Jerry Jones and the NFL are going to war, and apparently it’s getting ugly.
According to the New York Times, fellow owners sent a note to Jones and his lawyer that showed the league is serious about battling the Dallas Cowboys owner:
“Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, was told by his fellow owners that his “antics” were damaging the N.F.L. and reflecting “conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests,” another sign that the feud between Jones and his colleagues is not abating.
By including an accusation that Jones’s actions amounted to “conduct detrimental to the league,” the owners signaled that they were not ruling out pushing for sanctions against Jones.”
This comes after Jones has pushed hard against Roger Goodell receiving a contract extension as NFL commissioner after he suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games.
On Sunday evening, Mike Florio of NBC’s Pro Football Talk described a “nuclear option” that the league and its owners could take against Jones, instead of the other way around.
In short, there is some language in the NFL’s bylaws that could allow the other owners to attempt to oust Jones from control of the Cowboys completely.
“A league source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws. Specifically, Section 8.13 authorizes the Commissioner to determine that an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.” If the Commissioner believes the available sanction (a $500,000 fine) is “not adequate or sufficient,” the Commissioner may refer the issue to the NFL’s Executive Committee, which has the power to compel “[c]ancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” with a directive to sell the team.”
As noted in the original report, this seems highly unlikely for a number of reasons, chief among them that Jones would certainly not go down without a fight. It is basically inconceivable to think of Jones giving up his billion-dollar franchise without years of legal proceedings and other NFL owners absolutely have to know this.
Still, this mere buzz about this kind of option being anywhere close to on the table says a lot about feelings toward Jones and this is a situation that continues to unfold.
We’ll see if Stephen Jones, Jerry’s son and EVP of the Cowboys, is still laughing now.