Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 7/21/13

It's been nearly two decades since Los Angeles was inhabited with an NFL franchise, but Jerry Jones predicts the drought won't last much longer.

The Cowboys' outspoken owner told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the league is "closer than ever" to returning to the City of Angels.

"Closer than ever -- ever being since they left, which has been a long time much to my surprise and anticipation," said Jones on Saturday. "There are some viable ways for a team or teams to be in Los Angeles. We've got some very talented and very qualified people that want to be a part of it that are not a part of the league right now. We, obviously, have people within the league that want this very much."

"I think we're closer," Jones said. "I say that not just wishing. I say that, technically, because I'm aware of some things that make sense."

Jones has a long-standing connection with California. He was born in El Segundo, and has his team travel to Oxnard for training camp. These reasons notwithstanding, Jones reiterated that most of his peers want a team in L.A.

"I've never, ever been a part of any meeting or committee ever that didn't want, as quickly as we could, to get a team in L.A.," Jones said. "I've heard that that could be a threat to people moving their teams out but that's not right. We've always preferred to get a team here."

As of now, the major stumbling block is that there's currently no stadium which would house the proposed Los Angeles franchise. Two ideas have been thrown around -- Farmers Field and the L.A. Coliseum -- but nothing has been set in motion.

Jones, however, remains optimistic.

"How long does it take to build a stadium?" Jones said. "I know how long it took to build one. The other thing is that there's certainly ways to do it without having a stadium ready. Those are some moving parts but you have to have the commitment [from the team], which for the people that make those kinds of commitments it starts that day for them in a serious way. I wouldn't want to give you a timeframe on it but I do think that the commitment and the substance with that commitment is right around the corner."

A franchise in L.A. is much more practical than plopping one in London, where commissioner Roger Goodell has talked about expanding to. It's going to be fascinating to see which city -- if either -- lands a team first.

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