Jerry Jones

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Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones 2015 (2).jpg
Jones in 2015
Born
Jerral Wayne Jones

(1942-10-13) October 13, 1942 (age 76)
OccupationOwner/President/General Manager, Dallas Cowboys
Net worthUS$7.0 billion (September 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Eugenia Jones
Children3

Jerral Wayne Jones (born October 13, 1942) is an American billionaire businessman and has been the owner of the National Football League (NFL)'s Dallas Cowboys since 1989.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Los Angeles, California. His family moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas in 1945.[2] Jones' father J.W. "Pat" Jones (1920–1997) and mother Armenita Pearl Clark Jones (1922–2012) married in 1941.[3] They owned two branches of Pat's Super Market in the Rose City neighborhood of North Little Rock.[4][4] Jones was a running back at North Little Rock High School, graduating in 1960. After his graduation, his parents moved to Springfield, Missouri, where Pat was president and chairman of Modern Security Life Insurance Co. The company, which an advertisement billed as a "one in a million" company, saw its assets increase from $440,299.76 in its first statement in 1961 to $6,230,607 in 1965. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Jerral W. Jones was listed as an executive vice president.[5] With the success of the company the couple assembled the 5,500 acre Buena Vista Ranch east of Springfield in Rogersville, Missouri in the Ozark Mountains. In 1971, after selling the insurance company, the couple carved out 400 acres of their ranch to start Buena Vista Animal Paradise, where tourists could visit exotic animals (now Wild Animal Safari in Strafford, Missouri, just south of Interstate 44).[3]

College football career[edit]

He attended the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.[6]

He was also a co-captain of the 1964 National Championship football team. He was an all-Southwest Conference offensive lineman for College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles and a teammate of college football and NFL coach Jimmy Johnson, whom Jones hired as his first head coach after purchasing the Cowboys.[7]

Other notable teammates were Glen Ray Hines, a consensus All-American offensive tackle; Ken Hatfield, who went on to coach several major programs including Arkansas; Jim Lindsey; future Outland Trophy winner Loyd Phillips; and College Football Hall of Fame linebacker Ronnie Caveness.[8] Several future head coaches were assistant coaches for Broyles on the Razorbacks' staff during Jones's college career in Fayetteville, including three more members of the College Football Hall of Fame: Hayden Fry (Southern Methodist University, North Texas State University and University of Iowa); Johnny Majors (Iowa State University, University of Pittsburgh and University of Tennessee), and Barry Switzer (University of Oklahoma, and later head coach of the Cowboys under Jones).[8]

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.[9]

Business ventures[edit]

After graduating from college in 1965, Jones offered $5.8 million to buy the San Diego Chargers in 1966 from Barron Hilton using money that would come form a group of investors who already agreed to invest money into a pizza business with Jones. At one point Jones was considering using a loan from Jimmy Hoffa's Teamsters for the deal, but ended up deciding to submit the offer without their money.[10] Despite successfully placing an offer for the team, his father disapproved and the deal fell through.[11] He earned his master's degree in business in 1970. He began an oil and gas exploration business in Oklahoma, Jones Oil and Land Lease, which became successful.[12]

In 2008, Jones formed a partnership with Yankee Global Enterprises to create Legends Hospitality, a food, beverage, merchandise, retail and stadium operations corporation serving entertainment venues.[13]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys
Position:Owner/President/General Manager
Career information
High school:North Little Rock (AR)
College:Arkansas
Undrafted:1965
Career history
As executive:
Career highlights and awards

On February 25, 1989, Jones purchased the Cowboys from H.R. "Bum" Bright for $140 million.[14] Soon after the purchase, he fired longtime coach Tom Landry, to that point the only coach in the team's history,[15] in favor of his old teammate at Arkansas, Jimmy Johnson.[7] A few months later, he fired longtime general manager Tex Schramm, and assumed complete control over football matters.[16]

After a slow start under Jones and Johnson (the first season under Jones, a 1–15 finish,[17] remains second only to the team's inaugural season in terms of futility),[18] Jones quickly built a team that is often reckoned to be the best NFL franchise of the 1990s. The Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVII in the 1992 season,[19] as well as Super Bowl XXVIII the following year in the 1993 season.[20] Johnson then departed and was replaced by Barry Switzer, who also went on to win Super Bowl XXX in the 1995 season.[21]

At the time of the sale, the financially troubled Bright claimed to be losing $1 million per month on the franchise.[22] During Jones' tenure, the Cowboys have appreciated in value to an estimated $4.2 billion, turning their owner into a billionaire in the process.[23] 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 convince the league into accepting a rollback in television rights fees.[24]

