Jones Won't Back Down In Disagreement Over Goodell, Disputes Cease-And-Desist Report
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones this morning said that he "doesn't plan to back down on his insistence that the NFL's compensation committee brings further negotiations" with Commissioner Roger Goodell "back to the rest of the owners for approval," according to Kate Hairopolous of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Jones, appearing on his weekly radio segment on KRLD-FM, said Goodell still has 18 months left on his current contract and "we've got all the time in the world to extend him, and we need to slow this train down." Jones also disputed a N.Y. Times report that several NFL owners had given him a cease-and-desist warning, saying, "I've had not one, not one, inkling of communication from the league office or any owner that would suggest something that laughable and ridiculous, and that's about where that is. If somebody is asserting that then they are not knowledgeable about how things work in the NFL." Jones also said that it is "not true that he has a replacement in mind for Goodell" (DALLASNEWS.com, 11/14). In N.Y., Ken Belson in the original report cited sources as saying that several owners gave Jones a cease-and-desist warning, "threatening to punish him over his efforts to block a contract extension" for Goodell. The warning was "issued by the six owners" on the league's compensation committee yesterday "after the group held a conference call." The NFL "could take a range of steps, including fines, docking draft picks and even suspending Jones." Jones also has been "accused of pushing" Papa John’s Founder & CEO John Schnatter to "discredit the commissioner and of leaking false information about the details of Goodell’s contract negotiations" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/14).
TIMING PLAY: Cowboys Exec VP, COO & Dir of Player Personnel Stephen Jones, speaking yesterday on KRLD, said it was "laughable" that the NFL could force his father to sell the team. He added, "We're not against Roger. We just don't know if this is the time to be talking about major contract extensions when the league certainly has several challenges in terms of where we are as a league, whether that's our ratings, whether that's our concerns with our sponsors" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/14).
OVERPLAYING HIS HAND? USA TODAY's Nancy Armour writes Jones "badly overplayed his hand with his efforts to upend Goodell’s contract extension as payback" for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. Rather than "impede Goodell’s contract extension, Jones has all but ensured it’s going to get done" (USA TODAY, 11/14). The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said not since the days of the late Al Davis has there "been an owner who has been at odds with so many people." ESPN's Sarah Spain said Jones' actions are going to "change the power structure in the NFL going forward, even if he sits down and takes this like he should." ESPN's Israel Gutierrez said Jones may be "overstepping his bounds" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 11/13). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "People are saying, 'Jerry, we know you've made us a lot of money, you've been a great owner (but) shut up. We are tired of you" ("PTI," ESPN, 11/13). NBC Sports Bay Area's Ray Ratto said Jones wants Goodell's "head on a spike, period." He added the owners "have come to the realization" that if they let Jones have this one too, then he "runs the league" ("The Happy Hour," NBC Sports Bay Area, 11/13).