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Robert Kraft: NFL owner needs to be a “good partner”

Houston Texans v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: Owner Robert Kraft of the New England Patriotsreacts before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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The slow-simmering feud between Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and most of the rest of the NFL continues.

At a time when open hostilities seem to have subsided, messages nevertheless are being sent. The latest came Wednesday from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who seemed to be speaking directly to Jones when making comments about the obligation of an NFL owner during the first-ever Dealmakers in Sports conference.

Via Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, Kraft said that it is “important in every league that everyone is a good partner and no one perceives themselves to be bigger than the league itself.”

He also explained the reason for his franchise’s restraint when the league office targeted the Patriots in a trumped-up football inflation scandal.

“It’s more important that the people running the league do the right thing for the league than for any one franchise,” Kraft said. “And, in our case, we had a situation where the league really messed up big time, and, you know, we were very disappointed, and we decided to step back because we are in this business for the long term and we tried to be a good partner.”

Jones has been accused of being anything but a good partner in recent weeks, culminating in multiple threats of disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the interests of the league in connection with his opposition to a contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Last week, Jones abandoned threats of litigation, apparently with an understanding that all owners would have input in the proposed contract. On Tuesday, league spokesman Joe Lockhart said that he is aware of no such deal.