Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly to owe the NFL millions for 2017 feud

It looks like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is going to have to write a big check to the NFL due to the chaos he caused over the past six months.  

According to the New York Times, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to fine Jones "millions of dollars" in a move that the NFL is expected to announce at some point over the next few weeks. According to, the exact total amount of money owed will be $2 million. also reported that the money isn't technically a fine. Instead, the league will be asking Jones to reimburse the legal costs that the NFL had to fork out while dealing with Jones and the Ezekiel Elliott case. 

Either way, it will be the most money that an NFL owner has ever paid to the league. 

The biggest fine ever handed out by the league was $1 million, and the NFL has done that twice. Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo was fined that amount for the part he played in a Louisiana gambling scandal in the late 1990s. The Patriots were also hit with a $1 million fine after the NFL completed its Deflategate investigation in May 2015.  

It seems that Goodell had been on the fence about punishing Jones. On one hand, he didn't want it to look like a revenge move; however, it appears that other NFL owners convinced him to go through with the punishment because Jones had broken "an unspoken boundary by threatening his colleagues." 

Apparently, Jones is being forced to pay the $2 million because the league's owners are upset with the way Jones acted over the past eight months. According to the Times, Goodell wasn't happy about the way Jones defended Ezekiel Elliott after the Cowboys running back was suspended in August. Also, the league's owners were irate about the way Jones acted when the league's compensation committee started the process of putting together a new contract for the commissioner. 

Jones' push to stop the extension started on Oct. 26 when he took over a conference call with his fellow owners and asked them to halt the extension even though the league had already voted on the issue. Back in May, all 32 owners, including Jones, voted to authorize the compensation committee to move forward with negotiations. 

By November, things had gotten so bad that Jones threatened to sue the NFL and the league's compensation committee over Goodell's extension. The NFL had to pay its lawyers to deal with every legal threat that Jones made.  

Although he's not a voting member of the compensation committee, Jones sent a letter to his fellow owners  where he requested they hold "a special league meeting" so the group could discuss Goodell's proposed contract extension. Basically, Jones wanted to talk them out of a doing a deal. 

Things actually got so bad between Jones and the NFL that the league's other owners were reportedly looking at a nuclear option that would have involved taking the Cowboys away from Jones. Although that didn't happen, the NFL did send a letter to Jones and his attorney where the league accused the Cowboys owner of "conduct detrimental to the league's best interests."

Despite the protesting from Jones, Goodell's five-year contract extension was approved in December

The feud between Goodell and Jones appears to have started when Goodell called Jones on Aug. 9 to inform him that Elliott would be suspended for six games. According to a story from ESPN, Jones basically responded with a threat

"I'm gonna come after you with everything I have," Jones said. Then he mentioned Deflategate. "If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a p---y compared to what I'm going to do."

The Elliott case is a big reason that Jones is being asked to pay $2 million. Basically, Jones will be asked to pay the legal fees for the lawsuit he was going to file against the league and also the legal fees that the NFL had to pay during the three months (August to November) where they had to defend the Elliott suspension in court. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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