Class of 2017 Enshrinee
Jones attended the University of Arkansas and played guard for the Razorbacks under College Football Hall of Fame coach, Frank Broyles. Jones was a co-captain for the Razorbacks in 1964 and helped lead the program to its first and only National Championship. way to All-Southwest Conference honors. During his time at Arkansas, Jones was teammates with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, who would both serve under him as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, combining for three Super Bowl titles in the 1990’s.
After purchasing the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, Jones faced heavy criticism for firing legendary Cowboys head coach Tom Landry and for trading Cowboys star running back, Herschel Walker. The moves paid off as the Cowboys went from a 1-15 record in 1989 to winning three Super Bowls in four seasons during the early 1990’s. Jones is the 6th member from those 1990’s Cowboys to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Larry Allen, and Deion Sanders).
Under Jones’ leadership, the Cowboys’ value has risen to new standards. The franchise has been consistently ranked in the top five of Forbes Magazine's list of most valuable sports franchises. In 2016, the Cowboys were ranked as the No. 1 most valuable sports franchise with a value of four billion dollars. The franchise topped the list again in 2017 with a value of 4.2 billion dollars.
Since Jones purchased the Cowboys in 1989, the franchise has enjoyed a successful run of championships and high-caliber personnel. The Cowboys have had 36 players play in a total of 123 Pro Bowls. Along with that, came success on the field with 13 playoff appearances, ten division titles, three conference championships and Super Bowl titles.
Off the field, Jones has made significant business and marketing contributions to innovate not only the NFL, but the economy as well. Jones played a major role in the development of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas which opened in 2009. The 100,000 seat stadium created a new standard when it comes to sports venues and has played host to Super Bowl XLV, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four, and numerous other events and concerts.
“The conversations by everybody, coaches and players alike, is that we love working for him because the pedal is always down. He does what he believes is necessary to win. He’s a very inspirational guy. He sets the standards high. He’s the driving force of the organization and we have a great appreciation for him. His recognition as a Hall of Famer is so deserving. His impact on the National Football League is significant. He changed the league in so many ways.”
-Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys head coach
“He’s done so many things for our game not only for the Dallas Cowboys...If you began to put together a highlight and say ‘Jerry,’ after whatever topic, we would say Jerry a lot. The network, Jerry. Growing the game, Jerry. That’s how he thinks.”
-Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints head coach
“Jerry has always been happy to share his thoughts, but I would say he does a very good job observing and making sure everybody has a chance to speak their minds...but when he as a chance to make a point he does it very effectively.”
-Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs owner
"I live a life where it is just absolutely a high relative to do what I do and being with the Cowboys...It hardly seems fair to also get to sit here and maybe get a pat on the back through the Hall of Fame because I have such respect. I know as well as anybody that has ever been a fan of this game, I know the caliber of people that are in the Hall of Fame."
-Jerry Jones, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017
"He's meant a lot to our game. The prosperity of our league in large part, if you had to single one person, you would single Jerry Jones as the guy who's responsible."
-Troy Aikman, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2006
“I don’t think anybody can imagine how much he has grown this game. What a remarkable feeling. For all of us players, past and current, he has really been like a father figure to me not only football but in business and his approach.”
-Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys tight end
“From the business side of it, I think if you got to visit with league owners or administrators, the impact he’s had over the last 20-odd-some years, whether it’s the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the TV contracts, just the shear marketing of the National Football League, and this game is as good as it’s ever been, it’s as profitable as it’s ever been, and Jerry Jones has had an impact on that in terms of the business side of this business.”
-Brian Billick, former Baltimore Ravens head coach
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