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Volume 24 No. 114
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Columnists: Goodell Enhances Credibility By Going After Prominent Owners

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the last two years has gone "toe-to-toe" with the Cowboys and Patriots by suspending QB Tom Brady and RB Ezekiel Elliott despite the fact there is "absolutely nothing for the league to gain by going after its most iconic franchises," according to Tim Cowlishaw of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Suspending Brady four games last season for Deflategate "did the league no good," and issuing a six-game ban to Elliott for violating the personal conduct policy and "decreasing the Cowboys' chances of a repeat NFC East championship is not a ratings booster" either. Goodell "gains nothing personally and the league suffers when Brady or the Cowboys are in any way diminished in the eyes of fans" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/16). NBC Sports Bay Area’s Ray Ratto said Goodell in back-to-back years has "taken on the two most powerful owners" in the NFL. Goodell and the league "beat" the Pats and Owner Robert Kraft, and they are now "going all-in" on the Cowboys and Owner Jerry Jones. Ratto: "I don't know that politically this is the way for Roger Goodell to maintain his job, but if he's going to do that, he clearly thinks that he has a power base and that those guys can be isolated." Goodell has "picked two big fights and if he wins them both, we'll see how this plays out" (“The Happy Hour,” NBC Sports Bay Area, 8/16). In Chicago, Barry Rozner wrote Goodell deserves credit for "making a tough call in the face of what he knew would be a barrage of criticism." Considering the "immense power" of Jones and his public statements over the last year that he was "certain Elliott would not face punishment, this was a bold move by Goodell that could certainly have him wondering about his job security." Rozner: "It's ridiculous that the investigation took a year but stunning that Goodell had the guts to suspend one of Jones' stars" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 8/16). 

SOMETHING TO KEEP IN MIND: CBS Sports Network's Adam Schein said it was "very interesting that we have not heard a word" from Jones about Elliott's suspension. Schein: "His team is obviously impacted. He's also very tight with Roger Goodell. Jones has a ton of power. Is he pleading a case behind the scenes?" ("Time to Schein," CBSSN, 8/16).