NFL admits it won’t investigate Cowboys voyeurism scandal

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The NFL has enough current scandals, and it’s not interested in another one.

That’s the only reasonable explanation for the league’s decision to not investigate a 2015 voyeurism scandal involving the Dallas Cowboys.

The league obviously has chosen to assume the lowest possible profile regarding some of the most heinous allegations of workplace misconduct we’ve seen in 20 years of covering the league every single day (Playmakers looks back at all of them, along with the lessons learned about how the league operates). A now-former Cowboys executive and close confidant of team owner Jerry Jones allegedly snuck into the cheerleaders locker room and filmed them while changing clothes. It’s shocking. It’s horrifying. It sparked a $2.4 million settlement coupled with the incongruous conclusion that no wrongdoing was found when the team investigated.

On Thursday, a day after that ESPN.com report emerged and PFT sent three separate emails to the league seeking comment on the matter, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy finally responded by saying, “We will decline comment as this was a club matter.”

The following day, McCarthy took a subtle but significant step beyond saying “no comment,” confirming to ESPN.com that the NFL will not investigate the situation.

It would be a curious decision even if the man whose signature appears on every official NFL football hadn’t declared only nine days earlier that the fox doesn’t get to manage the henhouse.

I do not see any way a team can do its own investigation of itself,” Roger Goodell said at his annual pre-Super Bowl press conference, after the Washington Commanders announced that the team had hired its own investigators to explore the claims made by former employee Tiffani Johnston against team owner Daniel Snyder. “That’s something we would do and we would do with an outside expert that would help us come to the conclusion of what the facts were, what truly happened, so we can make the right decision from there. We’ll treat that seriously.”

So why does the Washington situation get treated seriously and not the Dallas situation? Both are technically club matters. Both create questions under the Personal Conduct Policy. Why would the league refuse to let Washington conduct its own investigation, but then shrug at a team investigation of voyeurism claims that clumsily tried to balance “nothing to see here” with “here’s a check for $2.4 million”?

There’s something more going on here, and the NFL doesn’t want to be bothered with delving into it, not with the Washington scandal and the Brian Flores lawsuit. And the Jon Gruden lawsuit. And the claim that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross deliberately tried to lose games in 2019. And every other actual or potential controversy that the league’s preference for reaction over proaction invites.

In this specific case, the league’s reaction is to be proactive about inaction. If enough in the media keep quiet about it, the league will get away with it.

50 responses to “NFL admits it won’t investigate Cowboys voyeurism scandal

  1. There is nothing more to investigate. Wrongdoer was identified. Is no longer part of the team. And a settlement was agreed to by the affected parties. Nobody rlse was involved. Why would we need more investigation?

  2. Apparently the NFL doesn’t want to get involved in something that was settled 7 yrs ago, the miscreant is no longer employed, and the payees perhaps are satisfied w/ the issue. I am most definitely not a Cowboys fan, but it doesn’t sound much different than thousands of similar cases resolved in the legal system, each year.

  3. Jerry Jones is (by all reports) the most powerful owner in the NFL. The NFL Isn’t doing anything to this guy or his organization. Jerry wants the story to go away… the story goes away. Anyone who reports on it loses their NFL backstage pass. Hell, the NFL has most people who report on the NFL under contract in one way or another. The story about Snider got legs because the NFL used those emails against Gruden; otherwise, it probably goes away too.

  4. Of course not. The NFL has no agenda against the Cowboys. This will all disappear just like the St. Louis Rams’ pregame walk-through tape.

  5. Because Goodell is afraid of Jerry Jones and he is not afraid of Daniel Snyder…. Snyder was always an outsider in the boys club that are the NFL owners

  6. Maybe it would help if someone dropped a dime on the Commmish and suggested that the voyeur was also allegedly taking a little air out of the Cowboys’ footballs? Seems to me something like that should be taken to multiple courtrooms with a months-long investigation. I mean, integrity is important, right?

