LOS ANGELES (105.3 THE FAN) – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has never in 27 years, to my knowledge, missed a “Jerry Jones Media Party’’ at training camp because, well, it’s the Jerry Jones Media Party. He was absent from his own festival on Friday at Nobu in Malibu, however, and if one wishes to take that as a sign of anger, disgust or “busyness’’ due to the six-game suspension handed to his star running back Ezekiel Elliott, one should do that.
And if you’re wondering if Jones has also gathered behind-the-scenes NFL support for the Cowboys’ belief that the domestic-violence-related punishment dispensed by commissioner Roger Goodell is heavy-handed and misguided?
Yes, one should now do that, too.
NFL sources (not Cowboys employees) tell me that there is already a burgeoning feeling among some high-ranking league officials that Goodell exercised poor judgment in the penalty and specifically in the wording of the league’s findings.
The disapproval, in a nutshell: Goodell’s office essentially called Elliott a “woman-beater’’ — one of the most damning labels that can be tagged to a person — and did so based on less-than-definitive evidence.
Goodell had the option of simply noting that Elliott was “in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.’’ It’s within his CBA-dictated power to go beyond that, but that doesn’t mean his league partners have to agree with it.
Elliott, with the help of the Cowboys and the NFLPA, is going to appeal the decision and there is talk of fighting the decision beyond Goodell’s office and into the court system. Jones may not have fellow NFL big-shots who want him to take the battle that far, though the commissioner may find himself facing enough critics that see him an expendable as he sees Elliott.
But this much is true: In the span of just one day, Jones — who as I write this before the Cowboys-Rams preseason game still made his traditional pre-game appearance on the field and on 105.3 The Fan — didn’t bother rallying for his own party … maybe because he was busy rallying for support of a pro-Elliott/anti-Goodell cause.