Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is admittedly holding up the contract extension for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
It has resulted in a threatened lawsuit against the NFL and caused owners to threaten him with suspension for conduct detrimental to the league.
But Jones is not simply angry because Goodell suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games under the personal conduct policy and allegedly lied to him about no suspension.
He says it’s bigger than that while also sidestepping a question of whether he wants Goodell to continue as commissioner.
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“I’ve never addressed that in a negative way,” Jones said following the Cowboys 37-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. “To sum it all up, what I want of all is I want accountability, more accountability. I want unprecedented accountability to the ownership. That simple.
“It’s unfortunate that motives are being pressed: ‘It’s all about Zeke. It’s all about that,’ which questions your motive, but Zeke is done. Zeke is over. But some of the things that make that happen are still around.”
Jones is still miffed with the league’s 13-month investigation of Elliott for allegedly committing domestic violence against former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson.
Elliott was never charged or arrested in the case and the league’s lead investigator recommended no suspension.
Jones is bothered with how Goodell handled the national anthem protests and the league’s declining television ratings.
He believes the time is now to address those issues before an contract extension is finalized.
“Our commissioner is probably the most powerful, relative to his constituency, he’s the most powerful person in America,” Jones said. “He’s been given that kind of power, so what you want to do if you want to make some positive changes is you want that power to be accountable, in my case, to the owners.”
Jones has no problem with the process not being smooth or pretty on the outside. But he says he is doing what’s in the best interest of the Cowboys and the NFL.
“Every entity that there has ever been has a time to evaluate, re-access, freshen up and do it better,” Jones said. “I’ve never been with one that didn’t. Let’s just say - we aren’t - but that we were getting in somebody new, that’s when you sit down and say to them, ‘This is how we’d like these issues to be done.’ I’m one vote. I’m only one vote, but we need to have that opportunity, and we can. We have plenty of time. We have a lot of issues.
“Everything we’re doing here is about making this league better. By the way, that usually comes with angst. My experience has been with angst, very much angst.”
Jones is aware that he has been made the target as well as the villain in the process.
It’s not an unfamiliar position, considering his rebellious entry into the league in 1989.
“We won’t talk about that right now, but do you think?” Jones said, laughing. “You don’t want to go with me tonight, I promise you that.”
But Jones denied a report that other owners want him to pipe down. He said he has never been told that.
And what would he say if he “Ask them to pipe down,” Jones responded.
He also doesn’t believe his fights with the NFL over Goodell’s extension has overshadowed the play on the field or been a distraction for his team, which is 5-5, riding a two-game losing streak.
“No. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. None whatsoever. At all. None,” Jones said “I don’t in any way have a second thought about that. Not at all. You know I really do want to be inspirational to our players, my players. I want them to know that I’ll do everything I can to help the Dallas Cowboys and help the NFL. They should benefit from that.”