McMullen: The Hypocrisy of Jerry Jones Knows No Bounds
(973espn.com) - Jerry Jones and I are actually on the same page when it comes to Roger Goodell but for far different reasons.
Goodell needs to go as the NFL's commissioner.
From my perspective, that declarative statement is directly tied to Goodell's lack of credibility as the steward of America's most popular game. From Jones' standpoint, however, everything the commish has done involving Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Josh Brown all the way through Deflategate was stellar stuff.
It wasn't until the NFL's most powerful owner didn't get his way in the National Anthem controversy and more so the league's handling on the Ezekiel Elliott domestic-violence allegations until he pivoted and decided that Goodell was no longer a viable option to be the face of the league.
Two NFL sources told ExtraPoints Media that Jones is intent on derailing a contract extension for Goodell that was already approved until Jones felt disrespected by someone he thought he can trust implicitly.
In Jones' mind, that's code for someone who would always default to what the Cowboys' owner wants.
The NFL’s compensation committee is in charge of the extension talks with Goodell and is chaired by Falcons' owner Arthur Blank with Kansas City’s Clark Hunt, New England’s Robert Kraft, Houston’s Bob McNair, the Giants’ John Mara and Pittsburgh’s Art Rooney as the other voting members.
Jones informed that committee this week that he had retained powerful attorney David Boies, who once represented the league during the Tom Brady mess, with the intention of suing his peers if they move forward with Goodell.
That's a clear indication Jones is nowhere near the magic number of 24, which would be the number of owners needed to move in a different direction away from Goodell, no surprise because it was 32-0 in favor of the commissioner when the compensation committee started negotiating the extension in the first place.
Jones isn't used to not getting his way and is really the one owner responsible for spearheading the league's return to Los Angeles and the upcoming move of the Raiders to Las Vegas, something that puts money in Jones' pocket through both relocation fees and his business subsidiary, an events management company called Legends Hospitality.
Jones, like most NFL owners, likes money but that's not what is driving him here. He loves the recognition he gets as the face of the NFL's marquee franchise and when the Cowboys are good, that increases tenfold.
Goodell's "concerns" over Goodell only surfaced after Elliott's suspension was handed down on Aug. 11.
The National Anthem controversy, in which Jones expected Goodell to bow to his preference (a decree to force the players to stand) only added to the Jones' discontent and late last month he put together a conference call with 17 others owners to try to derail the already agreed upon extension with Goodell.
Many believe Jones was also behind Papa John's CEO John Schnatter, a big player when it comes to advertising on the NFL product, publicly questioning the league's leadership during a recent investors conference call.
"The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter explained. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve [the anthem issue]. ...Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership.”
For the conspiracy theorists out there Jones happens to own more than 100 franchises of the pizza chain in Texas.
Ironically, Schnatter's comments are somewhat accurate but most people fail to realize the real power in the NFL lies with the owners and Goodell is just an instrument imposing their collective will.
Essentially if Goodell had not suspended Elliott, he'd still be in Jones' good graces. Kraft was in a similar situation with Brady and Deflategate and took plenty of shots at the league and Goodell before finally backing off for the good of the league.
That's not Jones' style, however. Hypocrisy is.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for Extra Points Media and 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen