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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has retained the services of one of the nation’s top litigators to potentially sue the NFL and some of its owners to block commissioner Roger Goodell’s extension, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.
Jones, upset with the Goodell’s six-game suspension levied against Ezekiel Elliott, told six owners at a recent meeting that he had hired David Boies, who recently has come under fire for representing Harvey Weinstein as the now-disgraced movie producer fought sexual harassment claims.
The New York Times was the first outlet to report Jones’ potential legal fight with the NFL.
For the past few months, NFL owners and Goodell have been working on a contract extension, a five-year deal to kick in when his current deal expires in 2019.
Jones also has expressed disapproval with the structure and compensation in the contract extension, another person familiar with the proposed lawsuit says.
All 32 owners voted in May to extend Goodell’s contract and authorized the compensation committee to work out the details. Goodell suspended Elliott in August after a yearlong NFL investigation. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue the domestic violence case.
Jones, who is not on the compensation committee but is one of the most powerful owners in the league, has expressed frustration over the NFL’s pursuit of criminal matters with its own investigators.
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Boies and his firm’s spokesperson did not immediately return messages left by USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday night.
Boies represented Al Gore in the 2000 election challenge, the Department of Justice in its antitrust case against Microsoft and helped in the courtroom battle to legalize gay marriage in California.
But Boies has faced criticism for his representation of Weinstein in recent days.
The New Yorker reported on Monday Boies executed the contract between Weinstein and an intelligence firm he hired to spy on accusers and journalists working on stories about the producer’s history of alleged sexual harassment and assault.
At the same time, his firm represented The New York Times in other matters. The newspaper terminated its contract with Boies’ law firm on Tuesday.
The Associated Press, USA TODAY’s Jayme Deerwester and Maria Puente contributed to this report.