It was announced this morning that the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement has been approved by a narrow margin of voting NFL players. The difference was only 60 out of 1978 total votes.
Some provisions will be effective immediately, such as the revised playoff format. Other changes, primarily the 17-game regular season, will not take effect until 2021.
As indicated by the slim victory margin, this news is likely not welcome by a large contingent of NFL players. But for the NFL fan, it means football should continue without interruption for the next decade.
The 2020 playoffs will now feature an extra wild card team in each conference. Only the top seed in each conference will receive a first-round bye.
Beginning in 2021 there will now be a 17th regular-season game and only three preseason games. Teams will get an extra week off between preseason and the start of Week One.
Another major change is to the NFL's drug policy around marijuana, which drastically reduces the penalties and testing mandates for usage. This should be effective immediately.
There are many other changes relative to roster sizes, player pensions, and so on. The key takeaways today are the changes to the playoff format and drug policy. This means an additional opportunity to make the postseason and an easier road for players who struggle with marijuana use, both of which are highly relevant to the Dallas Cowboys.
The biggest takeaway of all, though, is that we won't have to worry about a lockout in 2021. The CBA is now approved and we can look forward, hopefully, to the usual routine of NFL activity,