"What counts is, are we going to be playing in the fall? Are we going to be playing in the fall?" Jones said Tuesday during a press conference at the Super Bowl media center. "Not hang our hats on [organized team activities], how many offseason workouts, how much of all that. Are we going to be playing in the fall?

"I am one of the leaders of the pack on playing in the fall. I've got 31 right even with me as far as the owners are concerned. We want to be playing in the fall."

The lockout would begin in early March if the players' union and owners do not reach an agreement before the old collective bargaining agreement expires.

Jones reiterated his stance that he wants to expand the regular season to 18 games while reducing the preseason to two games, adding that he believes fans would be in favor of that schedule. The lengthening of the regular season is expected to be a sticking point between owners and players.

Jones also indicated that there needed to be major adjustments made in how the league's billions of dollars of revenue are split.

"It is incumbent on us to recognize what we had in place is not a good model," Jones said. "Rather than waiting until we're in the shape the country is in or the world is in when things have gone to hell in a handbasket economically, we make some of those changes we'd love to have made 10 or 15 years ago in this country or other countries. You do it before you're off the cliff rather than when you're driving off the cliff."

Jones said there will probably need to be a "real" threat of having games canceled before an new agreement is reached.

"Those things are fostered by the angst and the tension that can happen," Jones said. "That's so often how they're accomplished. It's important, very important ... that both parties get tired."

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.