The Cowboys appear to be willing to lead the charge against the NFL's policy toward marijuana.
A month ago, it was reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted the NFL to "drop its prohibition on marijuana use." A month later, the Cowboys went on the record about their desire to see the NFL re-examine its marijuana policy.
In an interview with PFT Live, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones explained the Cowboys' position. In one snippet Pro Football Talk made available, Jones called for the system to be "heavily scrutinized." With that being said, Jones didn't come out and directly say that marijuana use should be allowed. He didn't offer a solution.
Take a look:
Well, our system, our testing, has been in place for years and not unlike we do in our organization . . . we always look to see how we can do it better," Stephen Jones said in an interview with PFT Live that will be included in Thursday's show. "I think Jerry's opinion, my opinion, is this program, this system has been in place for a long time. I think it needs to be heavily scrutinized in terms of its results.
"Is it helping players in terms of their accountability? And, obviously, addiction is a sickness and you want to make sure — obviously, there's accountability but it's also a program that helps players get better. I think personally, I know Jerry and I think that it might could be done better and we just need to take a look at it. Like I said, it's been the same program that's been in place for many, many years and I think all things to do with the NFL, we should all want the very best for our players. We should want the very best for our organizations and we should want the very best for our fans, and that's anything that has to do with the NFL.
"In my opinion, we should take a long hard look at how we're doing this and see if there's a way, a better way to do it. What that is, I don't have the answer. But we have a lot of smart people that can get in there and analyze something and really make some good decisions and see if there need to be changes."
As it stands, the NFL's policy toward marijuana is pretty simple: It's not allowed. And so, multiple failed drug tests due to marijuana have led to recent lengthy bans for players like Browns receiver Josh Gordon, Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant and, of course, Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory.
Keep in mind: Many states have legalized marijuana, and public support for it has grown steadily in the U.S.
"You know, I think it should be a part of what's looked at," Jones told PFT. "When you re-look at the whole program, I think you should take a look at every aspect of it. From the testing to the discipline to the amounts, anything to do with this. At the end of the day our goal should be to help players who have sicknesses and addictions and make them better people off the field, and then how we go about that I think is what needs to be looked at and make sure we're doing everything the best way we can do it. Obviously, when you look at something like that you have to look at, 'How do we do it in society right now? How does that affect the way a player sees his situation in that lens?' And then make decisions based on that."
The Cowboys aren't alone in their desire to see the policy come under review. In 2014, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll spoke out in support of medical marijuana. In January, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith talked about proposing a "less punitive" approach. Meanwhile, several former players have been raising awareness about how marijuana can help players deal with injuries caused by football.
But last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't sound like he was anywhere close to jumping on board.
"I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use. Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? You're ingesting smoke, so that's not usually a positive thing. It does have an addictive nature," Goodell told ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike." "There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that might not be healthy for players long term. It's not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game.
"We really want to help our players ... but I want to make sure the negative consequences aren't something that we'll be held accountable for years down the road."
In other words, the NFL likely won't revoke its ban on marijuana in the near future.