I love stories about the NFL eating itself, and I hope you love them too. Let’s feast.
The New York Times drops a pretty big story this afternoon, about how far Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is willing to go in his vindictive quest to punish commissioner Roger Goodell for deigning to deliver Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game domestic violence suspension, which is currently wending its way through the courts. (As of now, the suspension is on hold. That can and will change from day to day.) Goodell’s contract is up for negotiation, and as we learned last week, Jones, who is not actually on the committee to re-negotiate the commissioner’s deal, is reportedly holding it up as...punishment? Leverage? Motive aside, today’s report indicates Jones is out for blood:
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and one of the N.F.L.’s most powerful figures, has escalated his feud with Commissioner Roger Goodell, threatening to sue the league and some fellow team owners over negotiations to extend Goodell’s contract, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Jones told the six owners on the league’s compensation committee last week that he had hired David Boies, the high-profile lawyer under fire in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment case, according to the people, who declined to be speak publicly about internal league matters.
(If you’ve heard Boies’s name in the news recently, he is, according to this New Yorker piece on the lengths he went to to protect Harvey Weinstein, smear Weinstein’s accusers, and threaten reporters, an unethical shit. Perfect for getting in bed with Jerry Jones.)
We have a reported deadline for Jones to file his lawsuit against his fellow owners to stop them from re-upping Goodell:
Jones said in a conference call last Thursday with the six owners — those of the Chiefs, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Texans — that legal papers were drawn up and would be served this Friday if the committee did not scrap its plans to extend Goodell’s contract.
In response, according to the Times, those six owners have kicked Jones off of the compensation committee, even though he was only there ad hoc member who muscled his way onto it via seniority and bullheadedness.
This is all very incredible for a number of reasons, the chief one being Jones’s pure gall in being one of the loudest supporters of giving Goodell unlimited disciplinary power when it came to punishing Tom Brady, but now threatening to sue the NFL and other owners when it’s his own team that stands to be dinged this time. It’s the sort of pettiness that maybe only Jerry Jones can muster. Jones did as much as anyone to help create this monster, and now he’s lashing out because it’s turned on him. His response is to try to make sure everyone else goes down with him.