We're in the midst of one of the biggest, nastiest fights the NFL could possibly produce, and it's not even actually football season.
This heavyweight bout is between commissioner Roger Goodell and infamous Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. After a number of supposed league violations, including his attempts to prevent Goodell's contract extension and assisting in the legal drama surrounding Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, Jones is being fined millions by the league.
The Cowboys owner is in court today to appeal this decision, and reportedly has a strong leg to stand on-- one of Elliott's attorneys is reportedly ready to produce proof that Jones didn't provide impermissible financial support for the running back's appeal.
As part of Jerry Jones' appeal today, one of Ezekiel Elliott's attorneys will present an affidavit and wire transfers they say show Jones didn't bankroll Elliott's legal fight, source said. The NFL says Jones owes $2M+ for costs incurred by clubs on Zeke case, Goodell contract.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 5, 2018
This is a huge deal, and is not likely to have a pretty ending no matter who ends up on top.
The commish has a number of qualms with Jones, but his alleged hands-on involvement in Elliott's case may loom the largest. While Jones clearly wanted his superstar on the field and was open about the fact, he's making it clear that he did not interfere with the legal process or cover any related costs out of pocket.
The #Cowboys did file a declaration of support for the NFLPA's request for a temporary restraining order in one of the Elliott cases. In essence, Elliott’s team is saying the fight would’ve proceeded with Jones’ support or without.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 5, 2018
Jones still faces fines for going rogue and pushing to keep Goodell's contract from getting extended, but clearing his name on the Elliott matter will go a long way by itself.
But even when the appeal is out of the way, nobody should expect the beef between these two titans of pro football to be anything remotely approaching squashed