Jones doesn't see quick vote on Browns Cowboys owner predicts 'information session'

January 16, 1996|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

IRVING, Texas -- NFL owners won't make a decision on the Cleveland Browns' proposed move to Baltimore at their meeting in Atlanta tomorrow, but will get legal advice from their lawyers on the matter, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said yesterday.

"I think there won't be any type of decision made by the owners. What you're going to see is an information session from the Browns, the league and the city of Cleveland and some of the things I've heard going into the meeting have already enlightened me," he said.

Jones said he believes the ultimate solution for the franchise situation is to have criteria that everybody understands and can be enforced.

"We need ways to help get new stadiums built," he said. "I don't suggest the Cleveland way is the way to get teams involved in new stadiums."

He added: "I think there's a legitimate way to come up with criteria. If they're met, then it should be acceptable to everybody. Our fans should understand [the criteria], but if they're not met, i.e. teams that have been very successful and have done well and are financially sound if they're not met, hopefully we'll come up with a way to keep them from moving.

"I think that's the answer. We've got to structure a way to have a vote, a process that doesn't expose us to multimillion-dollar damages so you can try to enforce it."

If the owners reject the Browns' proposed move to Baltimore, owner Art Modell is committed in his lease to suing the league.

Jones wouldn't take a position on the Browns' move, but didn't sound sympathetic to the concept of teams moving. He was unsure of when a decision would be made.

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