Report: Jerry Jones Hires Lawyer, Might Sue NFL over New Roger Goodell Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2017

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manger Jerry Jones walks onto the field prior to an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly has retained high-powered attorney David Boies in an attempt to block a contract extension for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Ken Belson of the New York Times reported Jones is threatening to sue the league and six owners over the potential extension. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Giants owner John Mara, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Steelers owner Art Rooney and Texans owner Robert McNair comprise the six-person committee in charge of handling negotiations.

Jones has threatened to file a suit if Goodell's contract extension is not tabled by Friday. Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com reported Jones is one of "four or five owners" who want Goodell out as commissioner. The other owners were not named.

Another group, called "fence-sitters," has about a half-dozen owners who are unsure of their next move. 

Considered perhaps the NFL's most influential owner, Jones has been at odds with Goodell over the commissioner's handling of the Ezekiel Elliott suspension and player protests during the national anthem. Jones said Elliott's six-game suspension for the alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend was an "over-correction" by Goodell for his poor handling of past cases.

"I'm sure he would like to take back his initial Ray Rice stance, and a few others," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan's Shan & RJ Show. "And he's in the process of having to correct that, and in doing so Zeke is a victim of an over-correction.

"Institutions have always been in the process of correcting…usually behind the curve," he added. "Then they really react, then they turn around and overreact, and they have to come back to the middle."

Goodell's handling of the Rice case, which saw the former Baltimore Ravens running back suspended multiple times for the same domestic violence incident against his now-wife, is seen as one of the low points of his tenure. The league has since instituted a standard six-game suspension for domestic violence cases, even without a court conviction.

Jones also pushed behind the scenes for Goodell to issue a leaguewide mandate forcing players to stand during the playing of the national anthem. The Cowboys owner publicly said any player on his team who protested would not be allowed to play. He is also friendly with President Donald Trump, who has vehemently criticized players' kneeling during the anthem.

It's unclear if Jones has any way of stopping the extension. Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, just 24 owners have to approve any new deal for Goodell.

The reported hiring of Boies will only add an additional layer of controversy to the case. Boies was retained by disgraced movie executive Harvey Weinstein and allegedly hired a private investigator to dig up information about the women he's accused of sexually assaulting, per Belson.