Responding to a generic tweet from CBS Sports asking which city would deserve an expansion team if the NFL decided to add a new franchise, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote Big D would be the best choice for the league.
“Why? We are about to pass the Chicago metro and become the #3 metro in the US, which would make us the largest US metro WITHOUT 2 teams,” he posted. “Football is king here. Dallas needs an expansion team and we would be able to sustain 2 NFL teams better than LA or NY.”
As Johnson alluded to, the NFL currently has two teams in its No. 1 and 2 markets in New York and Los Angeles with the Giants and the Jets and the Rams and Chargers. (That neither the Giants nor the Jets actually play in New York is its own little confusing wrinkle.) Johnson went so far as to suggest that Dallas would be best suited to add an AFC team in order to set up the potential for an all-Dallas Super Bowl between the expansion club and the Cowboys.
“We need an AFC team that plays in Southern Dallas,” Johnson tweeted. “It would never want for a fan base or attendance or support from the City of Dallas. Who wouldn’t want to see a Dallas versus Dallas Super Bowl…in the City of Dallas?”
Well, for one, probably Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The owner of the most valuable sports franchise in the world ($5.7 billion), 79-year-old Jones has the NFL’s regional market rights in the area and would likely have to sign off on another pro football team coming to town. As the Star-Telegram accurately points out, it seems very unlikely Jones would welcome an AFC team to Dallas until every seat, suite and hot dog at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Cowboy in Arlington, is sold in perpetuity.
To his credit, Johnson had predicted that sort of sentiment and already had a counter-argument ready to go. “So far the main reason I hear for why this can’t happen is because of Jerry Jones,” Johnson tweeted. “Well, first, let’s not put words in Mr. Jones’s mouth. Second, I work for the residents of Dallas, not Jerry Jones. Third, other NFL team owners also do not work for Jerry Jones, but themselves. So, if a deal can be made that benefits the NFL, the other owners, the City of Dallas, and possibly the Cowboys, it’s a no-brainer,” Johnson said. “But here’s the rub: if it benefits all of the stakeholders I just mentioned except Jerry Jones, does that mean a deal couldn’t/shouldn’t happen?”
Given that Jones, who loves being in the spotlight and would be loath to share it, is the most powerful owner in the NFL by virtue of owning the most expensive franchise in America’s favorite professional sports league, the answer is probably yes. Sorry, EJ.