Dallas Cowboys Rumors & News

Owners In Favor Of NFL Punishing Jerry Jones?

The Jerry JonesRoger Goodell feud is starting to look more like the Cowboys owner is taking on the majority of his peers.

Other NFL owners are expressing a strong sentiment toward the NFL taking disciplinary action against Jones, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. While it’s uncertain how many owners are behind this, Maske reports some of the league’s most influential owners are in favor of Jones discipline.

Jones has threatened to sue the NFL because of, cosmetically speaking, Goodell’s contract. However, many owners are upset at the brash decision-maker for making his grievances public. And these owners, Maske reports, believe Jones’ actions are solely tied to Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension, which the running back is now serving at an inopportune time for the Cowboys.

Roger will be extended, and Jerry will be dealt with,” a person familiar with the owners’ sentiments said, via Maske, before adding “It depends on how far (Jones) goes,” regarding what kind of discipline will be levied.

Said punishment would ultimately come from Goodell and the owners’ management council executive committee. Jones has already been removed from the compensation committee.

The owners do not support Jones being forced to sell the Cowboys and view it as unrealistic, but a fine, suspension or the Cowboys losing draft picks would be in play in this scenario, Maske notes. Some explosive dialogue on Jones’ behalf was reported to have occurred recently, with ESPN.com’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham reporting Jones threatened Goodell during a phone call.

I’m gonna come after you with everything I have,” Jones said, via the ESPN tandem. “If you think [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft came after you hard [over Deflategate], Bob Kraft is a p—y compared to what I’m going to do.”

Jones is attempting to block a through-2024 Goodell extension, but Van Natta Jr. and Wickersham’s report indicates the owners’ actions are more about a power struggle than Jones taking issue with the commissioner’s contract.

The next set of owners’ meetings are set for Dec. 12-13 in Dallas, and Maske notes Goodell’s extension could be completed by then. Owners voted 32-0 in favor of a new Goodell deal to be authorized earlier this year. Upon the extension being completed, the league is not planning another ratification vote despite Jones’ wishes.

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Latest On Jerry Jones/Roger Goodell Saga

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not react well when he first heard that running back Ezekiel Elliott was being handed a six-game suspension. That fateful phone conversation between Jones, commissioner Roger Goodell, and general counsel Jeff Pash instantly ignited a war between the Cowboys owner and the league office. Jerry Jones (vertical)

I’m gonna come after you with everything I have,” Jones said, according to Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com. “If you think [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft came after you hard [over Deflategate], Bob Kraft is a p—y compared to what I’m going to do.”

The article from the ESPN duo, which is worth reading in full, paints an ugly picture of where things currently stand between Jones and the NFL. The story also goes into detail about a major chasm between Goodell’s administration and the league’s owners. Even within Goodell’s upper ranks, there appears to be a great deal of mistrust. Despite all of that, it appears that Goodell is on the brink of an extension that will give him a pay bump over his current $42MM salary.

Goodell was reportedly “furious” about this extension being delayed, and the ESPN duo report the 11th-year commissioner was “emboldened” at the notion he would accept a deep pay cut after making the league’s owners a lot of money, while “taking many bullets for them,” during his tenure. The commissioner still has support from many owners, and the ownership contingent expects his salary to land around the $40MM-AAV mark, Wickersham and Van Natta Jr. report. This comes after ESPN reported Goodell asked in August for a deal worth around $49MM per year, provided he reached incentives, and a compensation package that included the usage of a private jet for he and his family.

Goodell might walk away if the owners “squeeze him too hard” regarding his salary, Van Natta Jr. and Wickersham report. The lack of a successor plays into Goodell’s thinking here.

Van Natta Jr. and Wickersham also report the owners have considered other high-profile commissioner candidates. One owner’s confidant reached out to NBA commissioner Adam Silver about taking over for Goodell. Silver quickly said no. The owners also reached out to the International Olympic Committee in an attempt to find a candidate with experience growing sports globally.

Goodell’s predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, was mentioned as a possible one-year stopgap option while Goodell’s long-term successor was determined. It’s not clear whether the 76-year-old Taliabue would be interested, but Jones reportedly has his own candidate in mind. Other owners, by in large, aren’t interested in a Jones-handpicked successor.

