AMERICAS TEAM, The Dallas Cowboys, with owner Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson reunited Saturday night to celebrate their first Super Bowl-winning team on the 28th anniversary of the day Jones bought the team, fired Tom Landry and hired his former Arkansas teammate as coach.
The reunion of the 1992 team, pitched as a 25th anniversary celebration, was engineered by quarterback Troy Aikman, who was joined by all-time NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith and receiver Michael Irvin. The so-called “Triplets” won three titles in four years on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jones and Johnson shrugged off their bitter split after winning a second consecutive Super Bowl following the 1993 season, exchanging compliments in interviews and warm handshakes before festivities at a nightclub near downtown Dallas.
Five Dallas Hall of Famers — Aikman, Smith, Irvin, quarterback Roger Staubach and running back Tony Dorsett — presented Jones with a painting depicting him in the hall’s bright yellow jacket. Jones was elected this month and will be inducted in August.
Jerral Wayne “Jerry” Jones Sr. (born October 13, 1942) is an American businessman, best known for being the owner, president, and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys American football team, which plays in the National Football League (NFL).
Jones was born in Los Angeles, California. His family moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas and Jones was a running back at North Little Rock High School. He attended college at the University of Arkansas where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He was also a co-captain of the 1964 National Championship football team. He was an all-Southwest Conference offensive lineman for Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles and a teammate of Jimmy Johnson. Other notable teammates were Glen Ray Hines, a consensus All-American offensive tackle, Ken Hatfield, Jim Lindsey, and future Outland Trophy winner Loyd Phillips. Several future head coaches were assistant coaches for Frank Broyles and the Razorbacks during his college career in Fayetteville including Hayden Fry, future head coach at the University of Iowa, Johnny Majors, future head coach at Iowa State University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Tennessee, and most notably Barry Switzer, Hall of Fame coach of the University of Oklahoma. Jones is one of a very small number of NFL owners who had a significant level of success as a football player (Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers being another).
According to an interview with Jones on HBO, after graduating from college in 1965, he borrowed a million dollars from Jimmy Hoffa’s Teamsters union to open up a string of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor restaurants in Missouri. When that venture failed, Jones was given a job at his father’s insurance company Modern Security Life of Springfield, Missouri. He received his master’s degree in business in 1970. After several other unsuccessful business ventures (including an attempt, again using Teamsters money, to purchase the American Football League‘s San Diego Chargers in 1967), he began an oil and gas exploration business in Arkansas, Jones Oil and Land Lease, which became successful. His privately held company currently does natural resource prospecting.
On February 25, 1989, Jones purchased the Cowboys from H.R. “Bum” Bright for $140 million. Soon after the purchase, he fired longtime coach Tom Landry, to that point the only coach in the team’s history, in favor of his old teammate at Arkansas, Jimmy Johnson. A few months later, he fired longtime general manager Tex Schramm, and assumed complete control over football matters.
The Cowboys won the Super Bowl at the close of two seasons in 1992 and 1993. Johnson then departed and was replaced by Barry Switzer. During Switzer’s tenure, the Cowboys also won the Super Bowl in the 1995 season.
At the time of the sale, the financially troubled Bright claimed to be losing $1 million per month on the franchise. During Jones’ tenure, the Cowboys have appreciated in value to an estimated $4.2 billion, turning their owner into a billionaire in the process. Much of the league’s financial success since 1989 has been credited to Jones himself. In particular, he was decisive in securing Fox as the NFC’s primary broadcaster at a time when the traditional “Big Three” networks were trying to coerce the league into accepting a rollback in TV rights fees. Increased television revenues have played a decisive role in securing the NFL’s place as the world’s richest sports league, with revenues of well over $10 billion per season.
In an online poll from October 8, 2003, Jones was named the least favorite sports personality by Sports Illustrated, in three states (Virginia, Delaware and Texas). He is often vilified by fans who remain bitter at Jones’ unceremonious firing of fan-favorite Landry. It would later emerge that Jones’ predecessor Bright had been dissatisfied with Landry for years and had even offered to relieve Jones of the inevitable criticism by dismissing the longtime coach himself prior to selling the team.
Some of the fan criticism is due to Jones’ high visibility and involvement as the “face of the team” which is in stark contrast to original owner Clint Murchison, Jr.. Jones’ prominent role has led to fans have expressing their displeasure with Jones and the lack of success in the franchise, with particular criticism focusing their owner’s insistence on retaining the role of general manager for himself. Jones is currently one of two owners in the league (the other being Cincinnati’s Mike Brown) that handle GM duties for their respective franchises. Over the years of Jones’ tenure, Cowboys fans have organized a number of grassroots efforts aimed at displacing Jones from his position.
Jones is the subject of the 2008 book Playing to Win by David Magee. In the book, Jones admitted he handled the firing of Tom Landry poorly and accepted some blame for the disintegration of his relationship with Landry’s successor, Jimmy Johnson.
Jerry Jones became involved in the St. Louis Rams move back to Los Angeles with Stan Kroenke in 2016. He was instrumental in brokering a deal between Kroenke, San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos, and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis to ensure that Kroenke’s Inglewood Stadium plan passed, which it did, via a 30-2 owners vote in favor. Jones’ support and role in the negotiations has been criticized by some fans and sports media in St. Louis.
