COMMENTARY: Jerry Jones, Ezekiel Elliott are major distractions


Photo courtesy of The Dallas Cowboys official Facebook page.

Kevin Nobs, Staff Writer

In a crazy series of events, the Dallas Cowboys have been atop headlines for reasons far beyond the sports world.

From star running back Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension to owner Jerry Jones’ threats to sue the National Football League (NFL), the organization has been talked about for the wrong reasons.

On Aug. 11, league commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott for allegedly using physical force on his ex-girlfriend. Elliott claimed innocence and filed an appeal to clear his suspension days later.

The NFL and Goodell battled the NFL Players Association several times in court. Various courts granted Elliott stays of his suspension, but a Nov. 9 ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of appeals reinstated his penalty.

The timeline of events surrounding Elliott’s legal situation would confuse any Cowboys fan.

Since then, an even bigger feud has broken out between Jones and Goodell.

Goodell wants a contract extension and is seeking almost $50 million a year, access to a private jet for life and lifetime health insurance for his family. Jones vehemently opposes the deal and is threatening to sue the NFL if Goodell’s contract is extended.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is dealing directly with Goodell’s extension as NFL’s compensation committee chairman. Jones is on the committee as well. According to ESPN,  Blank is not allowing Jones to vote on the extension because of his threat to sue.

The Cowboys traveled to Atlanta to face the Falcons in Week 10. Both Jones and Blank were in attendance, but avoided each other.

Jones’ reasoning is unknown, but it is suspected he is fighting Goodell’s extension because of how Elliott’s situation was handled.

According to the New York Times, however, Jones is no longer threatening to sue the NFL. Although he still wants his voice to be heard when finalizing Goodell’s extension.

I appreciate Goodell focusing on player safety in recent years. Aside from that, he is awful at what he does and is the wrong man for the job.

He fumbled almost all of the scandals the NFL has been faced with, from Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson to Tom Brady. Elliott’s situation is another example.

The way the NFL handled Elliott’s situation is inappropriate and unprofessional. Based on how hard Elliott fought his suspension, I truly believe he is innocent. If he is in fact guilty, Goodell still fumbled the handling of his case.

Elliott’s suspension has been on and off all season. That is ridiculous, especially after unproven allegations. How can you expect a player to be effective when he has to question if he is playing that week?

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