The ESPN reporters note this Jones-Goodell feud is not about the commissioner’s contract, but rather power and control.

Jerry’s message to Roger was ‘I run this league. You better get with it,'” a senior league executive told ESPN. “This is about power and control, not the contract. That’s all white noise.”

Meanwhile, Jones figures to become a point of discussion in the Colin Kaepernick case. The quarterback’s attorneys will delve into the relationship between Jones and Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter and will inquire about whether Jones pushed Schnatter to slam Goodell on an earnings call, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports hears. A deposition for Jones could be finalized by mid-December. Schnatter, however, cannot be forced to give a deposition.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.

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Ezekiel Elliot Benefits From Suspension Timing

By accepting his suspension and serving it this season, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will actually save money, as David Moore of the Dallas Morning News notes (Twitter links). Elliott’s base salary increases to roughly $2.7MM in 2018, meaning a six-game ban would have cost him ~$400K more had it been pushed to next year. Instead, he’ll lose about $560K this season, and his guarantees in the 2018-19 campaigns have been voided. Elliott’s signing bonus, however, is not at risk due to his suspension.

Cowboys OT Tyron Smith Unlikely To Play

Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to miss his second consecutive game with a groin injury, according to Jane Slater of NFL.com (Twitter link), who reports Smith will not play Sunday night against the Eagles. Instead, Dallas will turn to veteran Byron Bell to man the blindside.Tyron Smith

Chaz Green handled left tackle for the Cowboys in Week 10, and was memorably beaten like a drum by Atlanta defensive end Adrian Clayborn who posted a ridiculous six sacks, six more hurries, and a hit on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. Clayborn, who had topped six sacks in a season just once prior to 2017, earned a spectacular 99.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his performance.

While Green is certainly due his fair share of blame for last week’s debacle, the Cowboys coaching staff didn’t help him out by putting a tight end on the left side of the line, or sending a back to chip Clayborn. Additionally, nearly every lineman in the NFL would represent a downgrade from Smith, who is arguably the league’s best tackle.

Bell, 28, offers quite a bit more experience than Green (84 career appearances), but it’s not clear how ready is to take on Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, and the rest of Philadelphia’s defensive line. Bell hasn’t been a regular starter since the 2015 season (and was mediocre at best as a full-time player), and has played only 18 offensive snaps this year.

Sunday’s tilt between the Cowboys and Eagles is the most important game on the Week 11 schedule, at least according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. While Philadelphia is virtually assured of a postseason berth, Dallas is facing a 25% playoff leverage — a metric which indicates the change in chance of making the playoffs based on the results of the selected game — on Sunday night.

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Latest On Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones

The NFL has issued a letter to Jerry Jones’ attorney accusing the Cowboys owner of “conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests,” as Barry Wilner of The Associated Press writes. It appears that the league is barking back in the battle over commissioner Roger Goodell’s proposed extension. Jerry Jones (vertical)

[RELATED: Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott Drops Appeal]

Your client’s antics, whatever their motivation, are damaging the league and reflect conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests,” the letter said.

Jones says that he has issues with Goodell’s compensation in the new contract and is also looking to limit the power of his office. Of course, this fury over Goodell’s deal has intersected with the Ezekiel Elliott‘s appeal (which was put to rest on Wednesday) as well as the anthem controversy, a matter on which Jones has been extremely outspoken.

Within the letter, the NFL confirms that Jones has been removed as a non-voting member of the compensation committee. It has been rumored that Jones gained entry to that group by essentially appointing himself a member. Jones was accused of abusing that access and spreading an outdated document from the Goodell negotiations with the rest of the league’s owners.

Someone who is genuinely concerned ‘that the owners know the truth about the negotiations’ would not deliberately distribute such an outdated document, particularly when he has in his possession drafts that are current and accurately reflect the actual state of negotiations, or threaten to sue the league and its owners if he does not get his way,” the letter said.

The NFL doesn’t have a problem with Jones’ opposition to Goodell’s extension, Mike Florio of PFT hears, but the league does have a big problem with how he has gone about expressing his displeasure. The league’s latest warning shot towards Jones may finally lead to deescalation, particularly since the Elliott matter is in the rear-view mirror.

