Examining Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' contempt for the Cincinnati Bengals

Is Jones voicing a larger conspiracy against the Bengals?
Cincinnati Bengals v Dallas Cowboys
Cincinnati Bengals v Dallas Cowboys / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

Every fanbase in professional sports thinks that everyone else is out to get them. Well, this may indeed be the case for the Cincinnati Bengals. And the evidence continues to mount thanks to the Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.

Jones' recent swipe at Cincinnati

A trial is underway dealing with the NFL's Sunday Ticket, out-of-market television deals, and anti-trust laws. It involves, in part, individual teams selling their TV rights rather than the NFL doing it for each team. While testifying in the case on that particular detail, Jones took the opportunity to criticize the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joe Reedy of the AP reported that the ever-so-subtle Jones, defending the NFL’s broadcast model around the Sunday Ticket, proclaimed, “I am convinced I would make a lot more money than the Bengals.” Stating his view on how the NFL handles the Sunday Ticket package, Jones said, “I’m completely against each team doing TV deals. It is flawed.” 

The Cowboys would make more than every team in the NFL, not just the Bengals. He knows it. We all know it. The Cowboys would generate substantially more revenue than all the other teams in the NFL if each franchise were allowed to negotiate each team's out-of-market television contracts. To call out the Bengals specifically was unnecessary.

Jones took a moment to perpetuate the idea that the Bengals organization, in general, and Mike Brown in particular, is cheap. It is far from the first time we’ve heard this. And it won’t be the last. It also speaks to the unpopularity of the team in Jones’ mind, suggesting that people outside of the greater Cincinnati area don’t want to watch the Bengals. 

Jones may have a personal/business beef with Brown. Mike Florio brought up the problem that Jones has with Brown. Florio wrote, “As NFL legend has it, Jones and Brown once got into a heated argument during an ownership meeting over Brown’s refusal to sell naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium.”

Jones eventually got what he wanted from Mike Brown two years ago when the Bengals signed a naming rights deal with Paycor. So why is Jones smearing Brown and the Bengals again?

is there more to the story?

Could there be something more sinister afoot? Is there possibly a plan to attempt to humiliate and sabotage the Bengals on and off the field? The evidence, your honor, is accumulating. And as Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Rule 39 states, “There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

Last year, George “The Sodfather” Toma explained that Cincinnati's practice surface was not fit to be on ahead of Super Bowl 56 versus the Los Angeles Rams. Among other things, Toma said that Bengals coach Zac Taylor would not allow his team to practice on UCLA’s field because the surface was too slippery. Toma, who has ties to Bengals founder Paul Brown, resolved the problem, allowing Cincinnati to practice on a suitable playing surface before the big game, minus one day.

During that same interview on the Dan Lebatrd Show with Stugotz, Toma said the only other time he had a problem with the field at a Super Bowl involved the San Francisco 49ers and, you guessed it, the Cincinnati Bengals.

Additionally, there was the time the NFL deemed the Bengals’ no-huddle offense illegal just hours before the 1989 AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills. 

More recently, the NFL again decided to change the rules for the Bengals. Because of tragic events during Week 17 during the Bengals-Bills game involving Damar Hamlin, the league decided that if the Bengals lost to the Ravens in Week 18, the home team of their rematch in the Wildcard Weekend would be determined by a coin flip. This flip of the coin would occur despite Cincinnati having already won the division title.

The league, with Jerry Jones as its most influential and out-front owner, wanted to give the Ravens a 50-50 shot at hosting the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs despite not winning the division.

However, before this situation involved the Bengals, the rulebook said that playoff seeding depended on winning percentage if not all the teams played the same number of games. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore in the final matchup of the regular season, avoiding any “miscommunication.”

When the Dallas Cowboys, the most popular team in the NFL, have Jones, the league's most powerful owner, at the helm, it is easy to wonder if something is happening in the background that should worry Bengals fans. If Jones is willing to take such flagrant and unnecessary shots at the Bengals behind closed doors and in public, maybe Bengals fans should be concerned.

Nevertheless, Jones might want to hold off on releasing his Ether or Not Like Us diss track against Mike Brown. It might be too late. 

No matter how cheap the Cowboys’ owner thinks Mike Brown is or how much people don’t want to watch Cincinnati, they can’t deny that the Bengals have had more recent success than Dallas. Perhaps the Cowboys should operate more like the Bengals. It must hurt being lapped by the team and owner that he despises the most. 

Jones should worry about paying the richest contract in NFL history to a quarterback who only has two playoff wins to his name in nearly a decade. While Jones does a lot of talking off of the field, the Bengals will let their play to their taking for them.

The Cowboys and Bengals will face off in Week 14 on Monday Night Football on December 9th.