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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't blink when finally asked point blank on his radio show Tuesday if NFL commission Roger Goodell misled him about no suspension for star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The Star-Telegram first reported that Jones’ angst with Goodell was rooted in him being told Elliott would not be suspended for allegedly committing domestic violence against former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson and then being blindsided when he was given a six-game ban Aug. 11. Jones considered the suspension an unforgivable breach of trust.
The Star-Telegram story has since been backed up by an ESPN The Magazine report detailing the same narrative.
On his radio show on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday, Jones seemingly confirmed he was told one thing initially.
"Well, again, the commissioner has a right to change his mind,” Jones said. ”He's got a right to say one thing one day and say another thing the next day. He can sleep on it. All of those things happen. But the commissioner is very powerful and probably in the most powerful position relative to his constituency that there it is in anything. Well, all owners should be holding the commissioner accountable in my view. That's the gist of this thing."
Jones said it’s wrong to suggest that the primary motive for current efforts toward blocking a contract extension for Goodell is because he got misled and was made to look bad when he arrogantly and adamantly predicted no suspension for Elliott throughout the summer.
He said there were a number of reasons why Elliott should have faced no punishment, including prior precedent.
But what he wants clear is that his primary interest is doing what’s right for the league and he believes the commissioner has too much power and that owners should be able to influence him and hold him accountable. Those are the things he is trying to accomplishing in holding up the extension and trying to get all 32 owners to be involved in the agreement rather than just the six-man compensation committee.
“Let me just say this because the interpretation is that I got out over my skis and consequently I got embarrassed because I said nothing was going to happen,” Jones said. “That's just not right. Let's just go to the meat of it and let's just carry it on back. There was rationale. There was precedent. There were all kinds of things that would have influenced the commissioner's decision there. Now that's the thing that ought to be looked at, not Zeke's situation, but the entire way Zeke's and the philosophy and everything behind Zeke business.
“And, so, candidly, as far as the league is concerned, Zeke is done. And Zeke is done as far as suspension is concerned. And everybody does what they can do in that. But that's not what this issue is. I know that it is going to be couched. But did it cause me to basically reassess, look harder? Do I get mad? Of course I get mad. Do I get happy? Yes, I get happy. I've been one of the biggest supporters of Roger Goodell that there has ever been. I've known him for 27 years. That's a way to distort where my energy and my activity is right now about the direction we're going in the future.”