Jerry Jones: Pretty serious risk

Jerry Jones

The last ownership change of hands in the history of America's Team actually began in Latin America. It was while vacationing in Mexico that Jerry Jones picked up a newspaper and saw an item about the  Dallas Cowboys being for sale.

Jones, admittedly hung over from a night of partying with his family, quickly refreshed and made the necessary phone calls to make a dream become reality.

Jones wanted to own an NFL team and dedicated his entire fortune to the purchase, taking control of the Cowboys and Texas Stadium for an NFL franchise record $140 million.

The deal was announced Feb. 25, 1989, and officially approved by NFL owners weeks later.

On the 25th anniversary of Jones' purchase, this is the story of how it became reality in the words of Jones himself, some key people directly involved and other interested parties.


Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner/general manager since 1989: "It was quite a trying time for me. I get emotional talking about it. I've asked why I get emotional talking about it in public or in private and asked a professional about it and [the professional] basically said it was a traumatic time for you. I don't know. There was a pretty serious reach there, risk wise, and I didn't know how it was going to turn out. I thought I had an idea, so it was a nervous time for me. I remember that. I developed an arrhythmia during that time and I never had an unhealthy day in my life. An arrhythmia is called a 'good time heart,' by a lot of people and a lot of medical students get it. It was from not resting, never sleeping and then getting up just right when you lay your head down. That kind of describes me from that period of time. It was a time I felt very off-balance. I didn't know it but I quickly found out the visibility that was involved there. I never forget my dad called me about 10 days, two weeks into this thing and I had no idea this thing would have the visibility it's got and he said, 'I don't care. You're a young guy,' -- I was 46, 45 -- 'whether you do it by mirrors or smoke or what, if you're not successful, you've got to make it look successful or you'll be known as a loser and you won't be able to do anything else for the rest of your life in terms of getting people to go along with you.' So those were the things that I remember the most about those times."

Larry Lacewell, a longtime friend of Jones and former Cowboys director of college and pro scouting from 1992 to 2004: "The hardest thing for people in Dallas and the world is [to] understand Jerry was a very low-key guy in [the] state of Arkansas. He was not a guy that was in the newspapers or on TV or talked very much. I know you don't believe that. It's not like we expected him to do something. It kind of shocked us all."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...