While the NFL continues to butt heads with players over the protests during the national anthem, a larger war appears to be brewing behind the scenes among the owners themselves and Jerry Jones is leading the charge.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Jones hired powerful attorney David Boies and threatened to sue the NFL and other owners over Commissioner Roger Goodell's pending contract extension. While Jones has reportedly been lobbying for months to block the extension, and does have some support among other owners, the feeling now is that he does not have enough support to get the necessary votes to block the needed two-thirds votes needed to approve the contract.
While it is unclear on what grounds Jones would sue the NFL, the reason for the move maybe the one of the oldest plays in the book — Jones may just want more power.
That's what ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter speculated on Thursday during an appearance on "Mike & Mike."
"I think Jerry wants to take control of the league. I think that he does not want to see Roger Goodell in power," Schefter said, adding, "Jerry Jones is almost being a maverick on this, leading the charge to try to get Goodell out of there, or reduce his salary, or have some type of effect."
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys talks with owner Jerry Jones prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 34-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 23: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gets a Arkansas Razorbacks Jersey for the 1961 Arkansas National Championship team during the game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies on September 23, 2017 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 24: (L-R) Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys talks with Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers before a game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the sidelines before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones shakes hands with a fan during warmups before the game against the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos hosted the Dallas Cowboys at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, September 17, 2017. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, left, team owner Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones, right, in the 'War Room' as the Cowboys take part in the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 28, 2016, at the team Headquarters at Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signs autographs during an afternoon practice at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
OXNARD, CA - JULY 24: Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys talks to fans during opened day of training camp on July 24, 2017 in Oxnard, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (R) and Eugenia Jones attend 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group Robert Kraft (L) and Owner/President/General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones (2nd from L) and guests attend the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF17/WireImage)
Dallas Cowboys draft pick Vidauntae 'Taco' Charlton with owner Jerry Jones, left, and head coach Jason Garrett, right, at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, on Friday, April 28, 2017. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stands on the field prior to Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: (2ndL-R) Dallas Cowboys Owner / President / General Manager Jerry Jones, NFL player Tony Romo, and AXS TV Chairman, CEO, and President Mark Cuban attend the DirecTV Super Saturday Night co-hosted by Mark Cuban's AXS TV at Pier 70 on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for DirecTV)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 27: Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys watches pre-game warm-ups before the start of the game against the Buffalo Bills during NFL game action at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, left, speaks as head coach Jason Garrett listens during the team's annual 'state of the Cowboys' news conference at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
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It is not a coincidence that Schefter used the term "maverick" to describe Jones in this situation. The original maverick in the NFL was former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, who was a friend and mentor to Jones.
Jones may now be fighting the NFL for the same reason Davis long fought the NFL.
"Jerry Jones' role model was Al Davis, and Al Davis loved to go after the league," Schefter said. "Al Davis didn't like it when the power of the league resided in the league office or with the commissioner. He didn't believe it should be that way. And Jerry Jones now believes the exact same thing. He believes that the owners — maybe even him — should be controlling this league, not Roger Goodell."
Davis did serve as commissioner of the AFL for one season, prior to its merger with the NFL. He was effectively replaced after the merger by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, leading to a long-standing feud between the pair.
Schefter did say that he believes the NFL's compensation committee will get Goodell's extension done eventually.
According to the Mark Maske of the Washington Post, sources have told him, the committee "intends to ignore Jones’s threat and plans to have the deal with Goodell in place either by the owners’ meeting scheduled to be held in Dallas in December or by the annual league meeting in March."