For you boxing judges scoring at home, give Round 1 on the field to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank after his team took the Dallas Cowboys to the woodshed in a 27-7 blowout victory Sunday.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones proved to be magnanimous after the game, while attempting to downplay the off-the-field battle with Blank over a proposed contract extension for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Jones has threatened to sue the NFL and some owners, including Blank, if the league’s six-man compensation committee approves a contract for Goodell without it going before a full vote of the league’s 32 owners.
Jones, who opposes a Goodell extension, was an ad hoc member of the compensation committee before he was asked to leave by Blank following the threatened lawsuit.
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“Mr. Blank got the upper hand tonight. That is a good place to put it,” Jones said of the cold war between the two men. “We were playing a Super Bowl team. They took us to the woodshed tonight.”
The two owners did not speak before or after the game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Jones made himself available for Blank throughout pre-game warm-ups, standing in front of the Cowboys sideline, but the Falcons owner never ventured in his direction.
Per a Cowboys staffer, it’s customary for the home owner to come across the field and greet the visiting owner.
“That’s rare,” Jones said, when asked about two owners not exchanging pleasantries before the game. “That’s rare. I’ve had games where I didn’t visit for whatever the reasons, but that’s rare.”
Asked if he was still planning to sue the league, Jones punted.
“Again, I am really not going to get into that right now as far as any of those issues are concerned here,” Jones said. “This isn’t the place. I will be speaking to that as we go along here over the next few days.”
Jones said he wasn’t worried about the drama with Blank and Goodell putting the league in a bad light because it’s the league’s issues in terms of perception and image that are at the root of his problems with the contract.
“I do and am for addressing negative attention," Jones said. “But that is alot about what I’m talking about over the last months and years. I want to do everything we can. Times like these are when you can really access and get better. And I look at the NFL that way. I have been here many years and have seen times when you need to adjust. Sometimes we do a good job at that. These are one of those times.”
When asked if these times call for a new commissioner, Jones declined to comment and went back to being magnanimous about Blank.
“Again, I’m not going to discuss that right now,” Jones said. “I’m going to give Arthur Blank an attaboy for a great game and the Falcons playing a good game tonight.”