Love him or hate him, owner Jerry Jones is an ambassador for the NFL. From his huge influence in television rights to stadium development, the Hall of Fame owner has made a huge imprint on the game of football ever since he bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. And the outspoken owner could be at it again as he attempts to sway how the league deals with marijuana use.
Recently, in an owners-only meaning, owners were able to get together and speak about any topics they saw fit to discuss. As Mike Florio reports, this included the subject of marijuana use in the NFL.
Jones, per a source who heard the comments, wants the league to drop its prohibition on marijuana use. Jones was reminded that the issue falls under the umbrella of collective bargaining, which would require the players to make one or more concessions in exchange for significant changes to the marijuana prohibition.
Of course it’s easy to see how Jones would advocate for such a thing since the Cowboys have been bit numerous times by seeing their players suspended for violating the leagues substance abuse policy. The team has had three key players miss time due to suspensions. It started in 2015 when Rolando McClain was suspended the first four games of the season. Another failed test would tag another 10 games to the 2016 season. The Cowboys, for all intent and purposes, would wash their hands of McClain as he isn’t expected to play another down for the team. Then, they got hit with a double whammy last off-season when news of a four-game suspension would be thrown at Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. For Lawrence, it might have been an isolated incident and it wasn’t related to marijuana use, but rather amphetamines. But the problem goes much deeper for Gregory. The Cowboys young pass rusher would fail two more drug tests for marijuana, which resulted in another 10-game suspension (also in 2016) and then a year-long ban for 2017. Overall, players have missed a total of 50 games due to suspensions from marijuana use.
That’s a huge hit.
Now while the pot epidemic has affected the Cowboys in the last couple years, is that a reason for Jones to push for a rule change that would allow players to smoke weed? From a social perspective, this is a conflicted issues. So much in fact, that each individual state makes their own rules on whether or not pot should be legalized. The states of Colorado and Washington where the first to come out in 2012 and legalize it, but now many other states are following suit.
If marijuana uses continues to become more socially acceptable, could this translate over to the NFL? The league is very strict about the conduct of it’s players and has been under a lot of scrutiny of how they’ve handled situations pertaining to off-field misconduct. But the question still begs - should smoking pot be considered misconduct.