Mac Engel

Jerry Jones has no one to blame but himself for latest Zeke situation

Should Roger Goodell swing his sword of justice at Jerry Jones’ favorite running back, the Pro Football Hall of Famer has only himself to blame for failing to take away Roger’s weapon.

Nothing is apt to come of Zeke Elliott’s latest public bout of stupid, but when Roger becomes Police Commissioner Goodell, you can never rule out a four - or six - game suspension.

Roger gives those out like a fruitcake at Christmas. He did it before. To Tom Brady. To Zeke, who has put himself in this position again.

Zeke had a recent run in with a security guard in the early morning hours in Las Vegas, which, of course, TMZ caught on tape. Zeke, who appeared to a be just a touch over-served, was briefly handcuffed by the cops.

The most overlooked part of this incident is Zeke’s attire: he was wearing a LeBron James’ No. 23 Los Angeles Lakers jersey. Why couldn’t Zeke find a Luka Doncic shirt? Or a Dirk? Maybe a Dwight Powell. A LeBron is so disappointing.

The security guard did not press charges, but he told CBS2 in Los Angeles that wants a “sincere apology.” Apparently the apology Zeke offered the young man didn’t cut it; have Dak autograph a football, pose for a selfie, and say “sorry” even if you don’t mean it. Just get it over with.

Nothing is likely to happen to Zeke, but this is another example of him out late, doing dumb stuff. How many winners are there at 3 a.m. on The Strip?

Like former Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware recently told me, Zeke has to know he’s “under a microscope” and people are watching.

That is why Roger and the selectively vigilant NFL investigation team of T-M-Z are looking into this incident. No one should trust Roger at this point.

Blame Jerry, for he gave Goodell this power.

Remember, we are not that far removed from the last time Roger pulled out his sword and chopped Zeke’s 2017 season by six games for violating ... something? Violation of the league’s player conduct policy, even though the league did a terrible job of stating what Zeke exactly did.

In 2017, Roger and the NFL went to court countless times to enforce Zeke’s punishment, much to the wrath and ire of Jerry.

Jerry famously never agreed with the punishment, and fought it behind closed doors; the Cowboys thought Zeke would be suspended two games. Six games and Jerry was ready to personally run over Roger with his yacht.

All of this back and forth was going on while Roger was negotiating a contract to extend his run as the NFL commissioner. There was no better time to re-frame, and reduce, Roger’s role as the top law enforcer in pro football.

There was no better time for the owners, for Roger, for the NFLPA, to find a more neutral party to handle discipline cases such as Zeke’s. By that point, it was universally agreed that Roger as the hatchet man was not good for the league, or the players.

As the most influential owner in the room, why Jerry allowed Roger to continue to possess unilateral power in this area is on him. Jerry may not have been in the majority to dump Roger, but he certainly could have campaigned, and forced, the type of reform necessary to ensure players would not be treated like Zeke in the future.

While Roger was getting more of the NFL’s money, with no leverage from other interested parties who wanted to hire him away, men like Jerry and his fellow owners changed nothing. They just talked big, gave him more money, and then Roger and Jerry hugged.

At the press conference to announce Roger’s five-year extension at a hotel in Irving in December 2017, I asked him if there is a need to create a better way of handling such cases. He said he would be open to it and making the process better.

Nothing has changed. Why would it?

Zeke gave up the fight on his suspension. The sun rose in the East. The money continues to flood the NFL offices.

Now, two years later, Zeke is a TMZ star.

Now, Police Commissioner Roger is looking into Zeke, again.

Rog’ still has his sword of justice, because Jerry never took it away.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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