Dallas Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager Jerry Jones and former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue were selected today by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Contributors Committee as finalists for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.

Jones bought the Cowboys franchise in 1989 and quickly restored a winning tradition in Dallas. Under his leadership, the Cowboys captured three Super Bowl championships over a four-year period with victories in Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX. In addition, the team has won nine division titles during Jones’ era. The Cowboys owner has also had great influence on the growth of the NFL. His impact in areas of sports marketing, promotion and development greatly enhanced the league’s success and also altered the American sports culture over the past three decades.

“I can’t tell you about how humble and gratified I am,” Jones stated today.

Tagliabue served as the NFL’s Commissioner from 1989 through 2006. The NFL grew significantly in a number of areas during his 17-year tenure. With Tagliabue leading the way, the league expanded from 28 to 32 teams; constructed 20 new stadiums, and secured long-term labor agreements with the NFL Players Association. The Commissioner also established an overseas presence, created a league-wide Internet network and launched NFL Network. He also orchestrated historic television deals that ranked as the biggest in entertainment history including a TV package negotiated for 2006-2011 valued at $25 billion.

“I’m deeply appreciative of the vote of confidence from the Selection Committee,” Tagliabue shared moments after learning the news of his selection as a finalist.

The Contributors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2017 Contributor nominees were reduced to a list of 10 semifinalists. Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members of the committee meet at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the Contributors semifinalists and today selected Jones and Tagliabue. The Contributor category is for individuals who made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching.

Jones and Tagliabue must receive the same 80 percent voting support from the entire Selection Committee that is required of all finalists during the annual selection meeting to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting on the eve of Super Bowl LI, will consider 18 finalists, including two Contributor Finalists (Jones and Tagliabue), one Senior Finalist (Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley who was named by the Seniors Committee yesterday), and 15 Modern-Era Finalists to select a class of no fewer than four or more than eight.

The list of Modern-Era nominees for 2017 will be revealed in mid-September.

The Class of 2017 will be formally enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton next August.

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