  7. Why would the NFL investigate the team for the (alleged) actions of a single employee? We don’t investigate the team when a player is involved in assaults, sexual or otherwise.

  8. I’m from the UK and ‘ve only been an avid fan for 10 years, but one thing I have definitely learned is the NFL is a cesspit of sleaze and corruption. It genuinely shocks me how bad it is

  9. It’s simple: Jerry Jones can’t enter the Hall of Fame twice. Canton is where the league sends troublesome and litigious owners to sit down and shut up.

  10. This league has absolutely no credibility when it comes to matters involving Personal Conduct Policy matters. Rich people showing the world they can do what ever they please.

  11. Perhaps they’re not interested in seven year old controversies dug up by mud rucking reporters desperate for headlines in the off-season?

  12. Jerrah most likely paid up and got NDAs. Snyder didn’t get his t’s crossed or i’s dotted, so now he’s looking down the wrong end of the barrel (or perhaps he’s bent over the barrel). Long story short: money talks.

  13. The NFL has enough current scandals, and it’s not interested in another one. The biggest scandal in the NFL is the OFFICIATING

  14. The case was settled, the settlement is legally binding. The alleged perpetrator is gone. Not much to investigate. The only people clamoring for an investigation are the ones that benefit from chaos, like media sources.

  15. With all the current scandals plaguing the league it seems like a very appropriate time to give Godell an extension.

  16. Smells like everyday politics to this football fan: There’s no accountability for one side.

  17. logicalone says: “This league has absolutely no credibility when it comes to matters involving Personal Conduct Policy matters. Rich people showing the world they can do what ever they please.”
    ———————

    What are you blabbering about?

    Jerry Jones isn’t accused of anything. The exec has been long ago fired. In fact, one of the victims was Jones’ own DAUGHTER.

  18. Wait until they force Dan Snyder to sell. He is going to dime out every owner in the league.

  19. The worse part of the voyeurism scandal is the executive was caught on a live stream taking an upskirt photo of Jerry Jones’ daughter, Jerry then paid 2.4 million to settle the allegations against that same executive.

    Take an upskirt photo of my daughter and cost me 2.4 million.. you get Jimmy hoffa’d

  20. this has been over for 5 years. the person responsible is no longer on the team. without drama in their lives some people can’t seem to live. you know who you are.

  21. 10 years from now….we will all be saying “remember how popular the NFL once was back then”? They should have addressed those officiating issues and never gotten involved in gambling.

  22. The girls willingly signed an NDA, and were compensated. As sick as that it, what would they investigate?

    Cowboys, Dolphins, and Commanders owners should all be forced to sell. TODAY

  23. The NFL is a huge business. Very, very successful. With success comes jealousy, and lots of it. Good thing the NFL isn’t letting the tail wag the dog.

  24. The NFL is a business and has no responsibility to the public. No corporation publicly airs its dirty laundry, and all corporations have a lot of it. When the NFL investigates itself it is purely for show. The only goal of the NFL is profit.

    Until and unless the NFL and owners get sued in court..or charged with felonies, we will get nothing but fake investigations from the NFL.

  25. Apparently Jerruh is the defacto commish and that bobble head in New York is just a figurehead. I think that Jerruh needs to update his business card that includes GM, Doctor, Lawyer, Head Coach, and Personnel director.

  26. Seems like Jerry Jones does what he wants when he wants and that’s it… deal with it. Wow

  27. As rotten as this all is, it’s apples and oranges. With Washington, the issue was the entire workplace itself, and the prospect of bad behavior being sanctioned by management. With Dallas, it’s an individual employee’s behavior. The latter is investigated by businesses themselves all the time.

    The social media age is the age of perpetual re-offense. It happened seven years ago and I didn’t think much about it, so we now need to get upset about it in the current day!

    The most surprising aspect to me is that this guy seemingly committed an offense against Jones’s daughter yet got the soft treatment. That doesn’t jibe, unless the prospect of what he’d say if hung out to dry was significant.

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