Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was among the NFL delegation who met Pope Francis Wednesday morning at the Vatican, calling it a “magnificent” honor for the league.
The pope spoke to a contingent from the NFL Hall of Fame, urging them to translate values of teamwork and fair play from the football field to the broader community and help build a "culture of encounter."
Francis said such values help "combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family."
“What a magnificent thing and day for the Hall of Fame, to have met Pope Francis and have him have a recognition of what pro football is,” Jones said. "Just a magical day."
The soccer-mad pontiff joked that he is an avid fan of football -- but the Argentine kind.
“When I think of the many, many millions of people that depend on their spiritual leader, it’s a wonderful compliment and I’m so appreciative of the Hall of Fame for getting us this audience with the Pope," Jones said. "It makes you feel real special."
Jones will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame on Aug. 5.
© 2017 Associated Press