Goodell, Jerry Jones moving on with new contract in place

IRVING, Texas — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell twice turned to Jerry Jones when asked about his relationship with the powerful Dallas Cowboys owner who tried to scuttle his contract extension.

“Jerry, do I look like I take it personally?” Goodell asked after the second question as Jones, the recent Hall of Fame inductee, winked at him. “‘No’ is the answer to that question.”

A new five-year deal for Goodell had been signed for a week when owners gathered for meetings at a luxury Dallas-area hotel Wednesday. And while Jones was conciliatory, even hugging Goodell when replacing him on the podium, the outspoken billionaire wasn’t conceding anything.

Goodell was a bit defiant himself on another topic, contradicting his own lead spokesman who had said earlier in the day that Goodell considered the contract that now runs into 2024 to be his last.

“I haven’t made any determinations,” Goodell said. “This is something that I’m looking forward to the challenges. I think our league is in a great position. But we obviously have challenges, just like any other industry.”

Goodell overcame the challenge from Jones, who threatened to sue over the extension in a dispute that arose after Goodell’s decision to suspend star Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games over domestic violence allegations in a case  prosecutors didn’t pursue.

Jones has denied that Elliott’s suspension played a role in his objections over the power the commissioner wields or his concerns about the way the NFL was handling protests involving the national anthem.