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Jerry Jones’ ownership of Cowboys turns 25 today

Jones Getty Images

It’s officially been a quarter of a century since Jerry Jones became the owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

Yes, the team that has been around for 54 years has been owned for nearly half that time by the same man.  Today, the franchise purchased for $140 million has become one of the most valuable in all of sports.

It was quite a trying time for me,” Jones recently said, via the San Antonio News-Express.  “I get emotional talking about it and I’ve asked a professional about why I get emotional talking about it in public or private and they said, well, that was a traumatic time for you.

“It was a pretty significant reach risk-wise and I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, so it was a nervous time for me.  I developed arrhythmia, and I had never had an unhealthy day in my life.  Arrhythmia is called by a lot of people and a lot of med students get it.  It was from not resting and never sleeping and then getting up just after you lay your head down.  So that kind of describes for me that period of time.  It was a time that I felt very off balanced.”

Since not long after winning three Super Bowls in Jones’ first seven years as owner, the Cowboys have been perfectly balanced.  In not a good way.  From the start of the 1997 season through 2013, the Cowboys have generated a regular-season record of 136-136, including three straight seasons of 8-8.

Jones installed himself as the General Manager in 1989, a decision for which he has never expressed any regret.  Twenty-five years ago, the Internet and sports talk radio weren’t where they are today, which allowed Jones to avoid being shouted down for assuming a title for which he had no real credentials or qualifications.

Vindicated by a partnership with Jimmy Johnson that flamed out after five seasons, Jones has since struggled to build a championship team.  Sure, the Cowboys won one more without Johnson, but that was based on the team Johnson built.

And yet Jones continues to steer the ship, presumably because he’d rather be fully responsible for a mediocre team than riding sidecar to someone else who constructs a champion.

That could be bad news for Cowboys fans who don’t particularly care how the glory is gotten.  Under Jones in recent years, that task has gotten considerably more difficult.

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71 Responses to “Jerry Jones’ ownership of Cowboys turns 25 today”
  1. amishninjas says: Feb 25, 2014 10:26 AM

    While his ownership is turning 25 it has the brain of a 5 year old.

    That actually explains a lot.

  2. walkinginthewasteland says: Feb 25, 2014 10:27 AM

    Here’s to 25 more years of Jerry Jones stewardship of the Cowboys!

  3. nj22 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:29 AM

    I think I speak for most Dallas fans when I say it feels like 50 years! Please sell the team! PLEASE!

  4. britishteeth says: Feb 25, 2014 10:29 AM

    Though his face is only 14 years old.

  5. psj3809 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:29 AM

    At the end of the day if any GM had that record they would be fired. The problem is Jones needs to step away from his ego and let someone in who can really do a proper GM job.

    For every great thing hes done for the Cowboys (Eg the amazing stadium) hes ruined it with this ridiculous GM ownership he has. Jerry if you really cared for the Cowboys you would step away

  6. coutre says: Feb 25, 2014 10:30 AM

    And Stephen Jones has been celebrating that he will never have to work in his life for the same amount of time.

  7. thefootballgodssay says: Feb 25, 2014 10:31 AM

    the GIANTS MADE U CRY JJ

  8. isphet71 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:33 AM

    If it lasts another 25, that means that Romo may as well sign a 25 year contract right now.

  9. fwippel says: Feb 25, 2014 10:34 AM

    I have never been a Cowboys fan. In fact, as a Vikings fan, I despise them.

    However, I will never forget the manner in which Jones fired Tom Landry. Completely classless and bush league.

    After a brief spurt of excellence (fueled by then Viking owner Mike Lynn’s desire to opt out of paying high draft picks the money every other team was spending), the Cowboys have fallen into what appears to be permanent mediocrity under Jones’ leadership.

    Jerry, you need a new GM. Fire yourself, and replace yourself with someone who knows what he’s doing.

  10. kneelbeforesod says: Feb 25, 2014 10:34 AM

    Convenient marker for the beginning of the decline of a once proud franchise.

  11. ytownjoe says: Feb 25, 2014 10:35 AM

    Imagine what the team would be worth if they had a real GM and made it to the Super Bowl.

