BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones caused a stir when he told reporters at the owners meetings Tuesday that it was "absurd" to think there is a definitive link between football and the degenerative brain disease CTE.
On Wednesday, Jones attempted to clarify his comments, saying that the NFL has not significantly changed its stance.
"All I said was that we [the NFL] have not changed," Jones told ESPN.com. "That is not an indication that we've changed anything or it's not something we just started the last several years. We've been looking at ways to improve the safety, looking for ways to assist in research and acting on it. So from that standpoint, I think the question was, 'Have you changed your direction in the NFL?' And the answer to that is no."
At a discussion in Washington, D.C., on March 14, Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety, was asked if the link between football and neurodegenerative diseases such as CTE has been established.
"The answer to that question is certainly yes," Miller said.
Jones said he is not denying that a definitive link could be established in the future. He wants more data.
"I'm just saying in a way your heart information might have been 50, 60 years ago and this will probably have a lot of time evolving, evaluating first of all how, if you can, to detect CTE during your active life," Jones said. "We don't know how to do that and we certainly don't know really the consequences of it at all.
"I'm having this explained to me. This isn't Dr. Jones, but in medicine you really do have to research and spend a lot of time collecting data on any particular medical issue and there hadn't been that kind of study and research. But there's going to be. So the implication is that all of a sudden we [the NFL] are intensifying and increasing our awareness. That's just not the case. We've had a real keen eye on research and learning more about what it is and making the game safer."