Jerry Jones has a burr under his saddle, a terrible condition for the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. So the rest of the National Concussion League better pay attention.
Jones started the season in a warm and fuzzy mood, gleefully taking a knee on the sidelines and linking arms in solidarity with his team as players protested racial inequality in America.
That lasted for about a week.
Jones then got very irritated and announced that if any of his players chose to continue the protest, why they would be benched. This was a sudden reversal but hey, the misdirection play has been a Concussion League staple for many years.
It appears that Jones really got bent out of shape when commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games after the player was accused of assaulting a former girlfriend. How dare Goodell strip Dallas of one of its best players? Doesn’t the commissioner understand that the Cowboys are America’s Team with all those sexy cowgirl cheerleaders?
So Jones went into his get-even stance, challenging the contract extension for Goodell, a deal that would cost the Concussion League many millions of dollars. Never mind that Goodell has lined the owners’ pockets with millions thanks to fancy sponsorship and television deals. And never mind that in August, the Cowboys’ boss had signed off on extending Goodell’s contract. That was before the commissioner came down on Elliott’s alleged bad behavior.
Now Jones was on the warpath, demanding a re-examination of the contract extension and threatening to sue the league and all of his Rich Boys Club colleagues if he doesn’t get it.
You think he’s kidding? Well to prove he wasn’t, he hired high-powered New York attorney David Boies to press the issue. The Cowboys’ boss wants Goodell’s fancy contract submitted to all the owners instead of being approved only by the league’s compensation committee.
Meanwhile, Elliott took his case to the courts and won three different delays, allowing him to continue to play. That end-around ended last week in federal appeals court when the running back was denied another stay and he began sitting out the suspension.
Jones is the Concussion League’s modern version of the late Al Davis, who managed to get under the skin of his partners repeatedly when he operated the Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, who next are headed to Las Vegas. There was some speculation that when the Raiders won the Super Bowl, instead of politely handing the trophy to Davis, then-commissioner Pete Rozelle would drop it on the owner’s foot
You would think the Concussion League had enough trouble with a rash of injuries taking some of its stars out of action, with sinking television ratings, and even empty seats at some games. Then there is criticism over the rash of slow poke payoffs for claims in the $1 billion concussion settlement. Now it has to deal with Jerry Jones making a fuss.
It gets worse. Jones proved how serious he is about this small war by encouraging John Schnatter, the CEO of Papa John’s pizza, to complain about sinking sales numbers. The blame, Schnatter said, for a 13 percent drop in sales was all of this protesting by the players. Blame the commissioner for that, too. Couldn’t he at least recommend pizza for Thanksgiving?