Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has hired Harvey Weinstein lawyer David Boies and threatened to sue the NFL and other team owners over league commissioner Roger Goodell’s ongoing contract negotiations.
The New York Times, citing three anonymous sources, reported on Wednesday that Jones told the NFL compensation committee in a phone call last week that he planned to file suit on Friday “if the committee did not scrap or delay its current plans to extend Goodell’s contract.” In preparation, he enlisted Boies, a veteran attorney who recently came under fire for his work on behalf of Weinstein.
According to ESPN, Jones has the backing of 16 other team owners seeking to oust Goodell, but the league would need approval from 24 owners in order to fire the commissioner.
Jones’ move against Goodell comes months after the 32 owners — including Jones — voted unanimously to extend Goodell’s contract in May. His previous contract was set to expire at the end of the 2018 season.
According to the Times, Jones reversed his position after the commissioner gave a six-game suspension to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who was accused of domestic violence. ESPN reported last month that Jones was singlehandedly standing in the way of Goodell’s extension. (Elliott’s suspension is currently on hold and no charges were filed in the case.)
The clash comes as the NFL and Goodell faced criticism over players’ decisions to protest by kneeling or sitting during the national anthem at games. Jones told reporters last month that his team would not tolerate “disrespecting the flag,” and that players who do “won’t play.”