The Philadelphia Eagles made some news last week by proposing a league resolution that would see the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions alternate home and away games on Thanksgiving each subsequent season. The likely purpose of this proposal, which was ultimately withdrawn, was to prevent an unfair advantage those two teams currently possess. As previously explained:
Since Thursday Night Football began in 2006, the Cowboys have played just two Thursday road games … and neither were on short rest because they previously played on Thanksgiving the week before. By comparison, the Eagles have played FIVE Thursday night away games on short rest in that same span.
On Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones weighed in on the Eagles’ withdrawn proposal. Here’s what he had to say:
We asked Jerry Jones about the Eagles’ failed rule proposal to make Dallas & Detroit alternate home games on Thanksgiving. He joked that he loves the Dallas-Philly rivalry, “but that’s going too far.”— David Helman (@HelmanDC) March 26, 2019
He said the Cowboys’ & Lions’ traditions are good for the league. pic.twitter.com/qXprK4ztGk
The Eagles are absolutely not “going too far” by proposing teams shouldn’t have an unfair advantage. Of course, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jones thinks his team having that edge is “good for the NFL.”
The good news for Jones is that he probably won’t have to worry about losing his advantage this year since the Eagles withdrew their proposal. The bad news for Jones is that Philly may have planted a seed that could see the Thanksgiving tradition change in the future. Mike Florio recently had a good take on this notion:
Here’s a theory: The Eagles fully intended to make the proposal and then to withdraw the proposal, with the understanding that the withdrawn proposal would still appear on the list of proposed rule changes. That way, the Eagles don’t look like jerks (or they look less like jerks) but the point still gets made.
It’s actually a great point. Although the NFL remains determined to extend the Dallas and Detroit hammerlock on Thanksgiving games because they were willing to host the games when no one else was, there’s nothing unfair about requiring them to play their annual short-week game on the road, every other year. In fact, given the proliferation of short-week football, it’s only fair to expect all teams to play their short-week games at home one year and on the road the next year.
Since the owners can pass any rule changes that they want, they can proceed with this one, regardless of whether it was withdrawn by the Eagles. And, in the interests of fairness to all teams, the owners should take up this issue, and vote in favor of it.