Dallas Cowboys Players Want Just 2 Things From Jerry Jones, and They’re ‘First World Problems’

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signs autographs prior to a 2023 game

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) represents professional football players on and off the field. Dedicated to their well-being and success, the union strives to help players by protecting their rights, families, and overall health.

A Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed in 2020. This allows the union to represent members in all issues involving safe working conditions, hours, wages, benefits, insurance, field surfaces, and equipment. The current contract will remain in effect until 2030.

In an attempt to raise standards and bring attention to clubs that need improvement, the NFLPA initiated a league-wide survey, receiving responses from 1,300 players. The results were calculated and placed into the first-ever NFLPA report card. The Dallas Cowboys fared well, with only two minor requests for owner Jerry Jones, which truly are “first-world problems.”

The Dallas Cowboys’ NFLPA report card

NFLPA President JC Tretter says the report card helps players make important career decisions. It aims to highlight positive clubs, identify those that need improvement, and bring attention to clubs with the best practices and standards. Tretter says, “No problem can be fixed until it is identified and acknowledged as a problem. We hope that teams will take this feedback and improve the facilities and players’ experiences, where needed.”

According to the NFLPA report card, the Dallas Cowboys ranked fifth out of 32 teams. The franchise’s treatment of facilities ranked best in the league. Food service, weight room, strength coaches, and locker room tied for first place with several other clubs. The Cowboys also ranked first for family support, acknowledging a first-rate daycare and family room.

QB Dak Prescott and DE Demarcus Lawrence can attribute their strength and agility to having one of the best weight rooms in the NFL, with 100% of players feeling they have adequate strength coaches.

Head coach Mike McCarthy is one of the “most well-liked coaches in the league,” receiving high grades for setting aside time each week for players to recover. Owner Jerry Jones ranked 12th overall, with 96% of players believing he is willing to invest money to improve facilities. This could raise the club’s overall ranking in future report cards.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signs autographs prior to a 2023 game
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signs autographs before a 2023 game | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Cowboys only had two concerns

The Dallas Cowboys only had two concerns. The understaffing of the training room is an area that could use improvement. While 87% of players felt there were enough certified athletic trainers (ATCs), 25% felt the club needed to employ more physical therapists.

The lowest score was a C- in the travel category. The Cowboys are one of seven teams in the league that do not offer first-class seats for players when traveling. Unlike the New England Patriots, who have a private plane for their team, the Cowboys players are assigned coach seating both before and after play. Their coaches and staff sit up front.

Another “first world” issue players mentioned was the need for a sauna, being one of six teams across the NFL league without one. It may be one of the areas Jones can improve on quickly to raise his report card ratings next year. But, not to worry, 100% of players say the steam room is big enough, and there is plenty of room in the hot tub.

Other NFL teams with more concerning issues

Meanwhile, there were other teams with much bigger problems. The Washington Commanders came in at the bottom of the list, receiving a grade of F for the treatment of families and an F- for team travel, locker room, and training room conditions.

According to the NFLPA, “Besides the strength coaches who received great feedback and grades as one of the best groups in the league, the rest of the club’s operations and facilities were rated by player respondents at the bottom of every single category.” Club owner Dan Snyder ranked 31st in the league, mentioning his unwillingness to invest in upgraded team facilities.

Commanders’ players had more concerns than any other team in the league, with issues involving inadequate staff in the training room, small hot and cold tubs for recovery, and limited personal space in the team locker room. There were also complaints of poor drainage and not enough warm water in the showers. Like the Cowboys, the Commanders do not travel first class on team flights, but they take it a step further, with some players having to share a hotel room before games.

The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers also landed at the bottom of the report card rankings. The Minnesota Vikings secured the number one position with the best grades in the league.