Jerry Jones took a seat at the table in the NFL's labor talks Tuesday, a few days after the Dallas Cowboys' owner and general manager's absence was called "conspicuous" by the team's hometown newspaper.
The Associated Press reported that Jones walked into a Minneapolis courthouse with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy, among others. The mediation talks were ordered by a federal district judge last week.
(Jerry Jones sat down with "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley in a segment that aired last December.)
Jones might add the spark he's known for that players and owners need to end the league's lockout, but he's more likely to make the talks more interesting to cover as Sports Illustrated reported on negotiations before the league's collective bargaining agreement expired last month:
"I don't think we've got your attention," Jones said to the players, several of whom recounted the incident to SI. "You clearly don't understand what we're saying, and we're not hearing what you're saying. So I guess we're going to have to show you to get your attention."
Jones tapped his fists together for emphasis--the players interpreted it as a sign that a lockout was coming--then stood and walked toward the door. As he reached the end of the table, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, another labor hawk, began to rise, but Robert Kraft of the Patriots, who was sitting next to him, put a hand on Richardson's forearm and kept him from going.
If Jones's intention was to intimidate the players, he failed. "I think everybody in the room thought it was overly dramatic, almost hilarious," one player said. "It was like a Jerry Maguire moment. You know, 'I'm leaving. Who's coming with me?' I know it didn't scare any of us."