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Volume 24 No. 179
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Despite Goodell Contract Extension, Jones' Fight Against NFL Could Keep Going

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones' fight against the NFL is "not yet complete, and his endgame is still very much in sight," according to Albert Breer of THE MMQB. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract was extended last week, and one owner described the feel in the room toward Jones at Wednesday's owners' meeting like this: “He got his ass spanked.” But while Jones "didn’t light the dynamite" at the owners' meeting, the "explosives are still very much in hand." Jones is "not alone in thinking" that the league office has "become bloated with staff with its hands in too many pots." There are a "good number of owners who are with Jones in believing that the NFL should get out of the investigation business." Accordingly, a shakeup in the "league office could be coming." COO Tod Leiweke, CMO Dawn Hudson, Special Counsel Lisa Friel and Exec VP/Health & Safety Jeff Miller are "among those whose roles could change significantly (if they’re not out)." Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash is "another figure some owners are disillusioned with, but his value on the labor front will likely protect him." How the rest of the league works, and how much power NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell himself will wield "remains up for discussion, with much on the line in the coming years." One owner said, "We’ve got a lot of issues to deal with. There’s a lot of unity in the room, and we’ve got to deal with those now. We have a CBA coming up, we’ve got a lot of off-the-field issues. We need a vision. Where are we going in the next five to 10 years? Everything’s changed. There’s a lot of work to be done. I think Roger’s the right guy to do it, and I think most of the people in the room believe that" (SI.com, 12/14).

PROBLEM AT HAND: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Felix Gillette wrote the recent sexual harassment allegations against NFL Network staffers has "hit the league in one of its biggest vulnerabilities." Women "make up almost half of the NFL’s current customer base, and moms hold enormous sway over whether their children are allowed to play the sport." Goodell has been "scrambling for years to burnish the league’s appeal to female fans." The allegations "remind female fans of the league's problems with sexism." Gillette: "At a time when NFL sponsors are under fierce pressure from fans who are angry about players participating in national anthem protests, the NFL Network has managed to stay out of the crossfire -- until now" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/14).