OXNARD, Calif. – Add Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones to the list of supporters for an NFL presence in Los Angeles.
It's not surprising Jones would be asked about the prospect on Monday, considering the Cowboys hosted a joint practice against the St. Louis Rams – one of several teams that is currently rumored to be moving to the L.A. area.
"This is going to be one of the big, big upsides for the NFL in the near future, is to come in here and put a team or teams in Los Angeles," Jones said. "It's very important that we do it right. Obviously, if we do it right, it can be a big, big, big deal for our league. At the same time, as we've shown before, you can mess it up."
The Rams played in Los Angeles from 1946 until 1995 before moving to St. Louis for the last 20 years. They're one of three teams reportedly considering the move to L.A., along with the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders also spent time in Los Angeles, as they moved to southern California from 1982 through 1994.[embeddedad0]
"It's real important that we get this right. It's a big time decision, and I think we will get it right," Jones said.
None of this seems like it affects the Cowboys on the surface – except for the large fan base in California, not to mention the team's regular trips to Oxnard for training camp.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said earlier this week that he didn't think a team relocating to Los Angeles would adversely affect the franchise, and Stephen Jones agreed with him.
"I don't think it will. I think it's a good thing – L.A. is a big place," he said. "I can't imagine it would be a big issue with us training here for a couple of weeks every year."
The Cowboys will complete construction on their new headquarters in Frisco, Texas, next summer. But team officials have said in the past that they still envision the team traveling for at least part of training camp.