During the early years of Jones’ tenure as owner, the Cowboys had one of the highest payrolls in the NFL, and his critics frequently charged that the team’s success was not due to Jones’ football managerial skills but rather the result of his willingness and ability to outspend other teams. The NFL’s implementation of a hard salary cap in 1994, combined with the implementation of a hard salary floor and consistently increasing television revenues (ironically, a development largely attributed to Jones personally, nevertheless the NFL shares broadcast revenues equally between all teams) have eliminated the ability of any NFL team to significantly outspend its rivals. In recent seasons, the Cowboys went 8-8 from 2011–13, losing the NFC East title in Week 17 of the season each year to three different divisional opponents.
In recent seasons, Jones’ managerial ways appear to have adapted to a more conventional NFL salary cap-era style, which has earned complimentary coverage from some NFL pundits. In 2014 the Cowboys won the NFC East for the first time in 5 years after key drafts and free agent signings. However, the Cowboys slumped to a 4-12 record in 2015 with Quarterback Tony Romo missing most of the season with a broken collarbone. Following the replacement of the then-injured Romo as starter with unheralded rookie backup Dak Prescott, the Cowboys have been surprisingly successful in 2016, winning a franchise record eleven consecutive games after losing their season opener. The Cowboys ultimately finished 13-3 and first overall in the NFC, only to lose on the last play in the divisional round to the Green Bay Packers.
Jones was the inspiration for the character Baxter Cain (Robert Vaughn), owner of the Dallas Felons, in the 1998 film BASEketball. He had a brief cameo appearance as himself in the 1998 made-for-television reunion movie Dallas: War of the Ewings. Jones also appeared as himself in a 1996 episode of the TV show Coach and in a 2007 television commercial for Diet Pepsi MAX, which also featured then Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips and quarterback Tony Romo. Jones most recently starred in a commercial for Papa John’s in which a stunt man performs a dance act. Jones appeared as himself in the seventh season of the HBO series Entourage in 2010, in an episode of the TNT incarnation of Dallas titled “Truth and Consequences”, which aired on July 4, 2012, in a series of commercials for the 2012 season of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, and in the season 4 premiere of The League. In 2013, Jones narrated a documentary film on former teammate and business partner Jim Lindsey. Jones also appears in a 2013 Pepsi commercial, walking into an elevator filled with three men wearing New York Giants apparel, who look at him with discontent. Jones also appears on the first episode “Go Fund Yourself” of the eighteenth season of South Park, along with several other NFL team owners. In one scene, Jones is depicted as having huge, bulging chameleon-like eyes, as a young woman’s head pops up from his lap.
Jones is the son of J.W. “Pat” Jones and Arminta Jones. He is married to Eugenia “Gene” Jones, and they have three children: Stephen, Charlotte, and Jerry, Jr. Stephen (born June 21, 1964) serves as the Cowboys’ chief operating officer/executive vice president/director of player personnel. Charlotte (born July 26, 1966) serves as the Cowboys’ executive vice president and chief brand officer. Jerry, Jr (born September 27, 1969) is the Cowboys’ chief sales and marketing officer/vice president. He owns a home in Destin, Florida.
Jerry revealed in July 2015 at press conference before Cowboys training camp that he had a surgery to replace his hip, to which Jones joked that he wouldn’t start the season on the PUP list.
As of September 2015, Jones’ net worth is reported by Forbes magazine to be $5 billion, the majority of which can be accounted for as being his ownership stake in the Cowboys who are currently valued by the same publication to be the world’s most valuable sports team at $4 billion.The Cowboys are the NFL’s most valuable team for the tenth straight year and the world’s most valuable franchise as of last year. Credit NFL-record revenue of $700 million, $177 million more than any other football team. Owner Jerry Jones is the NFL’ ultimate power broker, pulling the strings behind the NFL’s Los Angeles relocation that eventually placed the Rams in the second biggest U.S. market. The Cowboys’ latest foray is their new $1.5 billion team headquarters and practice facility in Frisco, Tex. that opened in 2016. The Star will eventually be a 91-acre retail and entertainment complex with a 16-story Omni hotel, convention space and medical center. The site has a 12,000-seat indoor stadium to be shared with eight local high schools. The team sold out 800 memberships to the Cowboys Club at The Star. The $4,500 initiation fee plus $350 a month gives members a chance to watch practice for the Cowboys. The city of Frisco is contributing $261.6 million to the project with the Cowboys and investors covering the balance.
AS OF 2016, THE DALLAS COWBOYS VALUATION STANDS AT 4.2 BILLION DOLLARS, AND EXCALATING BY THE MINUTE, AND FORBES #94 Jerry Jones Real Time Net Worth As of 2/26/17 IS $5.2 Billion, AND CLIMBING.
Awards and honors, include:
- 1964 FWAA College Football National Championship (as a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks)
- Three-time Super Bowl winner – XXVII, XXVIII, XXX (as owner/president/GM of the Dallas Cowboys)
- 1993 Outstanding Team ESPY Award (as owner/president/GM of the Dallas Cowboys)
- 2014 NFL Executive of the Year
- 2010 NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Distinguished Texan Award
- 2013 Horatio Alger Award
- Ducks Unlimited (Arkansas branch) Jerry Jones Sportsmans Award named in his honor
- Pro Football Hall of Fame (class of 2017)