Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is an outsider no more.
His 27-year journey from oilman to rebel NFL owner to one of most influential figures in NFL history has a final stop.
Jones no longer has to justify his place as the Cowboys general manager or NFL power broker.
As of Saturday, he will be forever immortalized among the greats of the game in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jones was voted in as a member of the Class of 2017 for his contributions to the game.
“Oh my goodness, I really was what they call a walk-on in sports,” Jones said, after shedding tears in a room full of family members when he got the word. “The Cowboys lifted me to anything I could ever be.”
There might be questions about his work as general manager of the Cowboys. The team has two playoff wins since 1997.
But there is no discounting the three Super Bowl titles of the 1990s. There is no overlooking the impact he has had on the league in sales, marketing and television.
Jones has changed the game.
He has grown the game.
And he has helped make the NFL a billion-dollar industry.
Now he is a Hall of Famer forever.
“I’m excited for him,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “It’s a no-brainer. His vision and what he has done, not just for the Cowboys, but what he has done for the league. 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. I am thrilled for him.”
Jones is one of a few owners to have three Super Bowl titles. But his Hall of Fame candidacy is rooted in his contributions to the league and the game, specifically how he has grown the Cowboys and the NFL through his efforts in sales, marketing and television deals.
Jones bought a sinking Cowboys franchise for $140 million in 1989. It is now worth more than $4 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
More than half the teams in the NFL were losing money in 1989. The average price for a team now is $2.3 billion, thanks to the $7 billion television revenue deal that Jones helped renegotiate last year.
Jones is a made-man in the NFL these days. He is a respected mover and shaker who helped put the NFL back in Los Angeles, making even more money for the league and his fellow owners.
“I have been fortunate,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “I played for him for eight years. I was an assistant coach coach for four years. I have been a head coach for six years. I know him in a lot of capacities. This goes all the way back to the early ’90s. The conversations were we love working for him because the pedal is always down to what he believes is necessary to win. His impact on our organization and on the National Football League is significant. It’s great to see him get honored.”
Jones’ induction into the Hall of Fame was earned and warranted.
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Source: Star Telegram