Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has reportedly hired an attorney to possibly sue the NFL over ongoing contract negotiations to extend Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract.
Jones reportedly told fellow owners that he has hired high-profile attorney David Boies, according to The New York Times:
The dispute between Jones and Goodell stems from Jones’s anger over the commissioner’s suspending of Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys’ star running back, who was accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend. Goodell gave Elliott a six-game suspension, though no charges were filed in the case.
The suspension, announced in August, has since undergone a dizzying array of rulings and court appeals that has, for now, kept Elliott on the field. Jones has called the suspension an “overcorrection,” a jibe at Goodell, who has been criticized in recent years for his handling of player discipline.
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The intraleague battle is unusual for an organization that prides itself on order and unanimity and oversees the most popular sport in the country. But is in the middle of one of its most tumultuous seasons over issues like players kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice, a wave of injuries to star players, and a television ratings slide that has fed debate over whether the game is declining.
Jones previously came out in support of standing for the national anthem, saying his players will stand or the team won’t play at all:
“If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period. We’re going to respect the flag and I’m going to create the perception of it. …
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I know this. We cannot in the NFL, in any way, give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag. We cannot do that. I know the vice president did leave because in his opinion, the teams were. We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues. But there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. Just so we’re clear.”
Many believe the NFL’s perceived decline has much to do with the controversial protests that have taken place during the national anthem and continue to happen across the league.
Polls have shown the majority of NFL fans do not support the protests.