  12. deflateddome says: Feb 25, 2014 10:36 AM

    To Funny. Jones reminds me of a 25 Year Old child star, who was popular as a kid, now just a lost soul you see hosting Worlds Most Dumb Criminals…

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 25, 2014 10:37 AM

    Well Jerry doesn’t know how to build a championship football team, so he doesn’t know how to pick a person to be in charge that would be the right person. If he could find a way to be confident in what somebody else thinks, then there’d be no reason for him to not let that person help out, or at least unofficially tell Jerry what to do. Personally I’m not sure how you find a great GM if you aren’t capable of being a great GM yourself. I think it takes a great GM to know a great GM to some extent. And GMs aren’t typically looking to hire GMs because they are GMs, so it’s a conundrum.

  14. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Feb 25, 2014 10:38 AM

    And Stephen is waiting in the wings to take over once Jerry retires, virtually guaranteeing the Cowboys’ irrelevance for at least 25 more years.

  15. jjb0811 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:39 AM

    I find it humorous that GM Jones gets blasted but GM BB always gets a freebee. At least Jones doesn’t screw up the 1st 2 rounds every year.

    As A Skins fan, Jerry has been great for the league and the NFC East.

    Hoping he has another 25 more colorful years to add to the NFL.

    Cheers!

  16. borisbulldog says: Feb 25, 2014 10:40 AM

    I believe the sun has set on the Cowboys chances of ever winning a SB again.

  17. ilovecostcobut says: Feb 25, 2014 10:43 AM

    Spotty record, at best.

    They always talk about Shanny never winning without Elway. But Jerry Jones won squat without Jimmy Johnson (and his influence(s) thru Switzer.

    And who drove Jimmy Johnson out of town, off the ledge? Jerry Jones!

    Happy anniversary, Jer!

  18. jucam1 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:44 AM

    I am sure that the two smart owners of the NFC EAST (Mara and Lurie) are secretly funding millions to keep Jerrah alive and are already working on keeping Stephen alive for decades as a back up plan. Please Jerrah, work out, eat well, take your vitamins, and don’t let anyone tell you that you are an idiotic GM!.. In Philly and NY we love your work!… We also suggest you extend Garret, add a couple more years to ChokMo, we mean Mr Romo, and if you could be a dear and also keep Monty’s defense in place for the next 2 decades even if he is no longer with us, the GMen and Birds will be happy to help you pay for it. We just want to make sure your genius and progeny continue to run the Cowboys….

  19. cowboysfanantijerryjones says: Feb 25, 2014 10:46 AM

    No thefootballgodssay, the Giants didn’t make him cry.
    Skeletor looking himself in the mirror and seeing another wrinkle form made him cry…I curse the day he bought the Cowboy’s. Who would have thought he was creating a drought like the Cubs or the Great Bambino Curse….Jimmy Johnson Curse….years upon years of having a bad GM!!

  20. weepingjebus says: Feb 25, 2014 10:47 AM

    It’s really hard to be exactly .500 for over 15 years. You’d basically have to alternate good and bad decisions while also doing everything to fix bad luck and squander good luck. It’s mesmerizing.

  21. jimthebuilder27 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:51 AM

    He’s done a lousy job as GM and justifies it by still sucking on those three Super Bowl rongs from the early 90′s. Way to go Skeletor.

  22. joemammy says: Feb 25, 2014 10:53 AM

    I’m sure everyone in Dallas will turn out for the parade…

  23. ez4u2sa says: Feb 25, 2014 10:54 AM

    Got to give Jones credit for thinking big and growing the value of the franchise. Sadly, I don’t think he realizes that the Cowboys are not going to win another Super Bowl until he hires a general manager. The first step for the new GM will be to make plans to move on from Romo.

  24. tmac4454 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:54 AM

    25 years of mockery….

  25. wawa33 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:55 AM

    8-8 every year and 133-133 since 1997. Great job, Jerry!

  26. joemammy says: Feb 25, 2014 10:56 AM

    Twenty-five years later, there are thousands of people up in Arkansas still looking for their wallets.

  27. purpleguy says: Feb 25, 2014 10:58 AM

    He is a huge success at operating the Cowboys as a business, but not at operating it as a football team.

  28. thealmightybigblue says: Feb 25, 2014 11:00 AM

    25 years of coming up short.we lol at you!

  29. turkjones says: Feb 25, 2014 11:03 AM

    At least Jerruh puts in the work unlike other meddling owners. Sure, he’s had some hits and misses but he’s not an armchair QB GM.

    As a Browns fan, my biggest fear is that Haslam will pull rank on roster moves without having done the work a la Bud Adams.

