When it comes to renewing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract, Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is reiterating his stance on wanting himself — and all of the league’s owners — involved.
“I probably have a much better relationship with the commissioner of the Salvation Army than I do right now with the commissioner of the NFL,” Jones said Wednesday to CNN’s Coy Wire during a Salvation Army media tour.
“But seriously,” he continued, “we want to make the league better for our fans, and the way to do that, we can’t run with the ball as owners. We can’t even catch a pass. The way we do that is address many things about our game. Our social responsibilities, how we do that. Many things. And the time to do that is when we extend the commissioner. My point is, I want all owners to get in here and have a big voice right now, make it accountable, and let’s get better for our fans.”
Goodell’s existing contract runs through next season. The terms of Goodell’s deal are being considered by a compensation committee of six owners: Arthur Blank of the Falcons, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs, Robert Kraft of the Patriots, John Mara of the Giants, Bob McNair of the Texans and Art Rooney of the Steelers.
It’s been contentious with the Cowboys’ owner. In the latest twist, according to a New York Times report, Jones, who has voiced his displeasure with how the commissioner has handled the National Anthem protests and the suspension of his star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, is withdrawing his lawsuit against the league over Goodell’s contract.
“I’m asking for accountability, asking for, looking at some changes that have occurred while we’ve been in this discussion,” Jones said. “That’s not necessarily against bringing Roger Goodell back. What I do want to do is when he comes back have a good understanding of the direction that we’re going. This is when you do those things.”
Jones also addressed a tweet posted by President Donald Trump Wednesday morning, which read, “The NFL is now thinking about a new idea — keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!”
“Donald Trump is a longtime fan of sport and longtime fan of football and has been involved as (an) owner in professional football, so he has some knowledge,” Jones said, referencing Trump’s days in the old USFL.
“I certainly think that the thing he is addressing is certainly a part of how we want to make our game better.
“There’s no question because of our visibility, our substantiveness, that we are looked to for social responsibility as well. This is all a part of what I’ve been talking about with the commissioner, and certainly I appreciate not only the President, but I want everybody to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. And I want to do everything I can to make them a fan of the Cowboys or the NFL. I just appreciate the interest.”
In response to Trump’s tweet and a Washington Post report, the NFL told CNN that the possibility implementing a National Anthem rule is not on the agenda for the next league meeting, which is in December, nor is it being discussed right now.