Key Takeaways from ESPN Report on the Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones War

ESPN’s dynamic reporting duo, Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham, dropped another bombshell Friday morning. Their latest examines the sweltering power struggle between Jerry Jones, the other 31 owners and Roger Goodell as the league’s compensation committee nears a contract extension for the commissioner.

The whole piece is essential reading but here are several nuggets that stick out.

When Goodell informed Jones of Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension, here was the Cowboys owner’s response: “I’m gonna come after you with everything I have … If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a p—y compared to what I’m going to do.”

Can 70-something year-old rich white men please stop using that word?

While owners seem likely to continue with Goodell as commissioner, one owner’s representative reached out to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to gauge his interest. He immediately said no.

Silver reportedly makes $10 million a year. An extra $30 million is apparently not worth the headache that is the NFL

 After the league’s Ray Rice domestic violence crisis, Jones questioned Goodell’s hiring of high profile outside experts,particularly former Manhattan prosecutor Lisa Friel who was brought in to head criminal investigations.

In hindsight some of the hires were questionable but did Jones have a better idea at the time?

The subject of head injuries came up at the October 2015 owner’s meetings. Jones thought everyone was overreacting. This is a pimple on a baby’s ass,” Jones said, drawing an awkward silence from the room.

We could fill a 400-page novel with cringe-worthy quotes made by Jones over the years. This is among the worst.

Interesting quote here from Steelers owner Art Rooney II on Goodell: His strengths and his weaknesses are kind of the same,” Rooney says of Goodell. “He can be very firm in his positions, and at times that frustrates people who want to have somebody with more of an open mind.”

Fascinating that Rooney went on the record. While it’s not the most damning quote in history it does suggest that Rooney is not 100% in Goodell’s corner.

The league reportedly spent $22.5 million on Deflategate.


On the possibility of a new commissioner: “Switching commissioners is like switching from an iPhone to a Samsung,” one ownership source says. “Do my pictures transfer? Do my contacts? Does my music? In the end, why take the risk?”

There is a strong correlation between wealth and aversion to risk, especially when it comes to personnel.

Jones’s camp said the commissioner assured him no suspension was coming for Elliott In May, Jones asked Goodell by phone for a status update on the Elliott investigation. Jones later told several people that he came away from their conversation with an assurance that there would be no suspension for Elliott and that Goodell felt the running back should enter counseling and perhaps issue a statement showing contrition for his behavior. Jones replied that Elliott wouldn’t be contrite about domestic violence because he hadn’t committed it. “[Jones] told me, ‘Roger told me there was nothing to worry about — the evidence just isn’t there,‘” says a high-level source briefed on the call. “Jerry … was damn sure that Zeke was free and clear.” Joe Lockhart denies this.

Either Goodell is a flat out liar or Jones is hearing voices.

There is much more meat to this piece and again, we recommend reading it in its entirety.