  30. nokoolaidcowboy says: Feb 25, 2014 11:11 AM

    So this is what 25 to life feels like!

  31. itsnotforme says: Feb 25, 2014 11:13 AM

    If you think it been bad for the last 10 years, just wait until Stephen gets control of the team.

  32. dolphincritic says: Feb 25, 2014 11:13 AM

    Jerry is one of those hobbyists who has forsaken his real job to pursue his hobby full time. Part of being a hobbyist is working at getting better. Not everyone peaks at the excellent level. In fact, lots of hobbyists are no better than mediocre. Jerry is a mediocre GM. Howevr, since the Cowboys are just a hobby, it doesn’t matter to Jerry.

    The only way Jerry will change is when the fans stay away. Don’t buy tickets, shirts, or anything with the Dallas logo. When everyone hates Jerry he will get the message!

  33. richmondbolt says: Feb 25, 2014 11:17 AM

    Anyone else see his interview on Sportcenter the other day? The man is in such total loser denial its mind boggling.

  34. vicnocal says: Feb 25, 2014 11:20 AM

    And Jerry Jones’s new face turns 3.

  35. athwartships says: Feb 25, 2014 11:24 AM

    I think you mean 12.5-12.5 years.

  36. patssox says: Feb 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    And what a sad tale it’s been.

  37. midtec2005 says: Feb 25, 2014 11:38 AM

    25 years to long…

  38. officialgame says: Feb 25, 2014 11:40 AM

    Beware Jerry, the ides of March are upon you.
    Signed,
    Steven Jones

  39. joetoronto says: Feb 25, 2014 11:40 AM

    I always thought Arrhythmia meant an irregular heartbeat.

  40. jmiles1978 says: Feb 25, 2014 11:41 AM

    Mike Brown is also the GM. Is he more qualified or does he get a pass because of Bengals recent success? No one ever hears anything about how he should hire someone else.

  41. dalcow4 says: Feb 25, 2014 11:44 AM

    There comes a point after 20 years of mediocrity where you have to look in the mirror and say, “It was Jimmy, not me.”

  42. listenupcupcake says: Feb 25, 2014 11:45 AM

    Jerruh, in his own words:

    “I get emotional talking about it and I’ve asked a professional about why I get emotional talking about it in public or private …. So that kind of describes for me …. I felt very off balanced.”

    Yes Jerruh, you are unbalanced. In so many ways. And you are finally realizing it, a little. But stay strong! You and the cowboyz are perfect together.

    Happy Anniversary, Jerruh. Here’s to another 25, and more, with the spawn in line to succeed you once medical science fails you.

    We’re all behind you though – except in the standings. :)
    Signed, the other 31
    X-D

  43. 4greatestvikingever says: Feb 25, 2014 11:49 AM

    “How bout them Cow…uhh never mind”

  44. russrpm says: Feb 25, 2014 11:51 AM

    I have been a Cowboys fan for over 40 years, and certainly know why how frustrating Jones tenure has been, but I have never understood the problem everyone has with Landry’s firing. Jones did what pretty much every new owner does; he brought in his own man. In fact, if you go back and look at the local newspapers at the time, you will see that many, many fans at the time were calling for Landry to be fire, saying that the game had passed him by. Football coaches get fired, and it’s been a quarter century. Time to get over it.

  45. 40for60alldaybaby says: Feb 25, 2014 11:55 AM

    If Jerry could only: (1) find another sucker like Vikings’ former GM Mike Lynn, and (2) fire himself as the ‘Boys’ GM, he’d have another ring.

  46. seatownballers says: Feb 25, 2014 12:15 PM

    Romo to get a 24yr extension!
    These 2 are perfect for each other.

  47. lowesislander says: Feb 25, 2014 12:26 PM

    Jerry’s mediocre management has begun to save me a lot of money. No longer do my wife and I fly twice a year from DC to Dallas to catch games. I’ve become apathetic and just don’t care any more. As mentioned, once Jerry is gone Stephen will take over, and thus more of the same — if not worse.

    Stephen is a silver-spoon rich kid whose greatest accomplishment was surviving the journey through the birth canal.

  48. heyguru1969 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:29 PM

    For a life-long Cowboys fan, that equates to roughly 73 cases of Rolaids and 118 days worth of lost sleep.

