Dallas Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager Jerry Jones has received many extraordinary accolades throughout his illustrious career. He now adds to the list a Finalist for the 2017 Class, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his first time as a finalist. He was nominated by the Contributor’s Committee, on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
From humble beginnings in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Jones learned the strict lessons of life from parents J.W. “Pat” and Arminta Jones. Working diligently in the family’s grocery store, young Jerry would take those lessons learned and carry them with him throughout his young adult life.
As a full scholarship athlete at the University of Arkansas, Jones was the co-captain and starting guard on the 1964 squad that went 11-0, beat the University of Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl and won the National Championship. Along with being a standout athlete for the Razorbacks, Jones would meet the love of his life, former beauty pageant winner, Gene. Both attended the University of Arkansas and would go onto marry and have three children, Stephen, Charlotte and Jerry Jr.
Following his graduation in 1965, Jones tried his hand in the world of business but after a few years he decided to return back to the University of Arkansas to further his education. Jones received a master’s in business in 1970 and then ventured into oil and gas exploration.
Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s Jones was a huge success. With offices hailing in Oklahoma City, OK, Fort Smith and Little Rock, AR, Sacramento, CA, and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jones had a strong handle on the oil and gas industry.
After passing up on an opportunity to buy the AFL’s San Diego Chargers in 1967, Jones felt it was finally time for him to enter into the world of professional sports following two decades of controlling the petroleum business. He decided to purchase the Dallas Cowboys in 1989.
Jones quickly earned a reputation as an astute NFL owner, businessman, and General Manager. After three seasons, Jones turned the struggling Cowboys into a powerhouse and in 1992 Dallas set a franchise record for the most wins in a regular season (13), as well as most overall wins (16).
Under the leadership of Jones, Dallas would capture the club’s first championship title in 15 seasons, winning Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The following year, the Cowboys would appear in their NFL-record seventh Super Bowl, while becoming only the fifth team to win back-to-back championships (Super Bowl XXVIII).
For all the years of being “America’s Team,” Jones and the Cowboys would win three championships and nine division titles during the Jones’ era. He is considered one of the top general managers in history, tied with Gold Jacket Ron Wolf with the most Super Bowl championships with three, the list at two include Bobby Beathard, George Young, Jerry Reese, Ozzie Newsome, Vince Lombardi, and Don Shula.
Jones was on the NFL television committee when the league left CBS and initiated the new deal with the fledging FOX Network at a 30% increase. He made team deals separate from the NFL deals in many categories, and build the “Taj Mahal’s” of football stadiums at a cost of $1.3 billion, including the world’s largest indoor video screen. He also created the Thanksgiving Day halftime extravaganza and has raised one billion dollars for the Salvation Army, the Cowboys only charity.
Not only has Jones been a trend setter in the world of the National Football League but his achievements has influenced and altered the business of sports.
Listen to the phone call in which Jerry Jones learns he’s been named a finalist for the Class of 2017.
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