David Goldman/Associated Press
NFL owners have reportedly brought up the idea of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones forfeiting the franchise.
On Sunday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cited a league source who said “multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws.”
One of the sections of the article allows the commissioner to essentially force the forfeiture of a team if the owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the league or professional football” and a $500,000 fine is deemed “not adequate or sufficient.”
Florio granted such a move “would trigger years of litigation” and explained the notion of applying it to Jones specifically “comes from the belief among owners that Jones instigated Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter to disparage the NFL, blaming league leadership for ratings declines and, in turn, a reduction in Papa John’s revenues.”
The news comes after a period of time when Jones’ name and the Cowboys were in plenty of NFL headlines.
His team’s star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, started his six-game suspension stemming from a domestic violence investigation Sunday during Dallas’ 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The ongoing case has been litigated throughout the NFL season and will continue to be moving forward.
Jones also weighed in on the notion of players protesting police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem, saying anyone who “disrespects the flag” will not be allowed to play, per Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the comments triggered a team meeting.
According to Jeff Darlington of ESPN, Jones didn’t even speak with Falcons owner Arthur Blank before Sunday’s contest. Clarence E. Hill Jr. and Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram noted Blank—who SportsDay said is the compensation committee chairman for owners who will decide on Roger Goodell’s potential contract extension—and Jones “are at odds” regarding the extension.
Hill and Davison said “Jones threatened to sue the league” and “contends that Blank has misled owners about having the unanimous approval of the six-man committee to extend Goodell.”