During the afternoon hours of Thursday, November 9, 2017, fans of the Dallas Cowboys wondered if the inevitable suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott would commence before their road game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Sunday. To the surprise of some, Elliott’s injunction was denied, and his protracted suspension began immediately; we do not know if it will last six consecutive games, though.
Nevertheless, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell have been in a constant stare down since summer when Elliott’s suspension was announced. Jones, whose franchise has not won a world championship since MC Hammer’s dubious Pumps and a Bump was released about two years prior, has seemingly become more agonistic at the prospect of Dallas falling short becoming more likely without Elliott on the field. Now, there are unsubstantiated rumors about Jones attempting to thwart the NFL’s negotiations with Goodell in negotiations for a new deal.
While it is understandable why Jones would be willing to usurp the commissioner’s authority, it is a mistaken premise. This fact was illustrated succinctly by the venerable sportscaster Dale Hansen of WFAA last month on Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex television.
Essentially, Hansen warned Jones against perceived unwavering support of Elliott without being cognizant of all of the circumstances related to this investigation by the NFL. Since it is extremely improbable that any of us will ever know what happened in Elliott’s relationship, one must be careful not to make assumptions about any alleged domestic violence situation without evidence for or against him.
Nonetheless, the NFL was in a precarious position qua to how to reassure its fans that the organization is steadfast against even the appearance of domestic violence. The National Football League still recovering from the nightmare of incidents such as video substantiation of punches being thrown inside of an elevator and a narrative purporting that a former player allegedly body slammed a woman.
There is no doubt that Goodell wants to convey an unequivocal message that these types of incidents will not be tolerated even if an athlete is not indicted jurisprudentially. The NFL cannot be seen as being insensitive on this issue and must walk circumspectly henceforth.
Also, Jones should avoid being characterized as a coxcomb by not adopting a whatever it takes to win mantra without displaying a modicum of character in how victories are achieved. Jones’ splenetic disposition of late could create a schism with some of the other franchise owners in the NFL in the future. Indeed, he does not want to endure the series of litigation that the late Al Davis experienced in his later years.