The NFL accused Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a letter of engaging in conduct “detrimental to the league’s best interest” in his ongoing challenge of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s proposed contract extension, according to a report on Wednesday.
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The letter, which was sent to Jones’ attorney, David Boies, says that the Cowboys owner’s “antics, whatever their motivation, are damaging the league,” the Wall Street Journal reported. In addition, some owners have purportedly discussed taking steps to remove Jones from ownership of his franchise.
Jones and the NFL have engaged in an increasingly bitter war of words in recent days over the NFL compensation committee’s handling of contract negotiations with Goodell. In a letter to the league, Jones purportedly said the committee has misled the NFL’s 32 owners about the contract’s terms.
Jones dismissed the possibility that he could be ousted from the league on this weekly radio show Tuesday. Pro Football Talk previously reported that some owners had discussed the “nuclear option” of removing Jones for conduct detrimental to the league.
“I’ve had not one inkling of communication with the league office or any owner that would suggest something that laughable and ridiculous,” Jones said during his weekly show on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “If somebody is asserting that or thinking about that kind of thing, they’re not knowledgeable about how things work in the NFL.”
Jones has expressed interest in opening negotiations on Goodell’s contract to all 32 owners, not just the six members of the compensation committee, and in establishing a performance-based pay for Goodell in his next contract. Jones has been critical of the NFL’s handling of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension for alleged domestic violence.
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The Cowboys owner drew criticism last month after John Schnatter, the CEO of Papa John’s, a top NFL sponsor, ripped the league’s failure to find a solution to its declining ratings and national anthem protests. Some critics questioned whether Jones, who has an ownership stake in more than 100 Papa John’s restaurants, may have colluded with Schnatter to challenge the league’s position.
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Papa John’s executives told FOX Business that Schnatter and Jones did not have any dialogue on the protests, adding that his comments were meant to highlight business challenges raised by the company’s close association with the league.
Under Goodell’s stewardship, the NFL has seen its annual revenue climb to record levels while also facing growing challenges, including declining television ratings and national anthem protests that have divided fans and rankled some sponsors. Goodell has earned more than $200 million since he became commissioner in 2006.