AUSTIN — The Dallas Cowboys and the NFL are locked in a legal battle over the league’s business conduct policies.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said Tuesday that the league was preparing to make a “major announcement” about how it plans to address the issues raised by the two teams in the wake of the Falcons’ release of linebacker Jonathan Babineaux.
The league has long defended its policies, saying that they protect players from unnecessary discipline and prevent teams from hurting themselves by not adequately preparing for the season.
The NFLPA has said that the policy’s impact on player safety is minimal.
It said that while it is disappointed that Babineau, a former first-round draft pick, is no longer with the Cowboys, it has not yet made a decision about whether to pursue an appeal.
The Cowboys have until March 8 to decide whether to appeal.
Both sides are scheduled to meet Tuesday morning to discuss a potential settlement.
The two sides were due to meet in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, at a private conference that was canceled by the NFLPA because of the pending legal fight.
Lockhart declined to discuss the details of the Cowboys’ plans to appeal the suspension.
The case has drawn national attention.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said on Twitter Tuesday that he was disappointed in the Cowboys for their handling of the incident.
“I think there are a lot of things that we could have done differently, but at the same time, I understand the reasoning that was given,” Prescott said.
“That’s what the NFL has done for decades.
They’re going to make decisions for themselves.
But they’re going in the right direction.”
The league suspended BabineAUAabineaux from the team for the first three games of the season on Oct. 6 after he allegedly pushed a player on the field during a preseason game.
The Dallas Tribune reported Tuesday that Babieaux told the Cowboys that he had been “physically threatened” by another player after a scuffle in which Babineaus were involved.
He told the paper that Babienaux hit him in the face with his fist and punched him in his face.
Babineux said he did not hit the Cowboys player.
The team said in a statement that Babiua was not punished for his actions.
Babieauaux and the Cowboys had no comment Tuesday.