When you think of NFL rivalries, the Bears versus the Packers may come to mind, and the Cowboys and Giants have a pretty good one going on as well.
Speaking of the Cowboys, Dallas owner Jerry Jones may quickly be entering into a major rivalry of his own over the suspension of his star running back Ezekiel Elliott, and the “team on the other side of the field” of him is none other than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Jones has been pretty clear in the fact that he believes the NFL has suspended Elliott unjustly and without evidence. Elliott was accused of domestic violence just over a year ago, but he was never officially charged by a court of law. The NFL also suspended him without even interviewing his accuser, or Elliott himself, so Jones does have reason to be sceptical. Throw in the fact that the NFL’s lead investigator, Kia Roberts, actually recommended that the league didn’t suspend Elliott, and it would make sense is Jones perhaps feels some ill will towards Goodell.
And that’s what makes this recent report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk so interesting.
Florio is reporting that “Jones has made himself into, essentially, an ad hoc member of the Compensation Committee”. Though the Dallas owner isn’t officially on the committee of six NFL owners charged with negotiating Goodell’s contract extension, Jones has apparently been given a voice in the matter by committee chairman Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons.
It’s possible Blank regrets it. Per the source, Jones has been very aggressive about the matter, a concern that traces back to the owners-only meeting in March, during which Jones raised before his peers a variety of issues regarding the way the league does business. (In addition to his issues with the process for negotiating the Commissioner’s deal, Jones also expressed concerns about the league’s approach to marijuana, and regarding the league’s system for investigating player misconduct.)
Florio makes it clear that Jones has been “aggressive” in regards to Goodell’s contract well before the suspension of Elliott, but conventional wisdom would suggest that he may turn up the heat even more if he believes that Goodell is no longer the right person for the job.
This story isn’t going away anytime soon for Goodell or the NFL, and Jones is not a good enemy for the league, or its commissioner, to have.