OXNARD, Calif. – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones sounded like a man with a secret when asked about the future of pro football in Los Angeles.
As the Cowboys prepare for a month-long training camp just up the road from the nation's second-largest media market, Jones fielded a question about how far away the area was from having a football team of its own.
"Closer than ever – ever being since they left, which has been a long time ago," said Jones coyly.
Los Angeles hasn't had an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left the city in 1994. There has been rampant speculation of a re-location to the area in the near future, especially with the proposed construction of a $1.2 billion stadium in L.A.
"There are some viable ways for a team or teams to be in Los Angeles," Jones said. "And we've got some very talented, very qualified people that want to be part of it, that are not a part of the league right now, and we've obviously got people in the league that want this very much."
Jones listed himself as one of the people eager for the NFL's return to Los Angeles. Before his family moved to Arkansas, he was born in the city just before the Rams moved to town.
"I was born here. I've got a lot of cousins here. And they are doing some heavy lifting keeping these Cowboys' heads up out here, with Los Angeles," he said. "Seriously, I think we're closer. I say that not just wishing. I say that technically because I'm aware of some things happening that make sense."
One of those things would have to be the eventual construction of Farmers Field in downtown Los Angeles. But Jones said there are ways around that roadblock, if someone is willing to make the commitment.
"There are certainly ways to do it without having a stadium ready. So those are moving parts. I think that you've got to, though, have the commitment, which for the people that make those kinds of commitments, it starts that day for them, in a serious way," he said. "I wouldn't want to give you a time frame on it. I do think the commitment and the substance with that commitment, is right around the corner."