The relationship between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner has gotten really ugly as a civil war is ready to break out between the league owners. For the past few weeks, Jones has made every attempt to block Goodell’s contract extension with the league even going as far as threatening to sue the NFL.
Today, ESPN released a bombshell report describing how Goodell’s once close friendship with Jones fell apart after the NFL decided to suspended Ezekiel Elliott before the start of the season.
THERE WAS A PAUSE. It was Aug. 9, inside Roger Goodell’s sixth-floor office at the NFL’s Park Avenue headquarters in New York City — down the hall, past the executives’ offices and his assistant’s desk, and through a large, thick wooden door that is both imposing and usually left open to serve as a welcome. Goodell huddled over a speakerphone with general counsel Jeff Pash. On the other end was Jerry Jones. Adhering to the protocol of giving owners a 48-hour heads-up before a major disciplinary issue involving their team is announced, Goodell and Pash informed Jones that after a 13-month domestic violence inquiry, the Dallas Cowboys’ star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, would face punishment — a six-game suspension.
The line went quiet. Seconds passed. Goodell’s decision was an unconscionable violation of trust, Jones later told associates, because he believed that the commissioner had assured him this past spring that there would be no suspension. Jones saw in Elliott a genuine opportunity, a player so good that he had made Jones believe that this year he just might win a Super Bowl for the first time since 1996. His anger was palpable. Finally, according to sources with direct knowledge of the call, Jones broke the silence. He aimed his words not only at Goodell’s decision but also at his role as judge, jury and executioner in the case.
“I’m gonna come after you with everything I have,” Jones said. Then he mentioned Deflategate. “If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a pussy compared to what I’m going to do.”
According to the report Jones says Goodell had reassured him several times that Elliott was not going to be suspended for his domestic violence issue.
In May, Jones asked Goodell by phone for a status update on the Elliott investigation. Jones later told several people that he came away from their conversation with an assurance that there would be no suspension for Elliott and that Goodell felt the running back should enter counseling and perhaps issue a statement showing contrition for his behavior. Jones replied that Elliott wouldn’t be contrite about domestic violence because he hadn’t committed it. “[Jones] told me, ‘Roger told me there was nothing to worry about — the evidence just isn’t there,'” says a high-level source briefed on the call. “Jerry … was damn sure that Zeke was free and clear.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out but it looks like Jerry Jones isn’t fucking around and isn’t going to make life easy for Goodell.