Jerry Jones owns the Texans
Glitter, glamor, womanizer
No NFL team owner polarizes more than Jerry Jones. The managing director of the Dallas Cowboys has a strict plan and wants to win with glitter and glamor, but has learned a lot in recent years. It is the story of a proud self-made man who wants recognition in football circles and who pioneered today's NFL with his willingness to take risks and his business acumen.
If you wanted to describe Jerry Jones in two words, you would probably not get around the "Business Man". He once bought the Cowboys for $ 140 million and has increased their value many times over to this day. He built the Monster AT&T Arena, better known as Jerry World, and refinances the stadium in the off-season through concerts, various top events and possibly soon through the spectacular Pacquiao Mayweather fight.
In the NFL, he also set new standards for all other teams with merchandise and equipment deals. But in the case of Jones, two words are hardly enough. The 72-year-old was a womanizer for decades and still has one or two scandals to this day. He brought the cowboys back to football Olympus with unpopular decisions. And he has learned astonishingly over the past few years. But one thing is certain: it will never work without glitter.
No risk, no fun
It quickly became clear that Jones, once a star running back in Arkansas and later an All-Southwest Conference O-Line man in college, wouldn't stay with his father's insurance company for long - the college football star was bored with life insurance selling wasn't really his world. So it wasn't long before Jones got started on his own: he borrowed money from his father-in-law and bought some pizzerias in Missouri.
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But business wasn't going well and the young entrepreneur was on the verge of personal bankruptcy - another business idea with more potential and the chance to make a real fortune was needed. Jones didn't have to look far: The 25-year-old hungry for success got into the oil business, founded his own company and found an oil-rich piece of land in Oklahoma.
As a so-called "wildcatter", business people who are lucky enough to look for oil, he initially had to pay almost $ 10,000 a month for the land - an enormous risk, after all, nobody knew how profitable the business would ultimately be. But it should pay off: Within ten years Jones' fortune was estimated at the high double-digit million range.
Jerry Jones is at home
In the early 1980s, Jones was a made man, but his business instincts, like his willingness to take risks, had not given way by an inch. It almost seemed like a kind of fate when the Cowboys were suddenly up for sale in 1989. At the end of the 1960s he had turned down the chance to buy the San Diego Chargers, but Jones had found a second home in Dallas for several years and spent a lot of time in Big D.
The cowboys had long since arrived on the hard ground of reality and had just ended a season with three wins and 13 bankruptcies in 1989. The price fell accordingly and Jones could not resist such a lucrative deal with enormous potential. In short: The then 46-year-old put together an unbelievable 140 million dollar offer for the time, won the bid and suddenly found himself in the glamor world of the NFL. Or to put it another way: Jerry Jones was at home.
First shock after a day
However, he did not take much time to arrive - it was rather a whole day before Jones made headlines for the first time: On February 26, 1989, he fired Tom Landry, the only coach the team had in its relatively young history and picked up his old college buddy Jimmy Johnson from Miami.
But he also showed a good hand in sport: With the first draft pick, Jones decided on the later Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman and a few months later Jones and Johnson provided the next surprise: the cowboys gave running back Herschel Walker, one of the few positive constants in Dallas in recent years, joined the Minnesota Vikings with four draft picks. In return, the cowboys received eight picks (seven of them in the first three rounds) and four players.
The Walker trade was one of the defining cowboys decisions of the 90s and paved the way for the dominant years in Big D: In Jones' fourth year in Dallas, the cowboys won their first Vince Lombardy trophy in 16 years.
Ruthless deals, pure capitalism
The years of the hype machine followed and the business man Jerry Jones was now able to shine. In 1995 he agreed on a supplier contract with Nike and passed over the official supplier deals of the league. The logic was clear: The Cowboys were responsible for around a quarter of team merchandise sales in the mid-90s, but only received the same share as all other NFL teams.
Jones countered a lawsuit by some other team owners with a counterclaim and prevailed. It only took a few months before each individual team followed suit and concluded their own, more lucrative supplier contracts.
Jones did not stop here, however, what was pouring money into the coffers was in principle a welcome idea. For example, he signed a deal with Pepsi (the official NFL partner was of course Coca Cola) and with the investment in 75 Papa John's pizzerias (in exceptional cases even an NFL partner) in Texas, Jones' pizzeria business even worked a few decades late .
Page 1: Scandals, pizzerias and glamor
Page 2: Johnson Feud and TV Show
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