Jerry Jones could be forced to sell Cowboys as angry NFL owners protect Roger Goodell

This might not be how it was supposed to go.

After a tumultuous year of protests, sinking ratings and ticket sales for the NFL, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was prepared to act.

Last week, news that Jones had threatened to sue NFL commission Roger Goodell rocked the political and sports world. Jones had been extremely critical over many of Goodell’s decisions, and was vocal over this mishandling of the players’ protests during the national anthem.

Jones decided to put his money where his mouth is, and hired an attorney in an attempt to stop negotiations for Goodell’s lucrative contract renewal.

Roger Goodell, left, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talk during an NFL football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cowboys at Wembley Stadium in London. AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File

But Jones is feeling pushback in a major way and has angered some of his fellow NFL owners, to the point where they are reportedly thinking of removing Jones from the league, Pro Football Talk reported.

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They could, in theory, attempt to trigger forfeiture of the Dallas franchise.

A league source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws. Specifically, Section 8.13 authorizes the Commissioner to determine that an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.” If the Commissioner believes the available sanction (a $500,000 fine) is “not adequate or sufficient,” the Commissioner may refer the issue to the NFL’s Executive Committee, which has the power to compel “[c]ancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” with a directive to sell the team.


There is widespread belief among some owners that Jones was behind Papa John’s decision to pull its support from the NFL after publicly claiming the pro-football league was bad for business, PFT reported. If true, that move upset Jones’ fellow owners who believe he took his beef with Goodell too far, and outside the “family business.”

No doubt, Jones would not be pushed out without a fight, and an attempt to remove him from the league would likely end up in years of expensive litigation.

Meanwhile, Goodell is getting busy doing damage control over reports he was demanding “offensive and unseemly” salary and perks for his new contract.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

“He didn’t ask for the contract—the term of art these days, fake news,” Marc Ganis president of Sportscorp and consultant to NFL owners told Fox Business’ Varney & Co.

“One person puts out a story because they have an agenda—that’s what happened here.

“To quote one of the members of the committee: ‘that story is garbage,’” Ganis said.

Judge Napolitano said the NFL would be crazy not to renew Goodell’s contract, even if the reported “offensive” demands were true.

“So the new compensation committee … has all the authority to negotiate with Roger Goodell and if Jerry Jones sues, I think it will be frivolous because when he bought the Dallas Cowboys he agreed to accept the NFL rules and the rules are the compensation committee, not all 32 owners, decide the commissioner’s salary,” Napolitano said on Fox Business Networks’ Mornings with Maria.

“Up to this year he has helped make these billionaires richer, he has given them a tremendous return on their investment.”


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