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.