NFL expected to have Jerry Jones reimburse legal fees

Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL are expected to compel Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to reimburse legal fees the league incurred this past season, a league source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday.

Rapoport reported the payment of more than $2 million by Jones would be "a reimbursement of costs incurred by member clubs" associated with Ezekiel Elliott's efforts to appeal his six-game suspension and Jones' work to slow Goodell's contract extension.

"It was a year-long storyline of Jerry Jones threatening to sue the NFL and trying to impede the progress that they were making involving Roger Goodell's salary negotiations. And, actually, this goes all the way back to Jerry Jones' vocal opposition to the six-game penalty that ended up coming for Ezekiel Elliott. One thing the league will try to do is get Jerry Jones to pay the legal fees associated with his contesting a lot of what the league was trying to do, whether involved with Elliott or whether involved with Roger Goodell's salary and Jerry Jones' threat to sue."

A source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Judy Battista that Jones is expected to contest paying legal fees. If he proceeds, it would go to a hearing before Goodell, Battista reported.

The news of a potential payment was first reported Monday by The New York Times.

The Dallas Cowboys declined to comment when reached by Stephen Jones, the Cowboys' chief operating officer, declined to comment about the development to reporters Tuesday. He said he would let Jerry address the matter.

Jones unsuccessfully spent weeks this past season attempting to slow a new contract extension for Goodell and routinely expressed his anger over Elliott's six-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.

Goodell signed an extension early last December, and Elliott ultimately served his suspension following a lengthy appeals process that took place over much of the 2017 season.

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