The Dallas Cowboys announced Monday that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will become CEO of the team.
Tagliadzs previous role as commissioner of the NFL Players Association also expired this week, so he will be stepping down from the position, the team said.
Tagliabue will remain as executive vice president of football operations.
The move comes as the NFL is in the midst of a national conversation about how to change the way the game is played and is trying to develop a plan to grow the league by attracting younger fans.
Tagliazus hiring was widely seen as a signal that the league is working toward a strategy to grow revenue and revenue growth.
The NFLPA, which represents players, said it was disappointed by the move.
“We’re disappointed the NFL has decided to make such a change, but we are confident that we can build on our current positive momentum to drive growth and achieve the goal of achieving the full equality of opportunity in the league,” the union said in a statement.
Tagliabues first full-time job in the NFL was as a general counsel in the late 1990s, a role that he resigned from after a few years to focus on his philanthropic work.
He was a partner at the law firm WilmerHale.
The new hire will be a key leader in the organization’s efforts to improve its corporate culture, which has been under scrutiny since the resignation of longtime head of the league’s legal department, Andrew Ceresney, in December.
In a statement, the NFL said it is “deeply committed to improving the professional football experience for players, coaches, and fans.”