Jerry Jones likens NFL to boxing, says pro players are paid to be in 'a very physical game'

Jerry Jones says a lot of words whenever he talks and the loquacious Cowboys owner oftentimes lacks a filter for those particular words. We have seen it multiple times with Jones' comments about professional football and the dangers of concussions. With the latest inundation of the roughing the passer rule causing controversy, Jones has already made it clear he's not a fan.

But his comments Tuesday morning on the "Shan and RJ Show" on 105.3 The Fan, a CBS Sports Radio Dallas affiliate, took things a step further, as Jones basically said "you're being paid to get hurt" by noting that the paychecks NFL players receive mean they should be willing to put themselves in harm's way.

Professional boxers, by the way, are paid to punch each other in the face repeatedly, for the entertainment of others.

"The way I see our future is I see a real serious emphasis on youth football, amateur football. I see it reflected at the high school level. Then a step above that will be the collegiate level and I see a collegiate game that certainly has a lot of finesse in it but is a great game and makes these kinds of adjustments we're talking about," Jones said via Todd Archer of ESPN. "But when it comes to pro football, to use a boxing term, that's when you put the 6-ounce gloves on. That's when you don't want to fight with those 10-ounce gloves or you don't fight with those head gears. Everybody's being really paid to go out and you're paid a lot of money to go out and incur those type situations that have more risks in them. 

"It's real important that pro football distinguish itself as a very physical game relative to the game at college, relative to the game at high school and amateur. That's very important. Now where to find that balance, that's one thing but when we get to a point in the future in time you'll see pro football where they've put the 6-ounce gloves on and where the men are playing."

Hearing this coming from an owner of a professional sports team is a little disconcerting, because it sounds a lot like something someone who ran a gladiator pit back in the day would say. There's a very "inmates running the asylum" vibe to it, if you will. 

Nothing about Jones' stance here should be that surprising, however, considering the things the Cowboys owner has said about the national anthem in the past. He does not want players who will not stand for the anthem to play for the Cowboys. He does not want players hanging out in the locker room during the anthem.

The NFL just paid out a bunch of money in a concussion settlement and has been making a concerted effort to try and maximize player safety over the last several years. To have a very prominent NFL owner come out and say that, because players are paid at the NFL level that they should incur a lot more physical risk, well, that's not a great look.

It might be true to a degree that there's risk involved -- football is a dangerous game and you can't take the danger out of it, no matter how many rules you put into the game -- but to promote the notion of players needing to face more risk at different levels of football, simply because a certain level is being paid to play, is a move that will likely be given some pretty hard scrutiny. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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