- - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If NFL owners get rid of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who will Dan Snyder have to talk to at league owners meetings?

What will the Redskins owner do without his best friend forever?

The war between Jones and his fellow NFL owners is escalating — in part because, I suspect that it wouldn’t take much to convince the other owners to stick a fork in the Cowboys’ big mouth owner. I suspect, save for Snyder, a blowhard like Jones doesn’t endear loyalty.

According to Pro Football Talk, multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility of ejecting Jones from the league, based on a segment of their bylaws that allows commissioner Roger Goodell to determine that an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football,” with the punishment including “[c]ancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” with a directive to sell the team.

That would be the same Roger Goodell that Jones is reportedly fighting with about his next contract as NFL commissioner, in addition to his war with Goodell over the suspension of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

And these fellow owners would be the ones who, left holding this anthem protest bag by President Trump’s criticisms, are reportedly angry because they believe Jones provoked Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter to rip the league over its stand on players kneeling during the anthem before games, charging that it damaged sales of his product.

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“NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” Schnatter said several weeks ago in a call with analysts. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

That leadership would be Roger Goodell, who ESPN reported is seeking a new contract — his deal ends at the end of the 2018 season — that would include a stunning $49.5 million annual salary, use of a private jet and health insurance for the rest of his life.

You’ve got to admire the stones of Goodell — under fire, a public punching bag, hated by fans and players alike, and saying the $32 million you’re paying me now isn’t enough. He wants a 50 percent raise.

You would think Jones would love this kind of chutzpah. After all, it’s his style.

It’s not likely that owners are going to remove Jones as the Cowboys’ boss. That is extreme, and given some of the stiffs that have owned NFL teams that fellow owners have tolerated, it’s unlikely that they would take such a step against someone as high-profile and litigious as Jones.

Besides, he’s a Hall of Famer.

That’s right, in case you’ve forgotten — or didn’t even notice, like most did not — Jerry Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

Now they want to kick him out of the league.

In case the owners weren’t paying attention, Jones reminded them in his acceptance speech what he is capable of if he doesn’t get his way.

“I did things sometimes against the grain, and sometimes it rubbed people the wrong way,” he said proudly. “We introduced Phil Knight and Nike, and the league sued me for $300 million when I did it. I had to turn around and sue the league back for $700 million at the time. We got that all worked out real quick.”

He’s bragging about suing the NFL on the day he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

On that glorious day in August, Jones also praised Goodell in his speech.

“As a young man, I always knew why this game was great and why it had such value, certainly individually, for me,” Jones said. “As someone who owned a team, I was always thinking how we could go to the next level, how do we make it better. We have a leader today in Roger Goodell who really does live by that standard.”

Well, if that is the case, pay the man, Jerry.

Jones also mentioned two of his fellow owners during his Hall of Fame speech — Giants owner John Mara and, guess who?

“In our division, the NFC East, we have John Mara,” he said. “We have people like Dan Snyder, brilliant. We have guys really that have a great, great vision for the future of this game.”

If Jerry Jones is gone, who will tell Dan Snyder that he is brilliant?

Thom Loverro hosts his weekly podcast “Cigars & Curveballs” Wednesdays available on iTunes, Google Play and the reVolver podcast network.

• Thom Loverro can be reached at tloverro@washingtontimes.com.

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