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Jerry Jones
Born October 13, 1942 (1942-10-13) (age 67)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Owner, Dallas Cowboys (NFL),
Dallas Desperados (Arena Football Team, no longer in operation), Businessman, CEO and Entrepreneur

Jerral "Jerry" Wayne Jones (born October 13, 1942, in Los Angeles, California) is the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise and owner of the Dallas Desperados Arena Football League franchise.

Contents

Early life

Jones attended college at the University of Arkansas and was a co-captain of the 1964 National Championship football team, where he was an all-SWC offensive lineman for Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles, and a teammate of Neil Rosenberg and Jimmy Johnson, the man Jones hired to replace Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry when Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Jones was a member of Kappa Sigma at Arkansas. Other notable teammates were Ken Hatfield, Jim Lindsey, and future Outland Trophy winner Loyd Phillips. Several future great head coaches were assistant coaches for Frank Broyles and the Razorbacks during his college career in Fayetteville, including Hayden Fry, future legendary Head Coach at the University of Iowa, Johnny Majors, future Head Coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Tennessee, and most notably Barry Switzer, Hall of Fame coach of the University of Oklahoma and the man whom Jones hired to replace Jimmy Johnson as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. Jones is one of a very small number of NFL owners who actually earned a significant level of success as a football player.[1]

After several unsuccessful business ventures (including passing up the opportunity to purchase the AFL's San Diego Chargers in 1967), he began an oil and gas exploration business in Arkansas, Jones Oil and Land Lease, which became phenomenally successful.[2] His company, a private family asset, currently does natural resource prospecting.

Dallas Cowboys

In 1989, Jones purchased the Cowboys from H.R. "Bum" Bright. Not long after the takeover, he fired long time 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 forced out longtime general manager Tex Schramm, and assumed complete control over football matters.[3]

After the 1993 Super Bowl victory, reports began to surface in the media that Jones had made the statement that "any one of 500 coaches could have won those Super Bowls" given the type of talent that he (Jones) had drafted and signed for the team. Jones also stated to reporters at a late night cocktail party that he intended to replace Johnson with former University of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer. The next morning, however, Jones famously denied those reports by stating that it "was the whiskey talking".

Johnson was eventually forced out in 1994 and former Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer was hired to be the new head coach. He is one of three NFL owners who also have the title or powers of general manager, the others being the Oakland Raiders' Al Davis and the Cincinnati Bengals' Mike Brown.

Of all the owners in American professional sports, he is considered to be one of the most involved, on a day-to-day basis, with his team. He can be seen in his box at every Cowboys game and in many cases he ventures down to the Cowboys sideline (usually late in the game).

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Criticism

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).[4] He is often vilified by fans who remain bitter at Jones' unceremonious firing of fan-favorite Landry. It is also said that after Jones ran Johnson out of Dallas, there has been a rift between the two. They have since made up, however, even though they are not the closest of friends. 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.

Some Dallas Cowboy fans have expressed their displeasure with Jones and the lack of success in the franchise. This had led to formation of grassroots organizations aimed at displacing Jones from his position.[5]

Jones is the subject of a book published September 1, 2008 titled Playing to Win by David Magee. In the book, Jones says he handled the firing of Tom Landry poorly and takes some blame for the disintegration of his relationship with Jimmy Johnson.

NFL fines

Jones was fined $25,000 by the NFL for publicly criticizing referee Ed Hochuli after Hochuli made a controversial call in a game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos on September 14, 2008. He 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.[6]

In 2009, Jones has been fined for violating a gag order on labor issues. 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.[7]

Jones in popular culture

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. He also appeared as himself in an episode of the TV show "Coach" in 1996. He also appeared as himself in a 2007 television commercial for Diet Pepsi MAX, which also featured Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips and quarterback Tony Romo.

Personal life

Jerry Jones is married to Gene Jones and they have three children: Stephen, Charlotte and Jerry, Jr. They also have seven grandchildren.

Stephen (6/21/64) is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and serves as the Cowboys' chief operating officer/executive vice president/director of player personnel. Charlotte (7/26/66) is a Stanford graduate and serves as the Cowboys' vice president/director of charities and special events. Jerry, Jr (9/27/69), a graduate of Georgetown University who earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University, is the Cowboys' chief sales and marketing officer/vice president.

References

External links

Preceded by
Bum Bright
Dallas Cowboys Owner
1989–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Tex Schramm
Dallas Cowboys President
1989–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Tex Schramm
Dallas Cowboys General Manager
1989–present
Succeeded by
incumbent

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