One of the bigger parts of the fallout from Friday’s decision by the NFL to suspend Ezekiel Elliot for conduct detrimental to the league is the reaction of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones. After Jones stated “the domestic violence is not an issue” numerous times in the days and weeks leading up to the announcement of discipline, its of no surprise he’s reportedly “furious” with the NFL’s ruling.
Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones is said to be furious with NFL decision, per one source. Furious.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
Source in text to me: "Jerry Jones is as angry as I've ever seen him."
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) August 11, 2017
Independent of the convoluted NFL Personal Conduct Policy and their methodology for investigating and ruling on these issues, there are a few things to be certain of.
First, the NFL has a pretty iron-clad defense in the CBA and that’s what they relied upon in the previous court case with Tom Brady. The NFL and NFLPA both agreed in the previous CBA negotiations that Roger Goodell would maintain the power to preside as judge, jury and executioner. This has been consistent for the NFL Commissioner for decades, but has become more of a topic in recent years. Here’s an excerpt from the ruling that re-instated Brady’s four game suspension:
“We hold that (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness. Accordingly, we REVERSE the judgment of the district court and REMAND with instructions to confirm the award.”
Second, appeals can be expensive and mentally exhausting. As seen with Brady’s suspension, Robert Kraft supported Brady throughout. He publicly decried Goodell’s methodology and enlisted scientific researchers to back Brady’s claims of innocence and yet, Brady still dropped his appeal before taking to the Supreme Court and served his four-game suspension. If anything, Jones’ comments in recent weeks indicate that he will likely be in Elliot’s corner as well if he decides to appeal or file for an injunction as Brady did.
Elliott’s statement on the punishment was a controlled message of disappointment and apology, the Jones, the organization and the fans.
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) August 12, 2017
Finally, there is the less discussed issue of court discovery. In Brady’s case, the NFL did their best to seal all court documents. That didn’t happen and was a major part of the backlash towards the NFL from the public in the Deflategate saga. The NFL has consistently shown they believe that it’s in their best interest that their inner workings are never exposed to public scrutiny.
Jones is perhaps the league’s most influential owner at this time and it will be interesting to see what he’s willing to risk. He’s been a prominent figure in recent relocation of the Rams and Raiders and his calls for review of the NFL’s drug-testing policies seem to be having an effect on other owners. On the other hand, he’s one of 32 stakeholders in a multi-billion dollar revenue stream that is the NFL.
What both sides will consider in Zeke fight: Dirty laundry. Want it aired? #Cowboys vs their own league. Want to go their? All get muddy?
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) August 11, 2017 http://cowboyswire.usatoday.com/2017/08/12/dallas-cowboys-ezekiel-elliot...