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Aug 21

Does Jerry Jones Belong in the NFL HOF?

NFL-Money-man-Jerry-Jones-as-Hall-of-Fame-pick-defies-logic

The name Jerry Jones itself sometimes sparks controversy. Even amongst Cowboys fans themselves.

There are two sides. One side believes a group of Hall voters have joined with league management in putting money front and center. Jones knows how to make it, no question, but he runs a team that has not even played for a championship in two decades.

If Jones is elected, he would become the second modern era (joined the league post-1970 NFL-AFL merger) owner in the Hall of Fame, after San Francisco’s Eddie DeBartolo, who was chosen last year. And the contrast between the two of them could not be greater. DeBartolo was criticized by fellow owners for spending too much money. Jones is lauded for making money.

There is nothing wrong with making money. Everyone wants to make money. Jerry is a bit of a gambler on business deals and it has paid off. If we want to make money we can use other sources, one being all about picking sports betting sites to review in order to find the place for you and your money

Although the Steelers’ Dan Rooney had it right many years ago, when he arose at a league meeting and chastised his fellow owners for arguing over television revenue, pointing out that all they were doing was collecting it to pass on to the players, anyway.

Nonetheless, it seems strange that should be a Hall of Fame criteria.

Me? I am a Cowboys fan.

When Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 from H.R. “Bum” Bright for a cool $140 million, many fans resented him. In the following months, he fired beloved legendary coach Tom Landry and the stalwart general manager Tex Schramm. That same year, he traded superstar running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for five players and six draft picks. Dallas historically went 1-15 that year, drawing waves of criticism from fans, media, owners,and players alike.

When Jones fired Landry, he replaced him with equally brash college coach Jimmy Johnson from the University of Miami. Johnson enjoyed four consecutive 10 win-or-better seasons and a National Championship in 1987, so he was the obvious choice.

The dismal 1988 season, where the Cowboys went 3-13, awarded them the Number One overall draft pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. That pick became quarterback Troy Aikman. As for those those draft picks Jones got for Walker? Some of them became running back Emmitt Smith, defensive lineman Russell Maryland, and safety Darren Woodson. After three Super Bowl Victories later, Dallas fans had changed their minds about Jerry Jones.

Where Jones’ true genius lies is in marketing. And he had no better platform than the NFL to do so.  In 1993, the NFL made exclusive multi-million dollar deals with Coca- Cola and VISA. Jones had the foresight to realize the Dallas Cowboys brand could stand on its own.He, then, negotiated exclusive sponsorship deals with Pepsi, American Express and Nike through the Texas Stadium Corporation.

In 2009, when the multi-billion dollar complex AT&T Stadium was built, Jones again raised eyebrows. Texas Stadium was, and still is, scared grounds to many fans. His vision saw that the  premium brand of the NFL deserved a premium place to play.

Despite all of his genius and business savvy, Jones is still criticized for the day-to-day operations of the  Cowboys. Today, he is still the president and general manager of the club, as well as the primary owner. Many voices outside of the brand say he should relinquish some of his power, particularly that of the general manager role.

Dallas has only won two playoff games since winning Super Bowl XXX in 1995. Because of this, I understand the ire of those calling for the change. Many also believe that had he given Johnson the GM role in the early 1990’s, there would be more Lombardi Trophies in Dallas.

It is my opinion that Jones would benefit from giving the general manager role to someone else, while he concentrates on building the Cowboys brand and the NFL global market. However, I also believe the league’s most well known owner has a few more tricks up his sleeve and is not done shocking us yet.

It takes a rare breed to be the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and there is none more rare than Jerry Jones.