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The 5 O’Clock Club: Netflix seems to be trying to get into the NFL business

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

USA TODAY Sports-Historical Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

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Not long ago, Netflix released a trailer for a show that premiers on July 12th called QUARTERBACK, which is described this way:

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota, and reigning Super Bowl champion and MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs give you an unprecedented, all access look into the 2022-2023 football season from their huddles to their homes and more.

See what it takes to have the toughest job in sports both on and off the field as players balance the mental, physical, and personal pressures to perform every week. Get inside the huddles and on the sidelines for the biggest moments of victory and heartbreak with players mic’ed up for every game.

When I first saw the trailer, I was excited to watch the show. Having watched the trailer for a second time just minutes ago, I’m equally pumped, and about to add it to my calendar so I don’t miss it.

This week, the news is that Netflix will air an NFL Films docu-series focusing on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones . reported that Netflix will pay “just under $50 million” for the production. While the deal is not officially signed & sealed, Netflix seems to have won a bidding war with ESPN, Amazon and a couple others who showed early interest.

The CBS Sports announcement, which was the first one I read, was fairly entertaining:

The life of Jerry Jones is far too big for A Football Life.

In lieu of Jones being the subject of an episode of the annual NFL Films series, the Cowboys owner and G.M. will have an entire series devoted to his life and times.

NFL Media, Skydance Sports, and the Jerry Jones family announced on Wednesday the development of what they have described as a “defining docu-series about the Dallas Cowboys and the journey of Jerry Jones.”

The story includes Jones’s role “in saving and transforming the franchise, leading a historic set of players and coaches to three NFL titles in the 1990s, and searing his imprint into the global sports business landscape forever.”

“The yet-to-be-titled series [Editor’s note: Please let it be ‘I Found Me Some Gloryhole ‘] will reach deep into NFL Films’ vast archive of never-before-seen content, and will trace Jones’ remarkable rise from the son of an Arkansas community store owner to being one of the most innovative and influential leaders in sports,” the announcement declares. (Subtlety has never been a Jones strong suit.)

Based on the announcement, it the docu-series apparently will be a slightly over-the-top exercise in myth making.

Unlike the Quarterback series, I can’t really think of anything that I’d be less interested in than a show about Jerruh: the early years.

But Jones is one of the most powerful decision-makers in the NFL — many people, in fact, see Roger Goodell as a simple sock puppet with Jerruh’s hand inserted — so it takes a little (or a lot) of Jerry Jones ego-stroking for an outsider to get into business with the league.

Seen from that standpoint, the decision by Netflix to mythologize the aging Dallas owner in billions of digital pixels for posterity makes more sense to me. Things crystallized in my mind when I read an opinion from Mike Florio:

The move will serve only to increase speculation that Netflix could eventually get a package of NFL games — if Netflix can solve the issues that led to the Love is Blind live-show fiasco from earlier this year.

Clearly, Netflix is trying to get into the NFL business along with Amazon and others, and stroking Jerry is just part of the price that has to be paid.

It makes sense for Netflix, which has seen its worldwide subscription business stagnate as subscription levels have reached the saturation point, to pursue entry into the single most successful broadcast viewing property in the US — NFL Football.

For the league, I suppose that it makes sense to broaden its reach to include multiple broadcast partners, and Netflix has the advantage of having a worldwide network of subscribers, making it a natural fit for the league’s stated strategy of internationalizing the NFL.

As I pondered all of this, however, I couldn’t help but think that there was a story about an NFL owner whose rise and fall would likely make for much more compelling viewing than a docu-series about the owner of the Cowboys in the ‘90s, and one which would have much more contemporary relevance.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
NFL: Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


How compelling do you think a Netflix series about Dan Snyder’s quarter-century pursuit, ownership, and sale of the Washington Redskins would be?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    That’d be great television! (broadcast media...whatever)
    (64 votes)
  • 14%
    It might be mildly interesting
    (27 votes)
  • 50%
    seriously? why do you even waste my time going there?
    (91 votes)
182 votes total Vote Now