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.[25]

The 2018 NFL season is Jones' 30th as Cowboys owner - more than the number of seasons as the combined tenures of his predecessors.[26]

Criticism[edit]

GULFSTREAM G-V N1DC Dallas Cowboys owners personal plane at VNY

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).[27]

Jones is often vilified by fans who remain bitter at his unceremonious firing of long-time Cowboys personnel who were fan-favorites, head coach Tom Landry and general manager Tex Schramm, even though the Cowboys had been doing poorly in the last few seasons before Jones became the team owner. Jones stated he did not give consideration to retaining Landry for even a season, as he said he would not have purchased the team unless he could hire Johnson as coach. Jones also did not discuss the matter beforehand with Landry before announcing the decision. This was denounced by football fans and media as totally lacking in class and respect, as pride and tradition were part of the Cowboys where great performance and loyal service were expected to be rewarded. Since the dismissal, Jones has indicated he regrets the process of Landry's firing and his role in it. 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.[24]

Some of the fan criticism is due to Jones' high visibility and involvement as the "face of the team",[28] a marked contrast to original owner Clint Murchison Jr. Jones' prominent role has led to fans expressing their displeasure with Jones and the lack of success of the franchise, with particular criticism focusing on Jones' insistence on serving as his own general manager.[29] There was particular criticism of Jones over his conflict with head coach Jimmy Johnson, as Jones who was general manager "wanted Cowboys fans to know he had helped build those Super Bowl-winning teams", while "Johnson insisted that he made all of the personnel moves" since he had the final say in football matters and refused to relinquish this power; consequently Jones ousted Johnson after the 1993 season despite winning two consecutive Super Bowls and has refused to induct Johnson into the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Jones also initially promised head coach Bill Parcells complete control over football matters, however their relationship broke down after Jones signed controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens. Parcell's successor as Cowboys head coach, Wade Phillips, had complained to friends about being "undermined and second-guessed, repeatedly" by Jones.[30]

Jones is one of two owners in the league (the other being Cincinnati's Mike Brown) who have either the title or powers of general manager.[31] Over the years of Jones's tenure, Cowboys fans have organized a number of grassroots efforts aimed at displacing Jones from his position.[32]

Jones is the subject of the 2008 book Playing to Win by David Magee. In the book, Jones admitted he handled the firing of Landry poorly and accepted some blame for the disintegration of his relationship with Landry's successor, Jimmy Johnson.[citation needed]

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.[33]

NFL fines[edit]

Jones was fined $25,000 by the NFL for publicly criticizing referee Ed Hochuli after Hochuli made a call in a game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos on September 14, 2008. Jones made comments both to the press and on his radio show, saying Hochuli was one of the most criticized officials in the NFL. This was Jones' first fine by the NFL.[34]

In 2009, Jones was fined $100,000 for violating a gag order on labor issues, commenting that revenue sharing was "on its way out".[35] Commissioner Roger Goodell had issued a gag order for all owners and team executives from discussing any aspect of the pending labor issues. Jones "crossed the line", drawing a "six-figure" fine, sources said, as the commissioner distributed a memo to all 32 owners, along with a reminder that the gag order remains in effect. Goodell did not disclose the specific amount of Jones' fine in the memo.[36]

Jones in popular culture[edit]

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.

He 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.[37]

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.[38]

He was parodied 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.[39] He reappears in the season 21 episode "Moss Piglets."

Awards and honors[edit]

Personal life[edit]

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.[45] Jerry Jones Jr. is the Cowboys' chief sales and marketing officer/vice president. He owns a home in Destin, Florida.[46]

Jerry Jones revealed in July 2015 at press conference before Cowboys training camp that he had undergone hip replacement surgery and joking that he wouldn't start the season on the PUP list.[47]

