Report: Cowboys' Jerry Jones Told Robert Kraft 'Don't F--k with Me' at NFL Meetings

Erin WalshOctober 19, 2022

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft prior to the National Football League game between the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys on October 17, 2021 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.    (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly got into a heated altercation during NFL meetings Tuesday.

Before owners voted 31-1 to approve the compensation committee to open negotiations on a new deal for commissioner Roger Goodell, Jones said to Kraft, "Don't f--k with me," sources told ESPN's Seth Wickersham.

When Kraft responded in confusion, Jones reiterated his statement, saying, "Don't mess with me," Wickersham added.

Kraft was one of the 31 owners to show support for the competition committee opening negotiations on a new contract for Goodell, per Wickersham. Jones was the only owner to disapprove.

Jones did not agree with the league's other owners on what the structure of Goodell's next contract should be, per Wickersham, which is the same concern he voiced in meetings during 2017.

Jones played a pivotal role in restructuring Goodell's deal in 2017, which was for five years, to be mostly performance-based bonuses. Before that, the commissioner's contract had been mostly salaried.

"He believes in corporate good governance and wants accountability on the financial goals tied to Roger's bonus," a league source familiar with Jones' thinking told Wickersham. "He is sensitive to awarding a big bonus to Roger before he performs and earns it."

Goodell's contract is set to expire in 2024, and an NFL owner told Wickersham that the compensation committee may consider extending his deal into 2026 or 2027.

The 63-year-old has served as commissioner since 2006 and has been part of some monumental changes since then, including the expansion of regular-season games internationally, the restructuring of the Pro Bowl and the addition of a 17th game to the regular-season schedule.

However, Goodell has also been involved in controversial decisions, including the punishing of what are deemed to be "excessive" touchdown celebrations with flags and fines, which led fans to dub the NFL the "No Fun League."

In addition, Goodell has been criticized for his handling of several scandals, including Deflategate and Spygate.

Now in 2022, Goodell is working through investigations into Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, significant sexual misconduct allegations against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and how to handle concussions.

The job isn't easy, but Goodell is still considered the most powerful man in sports. It won't be surprising to see his contract renewed by owners.