  49. fwippel says: Feb 25, 2014 12:37 PM

    russrpm says:Feb 25, 2014 11:51 AM

    I have been a Cowboys fan for over 40 years, and certainly know why how frustrating Jones tenure has been, but I have never understood the problem everyone has with Landry’s firing. Jones did what pretty much every new owner does; he brought in his own man. In fact, if you go back and look at the local newspapers at the time, you will see that many, many fans at the time were calling for Landry to be fire, saying that the game had passed him by. Football coaches get fired, and it’s been a quarter century. Time to get over it.

    ================================

    The problem I had with Landry’s firing was the fact that Landry himself found out about his termination when listening to a news broadcast.

    Sure, Jones had the right to replace Landry, and no one questions that. But a classier way to handle things would have been to address this with Landry face to face.

    When the HC you are seeking to replace is the only coach your team has had in its 29 year history, and that coach has taken your team to five Super Bowls and won two of them, you shouldn’t have to be told that this change needs to be handled with some class.

  50. jetsfansince1968 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:44 PM

    Spending 140 million in 1989, for a franchise worth 1 Billion plus in 2014 is Steinbrenner Revisited!!!

  51. trollaikman8 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:44 PM

    Sadly Cowboys fans have Stephen Jones in the waits. Once Jerry is put on ice, I see nothing but the same old circus routine.

  52. briang123 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:59 PM

    Dear Mr. Jones:

    May you live long and own and run the Cowboys for another 50 years.

    Signed,

    Eagles fans

  53. firerogergoodellnow says: Feb 25, 2014 1:02 PM

    One day Jerry’s grandkids (Nine or ten of then) will be running the team.

  54. natepalmer1 says: Feb 25, 2014 1:15 PM

    Jerry Jones is the ringmaster and his team is the circus….

  55. granadafan says: Feb 25, 2014 1:27 PM

    Who will be a worse owner, Mark Davis of the Raiders or Stephen Jones? Both were born with silver spoons in their mouths and have never had to work a day in their life. Both are considered to be quite incompetent. Should be fun to watch.

  56. babygaga19 says: Feb 25, 2014 1:42 PM

    Jerry’s World or The Jokeland Raiders?

    Which franchise succeeds in Ultimate Incompetence?

  57. athwartships says: Feb 25, 2014 2:23 PM

    25 years is an aweful long time to get to the punch line of a joke……good job Jerry.

  58. guachosporlife says: Feb 25, 2014 2:25 PM

    Cowboys haters are funny. I had a decent laugh reading some posts. Cowboys will always be relevant, loved, hated, admired, with multiple legendary historical players–and a few Super Bowl trophies to their name. You can’t take that away.

  59. jucam1 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:40 PM

    You mistake some of us Gaucho, we aren’t haters anymore, we want a long healthy life for your Owner/GM and his little son. We want nothing more than to have you and the rest of the Cow fans to always remember those titles in the early 90′s before you had to have a real GM as your glory years for ever. It’s cute to hear stories if how important and great you were 25 plus years ago, and I really enjoy watching your team choke on national tv year after year. Hence, i’m in agreement with you, I want the Cowboys to continue to stay in the spot light as the new Washington Generals, and always have the Jones family involved in running them!… Here’s to another 25 years of Jerrah and America’s favorite losers!!..

  60. fissels says: Feb 25, 2014 3:03 PM

    “And yet Jones continues to steer the ship, presumably because he’d rather be fully responsible for a mediocre team than riding sidecar to someone else who constructs a champion.”

    Well put Mr Florio. Kudos.

  61. gromit45 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:21 PM

    25 years? Time flies when you’re always meddling with your coaching staff.

  62. dukeearl says: Feb 25, 2014 4:08 PM

    “So this is what 25 to life feels like!”

    Yeah, but Texas doesn’t believe in life in prison….

  63. trefkennedy says: Feb 25, 2014 4:20 PM

    I’m 25 years old and it’s a shame that my favorite team is the butt of jokes, this is borderline legendary incompetence, do you realize how how it is to be 133-133 in 17 years, smh

  64. craigkintexas says: Feb 25, 2014 4:24 PM

    Who was it that said there’s a sucker born everyday? Big “D” is full of em and Jerry knows it. As long as the suckers keep payin the way nothing is going to change. Money is the only thing that matters to the Jones’.

