- Jerry Jones has reportedly hired a lawyer and threatened to sue the NFL and some team owners to stop contract extension negotiations for commissioner Roger Goodell.
- Jones is reportedly upset over the pending six-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and with league leadership over matters like protests during the national anthem.
- The move could set up a war between owners, some of whom back Jones, while others support Goodell.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has reportedly hired powerful lawyer David Boies and threatened to sue the NFL and some fellow team owners to block commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract extension, according to The New York Times’ Ken Belson.
The move reportedly stemmed from Jones’ anger over Ezekiel Elliott’s pending six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations and disappointment with league leadership over matters like the protests during national anthems over social injustice.
According to Belson, Jones informed six owners of his hiring of Boies, a high-profile lawyer currently involved in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment case.
Jones reportedly told the six owners on a conference call that legal papers would be served if the NFL’s competition committee did not halt talks on a contract extension for Goodell.
ESPN reported in September that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who is the “point man” for a Goodell extension and is on the competition committee, invited Jones as an “ad hoc committee advisor.” Belson reported on Wednesday that after Jones’ call, the six owners revoked Jones’ status as an ad hoc advisor. The other owners then reportedly told the remaining 25 NFL team owners of what Jones had said.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported in October that Jones was the leading voice of a group of owners who wanted to delay Goodell’s contract extension. ESPN reported in September that Jones was delaying contract extension negotiations, with one source telling ESPN that it would be done if not for Jones. ESPN reported in September that some felt Jones was not trying to oust Goodell as much as decrease his annual salary and his contract incentives.
It’s unclear where the situation could go from here, but it could set up a war between NFL owners. As Belson noted, Jones is potentially taking on the league, Goodell, and fellow owners. Jones is considered one of the most powerful and influential owners in the league, a borderline unprecedented situation.
It’s been reported that Goodell has the support of some owners who believe he has done a good job as commissioner at taking hits to the league. While ESPN reported multiple owners have expressed frustration that the league has not done anything to make players stand for the national anthem, some also felt the talks between the league and the players were beneficial.
Jones has been one of the most active voices in the NFL in calling for players to stand for the anthem.
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