Editor’s note: This article contains graphic material.
That Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been gunning for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell since the Ezekiel Elliott suspension is no secret.
Jones believes Goodell misled him into thinking there would be no suspension for Elliott and considers it an unforgivable breach of trust, which was first reported by the Star-Telegram.
That stance was backed up Friday by an explosive article that will appear in the Dec. 4 issue of “ESPN The Magazine,” in which an angry Jones promised to make Goodell pay after learning of the suspension.
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“I’m gonna come after you with everything I have,” Jones said per the article. “If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard [for Deflategate], Bob Kraft is a p---y compared to what I’m going to do.”
The Star-Telegram has also confirmed that an angry Jones threatened Goodell’s job initially.
Jones has long had a problem with the power of the commissioner and believes now is the time to address those issues. This is also part of his reasoning for trying to hold up a proposed contract extension for Goodell.
That Jones has threatened to sue the league and members of the compensation committee in effort to block the extension has created a firestorm of its own with some owners accusing Jones of engaging in conduct detrimental to the league, resulting in reports of him being fined, suspended or even having the Cowboys taken away from him.
Jones was not asked about threatening Goodell’s job during his radio show Friday on 105.3 FM, but he addressed the issues with the commissioner’s contract extension.
“The one great power the owners have to contribute and make and do things differently, which every organization has to keep up with the times and do things differently,” Jones said. “The one great time, because we give our commissioner such power, the one great time the owners have their biggest input is when you are either first-time hiring him or extending him.
“And when you do it in such a way as you don’t have any input over the issues, you disenfranchised them from what you want them to do.”
Jones said he wants to slow down the process of giving Goodell an extension, considering that he has 18 months left on his contract. He also wants the extension to be approved by all of 32 owners and not just the six-man compensation committee, which was actually given the power to do so by the owners in a unanimous vote in March.
Jones, however, said he believes things have changed since then, and that requires the situation to be examined more closely.
In addition to the Elliott suspension, Jones has said he doesn’t like how the commissioner handled the anthem protests and falling television ratings.
Jones even requested a special league meeting to discuss Goodell’s extension as well as the threats of retaliation toward him, according to The Wall Street Journal. The special meeting was rebuffed, but the league will allow Jones to raise his concerns at an already scheduled meeting Dec. 13 in Irving.
Jones said he believes his efforts are already working because the Goodell decision has not yet been finalized and it will be discussed by the owners at the upcoming league meeting, rather than being just rubber-stamped by the six-man compensation committee, according to a source.
What Jones wants to make clear is that his focus is what’s best for the NFL.
“Just assure that everything I’m doing — it would be madness to think that everything I’m doing isn’t in the best short- and long-term interest of the NFL,” Jones said Friday. “I love this league and I love this game. And the men that are involved, the committee and the owners, really are good men. And they’ve been in it almost as long as I have.
“But I’ve been knowing some of these people for going on 30 years. And they know I have the NFL’s best interest in mind. And so goes the NFL, so go the Cowboys.
“It’s really amusing to me when I hear someone say that Jerry may not — they may do something to make him not have the Cowboys,” Jones said. “That is absolutely ridiculous.”