The Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell feud isn't going away anytime soon. The war between the two sides (and the other NFL owners on each side) has increased in drama the past few days and a bombshell ESPN report has helped shed light on why. One of the major reasons why Jones is so upset with Goodell is that Goodell allegedly told Jones Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott wouldn't be suspended.
Here's what Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham reported.
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."
However, Joe Lockhart, the NFL spokesman, denies that was the case. "Absolutely no assurances were given to Jerry by the commissioner that there would be no discipline, at any point in the process."
But Van Natta and Wickersham have the alleged details on what Jones said to Goodell after being informed Elliot would be suspended.
"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."
So what prompted the apparent change of heart for Goodell? According to ESPN, Goodell was facing significant pressure.
Jones didn't know that Goodell was changing his mind. And he didn't know that Goodell was facing pressure, both from a handful of league executives who felt Elliott should be suspended and from owners wanting Jones to be humbled. Kraft had called Goodell in the summer and, referring to the Elliott case, told the commissioner, "My guy got four games for footballs and there's still nothing on this?"
Now, with Jones feeling betrayed by Goodell, he's begun a crusade against Goodell to remove him from power. There have been the leaks about what Goodell wanted in his contract: up to $50 million with a private jet and lifetime health insurance. It's even reached the point, according to ESPN, that one owner reached out to NBA commissioner Adam Silver about taking the NFL job. Silver said no.
According to ESPN, Jones is not going to give up on his battle against Goodell.
Even so, Jones has vowed, sources say, to make Goodell's life miserable. "Jerry's message to Roger was 'I run this league. You better get with it,'" a senior league executive says. "This is about power and control, not the contract. That's all white noise."
Redskins' owner Dan Snyder and a handful of other owners are on Jones' side, per ESPN. The real question now is how far this NFL Civil War goes and what happens next.Back to the NFL Newsfeed