The suit was filed in federal court in New York after a unanimous vote of the five club executives who make up the executive committee of NFL Properties, the league's marketing arm.
In a move that clearly escalates the feud between the NFL and Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, the lawsuit seeks to prevent the Cowboys, Jones and Texas Stadium from further damaging NFL Properties.
The NFL wants the court to order the defendants to stop violating their agreements with NFL Properties regarding club marks and logos, and prevent the defendants from signing any additional deals that undermine existing NFL sponsorship or licensing contracts.
"The Cowboys have made it clear through their recent actions and statements that they want to change the basic manner in which NFL Properties does business," said Roger Headrick, executive committee chairman of NFL Properties.
Jones, who is to soon announce another independent deal with American Express, was on his way to Atlanta for an NFL owners meeting today. When asked about the lawsuit, he told ABC Sports, "We will prevail."
An MRI test revealed that Lachey, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and anchor of the 1991 line that helped Washington win the Super Bowl, sustained a complete tear of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder on the Redskins' first offensive series on Sunday.
His shoulders sagging, Lachey was resigned to sitting out the rest of the season after learning the news.
San Francisco Pro bowl tackle Harris Barton, sidelined because of a pulled calf muscle since Aug. 5, should be able to play Monday at Detroit. Barton, who has tried to come back before only to aggravate the injury, said he's anxious to return to the field.
Coach George Seifert also said there was a chance receiver J.J. Stokes could make his NFL debut Monday. Stokes, the 49ers' top draft pick, has been sidelined since breaking a bone in his right hand during an Aug. 17 training camp practice.
Erik Williams, the Dallas Cowboys' starting offensive tackle, will sit out the next two or three weeks because of a strained left calf muscle suffered in Sunday night's 23-17 victory over Minnesota.
Coach Barry Switzer said Ron Stone will practice at right tackle this week and "probably start against Arizona."
Williams hurt his right knee in a car accident last October.
The Cowboys gained some depth when offensive lineman Derek Kennard came back to the team. Kennard walked out of training camp, saying he had decided to retire from football.
With Robert Green and Lewis Tillman injured, Bear Coach Dave Wannstedt said Rashaan Salaam will be the team's primary running back on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. . . . Faced with the first 0-3 start in his 30 years in the NFL, Coach Dan Reeves is sticking with Dave Brown at quarterback on Sunday against winless New Orleans. Former Ram Tommy Maddox is the back-up. . . . Veteran quarterbacks Frank Reich and Jack Trudeau are struggling and the expansion Carolina Panthers are off to an 0-3 start, so Coach Dom Capers said he will reopen the competition at the position, this time with top draft pick Kerry Collins included.