Much has been said about the role of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the negotiation of a new contract for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. During a Tuesday appearance on 105.3 the Fan in Dallas, Jones said just enough to confirm what many have said.
“First of all, it is a time that he’s expressed interest and the league has expressed interest and renewing and extending his agreement,” Jones said. “Now, you just have to get used to this in the NFL, you’re not always going to be on the same side of the fence with the Commissioner. And certainly when he’s negotiating to extend his contract, he’s negotiating and the league is in a position of negotiating with him. So it shouldn’t surprise anybody that you’re not always on the same side of the ledger.”
So, basically, there will be a natural tension, a push and a pull, between the NFL and Goodell. And as Goodell well knows, the NFL always drives a hard bargain when negotiating anything.
“I’m well known as having been a supporter of Roger Goodell,” Jones said. “On the other hand, when you get into negotiating and extending, you find yourself in a negotiation. And I think that’s what you’re getting the sense of. There’s just negotiation going on. . . . What we’re talking about is his agreement and certainly — just picture this, you could certainly be supportive of Roger Goodell but not necessarily in agreement with terms or if you will structure of his contract. That’s the point of the negotiation. So you’re seeing a negotiation that’s going on and I’m a part of the negotiation on behalf of all the owners.”
While Jones didn’t specifically say he’s pushing back against the other members of the Compensation Committee, his general comments permit that inference, because it would be natural for Jones to resist or impede or take whatever position he needs to take in order to advance the broader objective of getting he best possible deal for the league.
Given the pre-existing reality that Jones has lobbied his partners regarding his views that the Commissioner makes too much money and in light of Jones’ decision to involve himself in a process that previously was in the capable hands of six other owners, it’s no stretch to conclude that Jones didn’t become part of the committee to ensure that Goodell gets more than he otherwise would have received.