Two heavyweights in our nation's most popular sport on opposite sides of the ring, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is refusing to back down from the fight he's picked over NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's proposed new contract.
“We’ve got all the time in the world to evaluate what we’re doing," said Jones on KRLD-FM in Dallas. "We’ve got all the time in the world to extend him. We just need to slow this train down.”
Jones denied a report in the New York Times Monday that said he had been sent a cease-and-desist order from the compensation committee, headed by Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank.
In a statement from his P-R firm, Blank wouldn't comment on any of the discussions.
A Washington Post report said fellow owners could consider fines, docking draft picks or suspending Jones if he continues with what some called conduct detrimental to the league. Another report claimed owners would also consider a so-called "nuclear option" of forcing Jones out of the league altogether.
“I’ve had not one inkling of communication from the league office or any owner that would suggest something that laughable and ridiculous," said Jones.
The league's internal struggle reaching a boiling point a couple of weeks ago when Jones threatened to sue fellow owners if the league's compensation committee finalized Goodell's new deal without more input from the full ownership group.
It made for an icy situation Sunday in Atlanta when Jones and Blank did not greet each other, despite being just a few yards apart on the field pregame.
"But I don't want to get into that or make anything of that," Jones said after the game.
Some owners are upset with Jones because they believe he's operating in retaliation after Goodell suspended Cowboys running back Zeke Elliot for 6 games.
Jones denies the notion, but some owners question that because Jones was on board with Goodell's new deal as recently as August, before the Elliott suspension was handed down.
Jones contends he's taking a much broader view, taking into account the issues the league is facing and how Goodell has handled them.
“I have well over half this league that is very interested in not only being a part of what is negotiated," Jones said, "but having it come back to them for approval.”
There's no telling how long the financial football fight will last, but it's another instance of what become a common occurrence in the NFL - politics taking the focus off the field.