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Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott Withdraws Appeal

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is withdrawing his appeal, agents Rocky Arceneaux and Frank Salzano tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The NFLPA also announced that it has withdrawn its lawsuit against the league. Elliott will serve his full six-game suspension. He will miss the next five games and return in Week 16 against the Seahawks. Ezekiel Elliott (vertical)

In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr. Elliott has decided to forego any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension,” the statement reads. “This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape. Mr. Elliott’s desire for closure in this matter is in his best interest, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family, and friends.

This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by he and his team resulted in disclosing many hidden truths regarding this matter as well as publicly exposing the NFL’s mismanagement of its disciplinary process. Mr. Elliott will maximize this time away from the game and come back even stronger both on and off the field. He intends to release a final personal statement in the upcoming weeks and until then we have no further comment.”

Elliott will release a statement at some point that will explain his decision further, Rapoport tweets. Meanwhile, the NFLPA may still continue the battle in court.

On Nov. 9, the Second Circuit ruled to reinstate Elliott’s ban, sidelining him for Dallas’ game against the Falcons. Initially, an expedited appeal in front of the Second Circuit court was scheduled for December 1st. Instead, Elliott is accepting the suspension, which most likely would have had to have been served at some point. By taking the hit now, Elliott can ensure that he will be eligible for this year’s playoffs, assuming the Cowboys get there.

The running back will miss games against the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Giants, and Raiders before returning.

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Latest On Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones

Reports that the league’s owners could force Jerry Jones to sell the Cowboys are “”laughable and ridiculous,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan (transcription via Kate Hairopolos of the Dallas Morning News). Jerry Jones

I’ve had not one, not one, inkling of communication from the league office or any owner that would suggest something that laughable and ridiculous, and that’s about where that is,” Jones said on his radio show on Tuesday. “If somebody is asserting that then they are not knowledgeable about how things work in the NFL.”

The notion that Jones could be forced to part ways with the Cowboys does seem pretty far fetched. However, the league’s owners could move to bring other sanctions against Jones for his crusade against commissioner Roger Goodell. Among the measures being discussed are fines, a suspension, or a loss of draft capital for the Cowboys, Mark Maske of The Washington Post (Twitter link) hears. Maske’s sources did not mention a scenario in which Jones is made to sell the Cowboys, however. It’s also not a given that Jones will be penalized at all, though it is at least being talked about.

For his part, Jones feels that the league’s owners have “all the time in the world” to extend Goodell and he doesn’t want the deal to be completed in haste given that the commissioner still has 18 months left on his current contract. The Cowboys owner asserts that more than half of the league’s owners are in his corner on this matter.



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Sean Lee Expected To Miss Several Weeks

  • Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee may be forced to shut it down for several weeks. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the defender is unlikely to play this week or during the team’s Thanksgiving contest against the Chargers. Head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that Lee may miss several games, noting that “it might be some time” before he returns (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com).


NFL Could Force Jerry Jones To Forfeit Ownership?

Jerry Jones‘ stand against the NFL hasn’t abated in recent days, and the saga has reached enough of a boiling point that several other owners have discussed a “nuclear option” that would force Jones to forfeit the Cowboys franchise, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.Jerry jones (Vertical)

According to the league’s bylaws, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can decide an owner has acted in a manner “detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football” and assess a $500K fine. However, if Goodell decides further punishment is in order, he could pass the case on to the NFL’s Executive Committee, which could then force the “cancellation or forfeiture” of a team, per Florio.

While the option exists, the concept of the league forcing Jones to give up control of the Dallas organization is unlikely to occur, according to Florio, especially because the outcome would likely be lawsuits from both parties. But Jones has certainly done his fair share of harping against the NFL over the past week: he’s not only threatened to sue the league, but insists owners are being “misled” on the details of Goodell’s proposed contract extension.

Jones may have also affected the business of the NFL and its sponsors, as owners reportedly believe Jones convinced Papa John’s owner CEO John Schnatter to blame the league for not only decreased ratings, but a downturn in Papa John’s sales. That Jones took “family business outside the family” could potentially push the NFL’s other owners to their breaking point, per Florio.

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