Patriots owner Robert Kraft changed his tune this week, going from a conciliatory shrug to defiance, saying: “I was wrong to put my faith in the league.”
But another owner who has had his share of punishment from the NFL said he thinks commissioner Roger Goodell is still doing a good job.
“He’s got obviously a very tough job,” Jones said, via Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. “Now I see some people doing that, that’s that old violin that’s not feeling too sorry for him because that’s why you pay the big bucks is to deal with the big problems. But he’s doing an outstanding job. I can tell you firsthand that in his spot you have to with people that you are counting on to help build and to help excel as far as the National Football League, I’m talking about the owners, you have to know that you’re going to make some decisions that are very unpopular with that particular group. This is the case.
“I can speak to that because on a personal basis as well as for my franchise and our Dallas Cowboys franchise, we’ve had that happen to us. I’m sitting there living with the result of the commissioner’s decision still today that I didn’t agree with when it happened. And so some of the very people sometimes that have the biggest complaints, they’re the ones who give you a phone call and say, ‘Hey let’s be a team player now and let’s all get in here and realize that this happens to everybody and let’s go on and compete. We’ve got a great league and a great game.'”
Kraft had previously been a team player, saying it was best for the league for him to drop any complaints over the team’s #DeflateGate penalties. But when Goodell upheld quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, Kraft lost it, and went back on the offensive against the league in general.
While the $1 million fine and loss of a first- and fourth-round pick is harsh, so was Jones losing $10 million of salary cap space for taking advantage of the uncapped year.
“He has to make hard calls,” Jones said of the commissioner, “and more often than not, you’re going to have a season or you’re going to have a period of time where those go against you as an owner in the NFL.”
Of course, Jones’ pro-Goodell stance (and those are getting fewer and farther between) might be helped by the fact a four-game suspension keeps Brady out of a game against the Cowboys.
Much like Kraft, Jones knows that what’s good for him is still what’s best for him.