Jerry Jones could be on the hook for legal fees of NFL, teams if he sues Goodell

Jerry Jones is one of the NFL's most powerful owners but, as he has discovered in recent weeks, that power is not limitless. The Cowboys owner is at odds with commissioner Roger Goodell and is reportedly trying to keep Goodell's contract extension from going through -- to the point that Jones will reportedly sue the NFL and some owners over the commissioner's contract negotiations.

This is Jones' right, but a right that also comes with substantial risks. Namely: Jones could be on the hook for all the legal fees for such a stunt. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio explains:

The NFL's Constitution and Bylaws contains a resolution, passed in 1997, that would make Jones responsible for the legal fees, litigation expenses, and costs incurred by the league and by its teams. One source estimated that it would cost Jones more than $10 million if he sues the league and its member teams over Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract and loses.

Florio adds: "The final amount of the financial responsibility would be determined by the Commissioner or his designee."

Put another way: We could have a situation where Goodell could be the final arbiter of Jones' fate in this matter. And we say Goodell because all indications are that he'll remain the commissioner. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote Sunday that Goodell is being urged by confidants to put pen to paper and sign a contract that was "drawn up by lawyers weeks ago" to put an end to Jones' uprising.

More than that, La Canfora reports, some owners are starting to turn on Jones because, according to sources, "his attacks on commissioner Roger Goodell are being seen by his peers as a direct reaction to his anger of Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension and are diminishing his respect and influence among other owners."

It's to the point that some owners are reportedly discussing the nuclear option -- the long-shot possibility of making Jones forfeit his ownership in the Cowboys.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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