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Jerry Jones appealed the ‘millions of dollars’ the NFL said he has to reimburse, and he lost

The Cowboys owner held up a new contract for Roger Goodell and now he’ll pay $2 million for stirring up trouble.

Los Angeles Chargers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The latest chapter in the Jerry Jones vs. the NFL saga was written on Monday. Jones’ appealed the league’s decision to force him to repay over $2 million in expenses from his feud with Roger Goodell and the compensation committee. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jones eventually agreed to pay the fees.

The NFL and Jerry Jones reportedly resolved their dispute “to the satisfaction of all parties,” but it certainly seems like a loss for Jones. But the action against Jones wasn’t via Goodell, but was actually initiated by other NFL owners and approved by the league’s finance committee, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

This all stems from Jones’ efforts to derail Goodell’s contract extension. Jones’ opposition to Goodell is based in part on the league’s decision to suspend Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games after investigating domestic violence allegations raised against Elliott by a former girlfriend.

Why is the league making Jones pay up? Jones threatened to sue members of the competition committee for moving forward with Goodell’s contract extension without the approval of all 32 owners.

Here’s the problem with that: All 32 owners — including Jones — had previously voted to let the compensation committee handle Goodell’s extension without input from the entire league. The compensation committee sent Jones a strongly worded letter that said his behavior was “damaging the league” and “detrimental to the league’s best interests.”

Jones didn’t end up filing any lawsuit, but members of the committee had to seek legal advice. The league also racked up expenses related to Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal of his suspension, which the Cowboys actively supported. Elliott’s attorneys were expected to provide an affidavit and financial records illustrating that Jones was not financially involved in Elliott’s appeal, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The NFL told Jones he has to reimburse these costs based on a provision in the NFL’s constitution and bylaws, which were amended in 1997 so that if an owner brings or participates in litigation against the league, that the owner must pay back legal expenses incurred by the league and other owners.

From the constitution and bylaws:

Goodell has the authority to make Jones pay back these funds. He’s also come out on top on both of his previous battles with Jones: the Elliott suspension and his own contract extension. Since Goodell was also the one overseeing the appeal, it was hard to imagine this going Jones’ way. It didn’t, and Jones will be forced to make these reimbursements.