The feud between the NFL and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is getting messy, as both sides are pointing the finger for the characterization of ongoing contract negotiations with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, each side is accusing the other of using deceptive tactics to frame the issue a certain way:
Jerry Jones has accused the league and compensation committee chairman Arthur Blank of misleading ownership on negotiations with Roger Goodell on contract extension, according to letters obtained by ESPN. League has replied, accusing Jones of misleading other owners. More to come
In September, ESPN’s Adam Schefter spoke to a source who said an extension for Goodell was nearly completed and would be finalized in weeks or even days.
However, Jones has grown so angry over the six-game suspension issued to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott that the New York Times‘ Ken Belson reported he may sue the league and fellow owners over Goodell’s contract.
According to Belson, Jones informed the owners on the NFL’s compensation committee he has hired an attorney in preparation for a legal fight.
ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. reported Goodell was frustrated with contract negotiations as well. They spoke to a source who said Goodell was upset the offer from owners included more performance-based incentives to make up his annual salary.
Wickersham and Van Natta reported Jones is in effect attempting a coup d’etat. Jones is trying to build a coalition of fellow owners who have lost confidence in Goodell, as well as appeal to “fence-sitters” who are undecided about Goodell.
If enough owners became outspoken critics of Goodell, then he would potentially be unable to continue in his position.
Sources told Wickersham and Van Natta that Jones has already identified a possible successor to Goodell.