As of September 2015, Jones' net worth is reported by Forbes 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forbes profile: Jerry Jones". Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Dent, Jim. King of the Cowboys: The Life and Times of Jerry Jones, p. 214 (Adams Media Corporation, 1995): "Pat Jones moved his family back from Los Angeles to North Little Rock in 1945."
  3. ^ a b "Arminta Jones Obituary - Springfield, MO | News-Leader". Legacy.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Only known remaining image of the store in which Jerry Jones grew up - Best of Arkansas Sports". January 4, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "Springfield Leader 1966-02-20 p20". Newspapers.com. February 20, 1966. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "Prominent Alumni - Kappa Sigma Fraternity". kappasigma.org. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "NEW COWBOYS OWNER FIRES LANDRY, HIRES JIMMY JOHNSON
    ARKANSAS MILLIONAIRE BUYS CLUB, TAPS MIAMI COACH - HIS EX-ROOMMATE"
    . Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Arkansas Celebrates 1964 National Title Team". Arkansas News Bureau. October 11, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Former Razorback Jerry Jones meets with Arkansas players – College Football – ESPN. Sports.espn.go.com (December 28, 2007); retrieved 2010-12-21.
  10. ^ Breech, John (September 22, 2015). "Jerry Jones asked Hoffa's Teamsters for a loan to buy the Chargers in 1966". CBSSports. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "Dallas Cowboys: Flashback: The time Jerry Jones almost bought the Chargers | SportsDay". Sportsday.dallasnews.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Jerry Jones Sports Biography, Photos & Rise To Success Archived January 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. AskMen (October 13, 1942); retrieved 2010-12-21.
  13. ^ Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees form joint concessions venture (The Dallas Morning News) Archived June 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Gaines, Cork. "When Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys they were losing $1 million per month and now it is the most valuable team in the world". Business Insider. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Pincus, David. "2/25/1989 - New owner fires Tom Landry". SB Nation. SB Nation. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  16. ^ [1] Archived March 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "1989 Dallas Cowboys Statistics and Players". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "1960 Dallas Cowboys Statistics and Players". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "Super Bowl XXVII Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills January 31, 1993". Pro Football Reference. Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "Super Bowl XXVIII-Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Super Bowl XXX-Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys". Pro Football Reference. Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  22. ^ Horn, Barry. "29 years ago yesterday, Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys. Here's an illustrated timeline of his tenure in Dallas". Dallas News. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  23. ^ "Jerry Jones". Forbes. Forbes Magazine, LLC. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  24. ^ a b New York Daily News. Retrieved on December 11, 2012.
  25. ^ Kutz, Steven. "NFL took in $13 billion in revenue last season — see how it stacks up against other pro sports leagues". Market Watch. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  26. ^ "Dallas Cowboys Owners and Executives". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  27. ^ Sports Illustrated features state of Virginia in series of 50 state-specific weekly sections, Sportsillustrated.cnn.com, October 9, 2003; retrieved December 21, 2010.
  28. ^ "Jerry Jones built a Hall of Fame legacy for knowing how to 'stir it up a little bit'". SB Nation. Vox Media. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  29. ^ "Why Jerry Jones' argument for keeping GM role no longer holds water". Dallas Morning News. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  30. ^ http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story?id=11420510
  31. ^ Lane, Mark. "Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones explains why he is also the team president and GM". all22.com. Cox Media Group. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  32. ^ Fire Jerry Jones!, firejerryjones.com; retrieved December 21, 2010.
  33. ^ Sports Day DFW (January 13, 2016). "Report: Still an NFL power broker, Cowboys' Jerry Jones helps Rams earn Los Angeles move". Sports Day DFW, January 13, 2016.
  34. ^ San Diego Union Tribune, September 29, 2008, D14
  35. ^ Sean Leahy (September 13, 2009). "NFL fines Cowboys' Jerry Jones $100,000 for CBA remarks". USA Today.
  36. ^ Sources: Jerry Jones fined for labor remarks – ESPN. Sports.espn.go.com (September 14, 2009). Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  37. ^ JimLindseyStory.com. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  38. ^ "Pepsi and the NFL get fans pumped for football all season long". PepsiCo.com. September 5, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  39. ^ "'South Park' also ripped Jerry Jones, Roger Goodell in classic Redskins takedown". Comcast SportsNet. September 25, 2014. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  40. ^ "Cowboys GM Jerry Jones named NFL Executive of the Year by PFWA".
  41. ^ Foundation, National Football. "Jerry Jones to Receive Distinguished Texan Award > National Football Foundation > NewsDetail". www.footballfoundation.org.
  42. ^ "Jerry Jones Honored With Horatio Alger Award".
  43. ^ "Log In or Sign Up to View". www.facebook.com.
  44. ^ "Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2017 - Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site". www.profootballhof.com.
  45. ^ "Charlotte Jones Anderson official Dallas Cowboys bio". Archived from the original on June 3, 2013.
  46. ^ "Guess Which Celebrities Vacation in Destin, Florida?". TripShock. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  47. ^ "Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gets promise he won't be placed on PUP list after hip replacement". dallasnews.com. July 29, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2018.

External links[edit]