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How to Fix the Cowboys

In our home city of Dallas, America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, are life. So many of us Dallasites bleed blue, silver, and white. Despite our loyalty to our team, since our Superbowl win in 1995, the Cowboys have won squat. This season has been no exception, with the Cowboys being generously described as “awful.” Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' infamous owner, has succeeded in turning the team into the most valuable sports franchise in the world. Despite this, in his role as general manager, he has done more to hurt than help the team’s chances of achieving the ultimate goal of any NFL franchise: winning a championship. Be it overpaying players, drafting players who the team does not need, or firing any coach who questions his authority, Jerry Jones has hurt the Dallas Cowboys as much as he has helped them.

To end the suffering of Dallas Cowboys fans, the city of Dallas should buy the Dallas Cowboys from Jerry Jones. I know, I know, Jerry would never sell the Cowboys, but he did say that he may consider an offer of 10 billion dollars or more. If Dallas could secure funding to buy the team, be it through municipal bonds or other methods, the city over time would more than make its money back. With the Cowboys’ annual revenue of almost one billion dollars, the city would recoup its profit, and after that, use the team's profits to improve the city.

One of the major roadblocks to this plan is the NFL’s ban on non-profit ownership of its franchises. This, however, can be overcome by a law that would pull the antitrust TV exemption for sports leagues that do not allow non-profit organizations to own their franchises. In fact, Congress has considered such legislation in the past. Suppose the city of Dallas was able to mobilize its lobbyists and work with interest groups that advocate for local governments like the National League of Cities and the US Conference of Mayors. In that case, they could put sufficient pressure on Congress to pass a bill that would remove the aforementioned antitrust exemption for sports leagues. This legislation would force the NFL’s hand to allow non-profit organizations and local governments, like the city of Dallas, to own sports franchises.

The implications of the city of Dallas buying the Cowboys would be huge. The city would have to figure out a way to manage the team. They would likely go with a model similar to that of the only publicly owned NFL franchise, the Greenbay Packers, where a committee made up of a number of qualified executives runs the team and represents the team at NFL owners meetings. The executives would likely be selected by the Dallas City Council or a city board or commission responsible for overseeing the team. With Jerry Jones out of the picture, the Dallas Cowboys could hire a real general manager, who could put ego aside and make decisions that are best for the team. The new general manager could, unlike Jerry, could take a step back from the team and its players and make decisions not based on personal emotions but known facts. With this new leadership, the Dallas Cowboys could directly benefit the city of Dallas and escape from the shadow of a man who has loomed so large over the franchise and prevented it from achieving ultimate success: a Superbowl win.

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