In The Beginning…
Twenty-five years ago one of the most significant transactions in the history of sports occurred when Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys for $140 million. Jones' time with the Cowboys has been one of the most lucrative, polarizing, scrutinized and successful ownership tenures in the history of sports.
From a strictly business standpoint, there is absolutely no doubt what so ever Jerry Jones has been an incredible success. Jones took his $140 million investment in the Dallas Cowboys and turned it into a team that is currently worth $2.3 billion. With a stadium that is worth close to ten times his original investment alone, Jerry Jones has flourished in every business capacity imaginable.
Even though the NFL is a business, it is also a game and as important as turning a profit is with a football team, winning is always the top priority. Early on all Jerry Jones saw was wins. Jones had the unbelievable privilege of immediately having three hall of fame players on his team in the triplets. With unmatched talent on both sides of the ball and Jimmy Johnson at the helm it's not a surprise that Jerry Jones won two Super Bowls in his first five seasons as owner of the team. It's no wonder people will claim Jones sold his soul to the devil because the first years of his reign were arguably the best years in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.
Even though another Super Bowl was won in 1995, capping off one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL, the first questionable move by Jones was done after the 1993 Super Bowl winning season when Jimmy Johnson was fired. Even though the Cowboys did win another Super Bowl without Johnson, there is no doubt that Johnson's foundation contributed enormously.
Before spending even ten years with the team Jerry Jones accomplished more than most owners dream of doing. Three Super Bowl wins and once again cementing the Dallas Cowboys as America's Team, the success of the 1990's is one of the most significant accomplishments any franchise has had in the NFL.
Unfortunately for Jerry Jones, the question everyone is asking is “What have you done for me lately?” Since winning the third Super Bowl in 1995 the Cowboys have won a grand total of two playoff wins.
The Cowboys can't seem to shake the mediocrity of a .500 record and year in and year out seem to be right on the fringe of contending, only to fall short.
As Jerry Jones has infamously held on to his role as General Manager, in addition to his role as owner, a tremendous amount of blame for the Cowboys' recent failure is falling on his shoulders.
With Dominance in the 70's and then again in the 90's there is a standard of success in Dallas that is unparalleled in the league. Throw in being the most talked about, over-analyzed and polarized team in all of sports and it's no wonder Jones is seen by some as a failure. This may be one of the most unjustified evaluations of a career ever. By every single standard, whether Super Bowl wins, financial success or popularity; Jerry Jones has done more than most owners dream of.