Jerry Jones is confident that the labor standoff between NFL owners and players will end in time to have a 2011 season.
He's just not ready to say exactly when or how it might happen.
But the Cowboys owner, speaking at the team's annual tournament at Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas, had a message for those sponsors and VIPs in attendance, according to The Dallas Morning News.
"I didn't spend $1.2 billion to build a stadium and not have the Cowboys playing football in it this year," Jones said.
Added Jones: "In general, the response of our ticket holders, the response of our suite holders, the response of all of our constituencies has been they have been and are expecting us to play football."
While acknowledging that the goal is to resume normal football operations as quickly as possible, Jones stopped short of providing any sort of timetable for a deal.
"It's pointless to talk about progress," he said. "That's not the way you measure anything. You can say you don't have anything until you have a total agreement. ... We'll make sure we sit down and work it out in a way that keeps our great game what it is.
"This train is going to get there," Jones assured. "I just want to be on it."
Jones said he doesn't plan to lay off team employees or make salary cuts while the lockout drags.
"Each team has its own approach," Jones said. "Each team has its own need for its off-the-field employees that includes their coaching staff.
"We, for all practical purposes, are year-round for 99 percent of the employees that we have. And certainly, we have an obligation to our stadium and the events that we're involved in. When you look at the big picture, our operation and what we're doing with our employees is more dictated by that than it is by the fact that we're locked out."