NFL commissioner reportedly considering 7-figure fine for Jerry Jones

By Clarence Hill | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

So the year-long battle between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not gone quietly into the night.

According to The New York Times, Goodell plans to fine Jones millions of dollars for conduct detrimental to the NFL.

The root of the discipline was Jones’ challenging of Goodell’s contract extension and public opposition to the six-game suspension for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL declined comment.

The Cowboys also declined comment through public relations director Rich Dalrymple.

Goodell will announce the punishment for Jones in the coming weeks, according to the report.

The question is how will Jones’ respond?

He threatened to sue the NFL’s compensation committee last fall over Goodell’s contract before backing down.

Jones will be ordered to pay the legal fees that the committee incurred defending itself, as well as the legal expenses the NFL spent defending its decision to suspend Elliott, according to the NYT.

The history of this battle dates back to the league’s year-long investigation of Elliott for allegedly committing domestic violence against a former girlfriend.

Elliott was never arrested or charged in the case.

And per sources, Jones was told by Goodell that there would be no discipline for Elliott.

When Goodell announced a six-game suspension for Elliott on Aug. 11, Jones considered it an unforgivable breach of trust, per sources.

He supported Elliott as the running back fought the suspension in federal court through the first eight games of the season before eventually losing and having to sit out six games.

Jones also began a public battle against Goodell’s contract extension, initially as a non-voting member of the compensation committee.

Jones felt Goodell had too much power. He wanted the league to get out of investigating players. He also criticized the commissioner’s handling of the anthem protests.

Jones was removed from the competition committee after hiring a lawyer and telling the six owners on the committee that he was prepared to take them to court to stop them from finalizing Goodell’s deal.

Jones eventually backed down with the belief that his issues were being heard.

And when Goodell’s five-year extension, which could be worth up to $200 million, was finalized during an owner’s meetings in December in Irving, the two men engaged in an obligatory hug following the closing press conference.

“Do I look like I take it personally? Jerry, do I look like I take it personally?” Goodell said the time, pointing to Jones who was in the room. “No is the answer to that question. As I have said before, I think people disagree. People who have the ability to do that within the context of our structure is something that makes us stronger.

“My relationship with Jerry has been great. We don’t always agree. I’m not paid to agree and he’s not paid to agree with me.”

Said Jones: “I hope Roger earns every dime. That means he’s doing a great job, and we’re doing good.”

Things are good no more.

Jacob C. Palmer

Jacob C. Palmer is the sports editor of the San Francisco Examiner. Reach him at (415) 359-2729 and Follow him on Twitter: @jacobc_palmer.

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Jacob C. Palmer

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