  65. chargerdillon says: Feb 25, 2014 4:56 PM

    What I don’t understand is why everybody wants to bash Jerry Jones. He’s been mediocre and average at best……but lets be fair

    Tell me the records of franchises from 97 to present for the Jags, Bills, Browns, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Texans, Bucs, Panthers.

    The only reason this is a story is because we’re only talking about the records of the Cowboys. Compare him to half the league and his stats will look pretty similar.

  66. edelmanfanclub says: Feb 25, 2014 5:00 PM

    Considering my net worth I won’t call Jones stupid, but considering his claim to fame wasn’t as a football personnel guy maybe he should just hire one already. Im shocked a business man of his savy cannot see how terrible he is. He needs to take ego reduction pills.

  67. dukeearl says: Feb 25, 2014 9:04 PM

    Since you asked… The regular season records aren’t all that wonderful for the teams mentioned. However when those teams managed to make the playoffs, all but two of them performed better than Dallas.

    Regular Season records (combined since 97)
    Dallas 136/272 50%
    Jacksonville 131/272 48%
    Buffalo 115-272 42%
    Cleveland 67/204 32%
    Raiders 106/272 39%
    Rams 116/272 42.6%
    Dolphins 135/272 33.8%
    Texans 79/204 38.7%
    Buccaneers 113/272 41.5%
    Panthers 125/272 46%

    Post Season Wins
    Dallas cowboys – 1 postseason win since 97.
    Jacksonville Jaguars – 3
    Buffalo Bills – 0
    Cleveland Browns – 0
    Raiders – 4
    Rams – 6 (including superbowl win)
    Dolphins – 3
    Texans – 2
    Buccaneers – 5 wins (including superbowl win)
    Panthers – 6 wins

    Point is, Cowboys are among the worst performers in the game.

  68. madcityjd says: Feb 25, 2014 9:12 PM

    Thats the thing about World Championships….once you win them, they can’t be taken away. Recent mediocrity has been frustrating but I can think of a lot of teams that would enjoy the three Lombardi trophies that Mr. Jones helped bring to Dallas as well as the passion he has for his job and the team he owns. Haters are always gonna hate. You don’t like the Cowboys because of the Jones family? Jump ship! But choose carefully when you pick your new favorite team because mediocrity runs rampant in the modern NFL.
    Read all these ridiculous posts by the fans on this story. How many of them pull for teams that have won 1 Superbowl, 2 Superbowls, 3? Maybe zero? The point is, I will always be thankful to Jerry, Jimmy, Troy, Emmitt, Michael, and all the rest of the cast of characters that brought us Cowboy fans an unbelievable amount of joy that most football fans will never know. And I don’t care how long ago it happened because that doesn’t matter. What matters is that it happened. And it can never be taken away. Thanks Jerry and congratulations on 25 years!!

  69. dukeearl says: Feb 25, 2014 9:20 PM

    Just For fun.

    Regular Season
    Seattle 145/272
    San Fran 139/272
    Denver 163/272

    Post Season
    Seattle 9 wins (1 superbowl)
    San Fran 8 wins
    Denver 11 wins ( 2 superbowls)

  70. jucam1 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:51 AM

    That’s the beauty with Jerrah, he seems like he knows what’s going on enough to become a multimillionaire. However, continues to delight the NFL by managing a crap team, forcing an overrated QB on his franchise and fans, and generally mismanaging the crap out of a billion dollar brand. How can he be so blind as to not see he makes awful NFL decisions, yet still be enough of a success in the business community to actually own an NFL team. As a fan of an NFC EAST competitor to the Cowboys I could not be happier that this man and his little son run this laughing stock of a franchise. The Cowboys used to mean something and now they are a stepping stone for real title contenders to get on national TV and dominate a inferior joke of an opponent that is more focused on keeping the spot light on its owner and all the personnel mistakes he and his weak son make year after year to stay relevant. So again i say, I want to wish Jerruh all the health in the world, and hope he lives to manage the new Washington Generals of sports (Cowboys) fir a very long time, that way the NFC East will be a 2 team race every year ( Snyder might be even mire insane) for a long time. The rest of the NFL and NFC is ecstatic about the future of the Cowboys under Jerruh and Stevie!

  71. jlbutler66 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:48 PM

    Jerry would come back from the grave to run this team as the owner/GM. His words mean nothing it’s his action that count and count on them to change little if any as the ‘Boys hover around the 500 level or worse.

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