Skip to content

Donald Trump in ’84 interview: I feel sorry for the poor guy who buys Cowboys

Getty Images

Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys for $140 million in 1989. Forbes now estimates the Cowboys are the world’s most valuable sports franchise, worth $4.2 billion.

But in 1989, the Cowboys didn’t appear a wise investment. The Cowboys were losing $1 million per month when Jones purchased the franchise from Bum Bright.

In fact, during a 1984 interview with The New York Times, Donald Trump admitted he turned down an opportunity to buy the Cowboys and questioned why anyone would have interest in buying the NFL team.

I could have bought an NFL team,” Trump told reporter Ira Berkow. “There were three or four available — that still are available, including, of course, the Dallas Cowboys.

“I could have bought an NFL club for $40 million or $50 million, but it’s established and you would just see it move laterally. Not enough to create there.”

Trump instead became owner of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, and Bright bought the Cowboys from Clint Murchison for $85 million in 1984. It obviously turned out well for both Trump and Jones in the long run, and Bright profited from his sale to Jones, but 30-plus years ago, Trump saw the Cowboys and the NFL as a lose-lose.

“I feel sorry for the poor guy who is going to buy the Dallas Cowboys,” Trump said. “It’s a no-win situation for him, because if he wins, well, so what, they’ve won through the years, and if he loses, which seems likely because they’re having troubles, he’ll be known to the world as a loser.”

Permalink 52 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Dallas Cowboys, Home, Rumor Mill
52 Responses to “Donald Trump in ’84 interview: I feel sorry for the poor guy who buys Cowboys”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 13, 2017 3:01 PM

    Bum Bright, (or as he’s now known by the local street vendors, “Dumb Bum”) would like to have that one back.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 13, 2017 3:06 PM

    Yuge miscalculation, yuge!

  3. tonebones says: Jul 13, 2017 3:06 PM

    No he never said that. Donald would say anything stupid.

  4. Liberalsruineverything says: Jul 13, 2017 3:10 PM

    I feel sorry for the people who thought Hillary would win…. wait…….. no I don’t.

  5. bigpete07 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:10 PM

    Has Jerrah declared bankruptcy as many times as the founder of Trump University?

  6. tjacks7 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:13 PM

    Fast forward to 2017, Trump is president and known to the world as a loser.

  7. defscottyb says: Jul 13, 2017 3:14 PM

    Who saw the Herschel Walker trade comimg… that’s how they became good.

  8. silvernblacksabbath says: Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM

    Anyone who still votes and believes any of these losers (left and right), WAKE UP! NWO is coming…

  9. sbilyeu5 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM

    I’m a big fan of the Cowboys and he is completely right.

  10. ncarolinabluze says: Jul 13, 2017 3:19 PM

    Trump is in the concussion protocol

  11. All-American Voltron says: Jul 13, 2017 3:20 PM

    In Trump’s defense, the Cowboys didn’t get that valuable by accident, it was because of Jerry Jones’ moves.

    Had Trump bought the Cowboys he would’ve put his daughter’s boyfriend in charge, who would’ve been around 7-years old at the time, so I don’t think that kid would’ve had the connections to hire Jimmy Johnson…

  12. vottorific says: Jul 13, 2017 3:24 PM

    Fake news.

  13. dreadpirate88 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:27 PM

    Personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy of a business are entirely different matters. Trump has had four of his 500+ business ventures fail. The rest of us should be so lucky.

  14. vikingf0rlife says: Jul 13, 2017 3:28 PM

    I feel sorry for the Lions only having one playoff win in the same amount of time their cesspool city run by democratic, liberal lefty loons. Making America Great Again starts with eliminating lefty loony liberal brainwash!

  15. medialovesthecowboys says: Jul 13, 2017 3:30 PM

    All-American Voltron says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:20 PM
    In Trump’s defense, the Cowboys didn’t get that valuable by accident, it was because of Jerry Jones’ moves.

    Had Trump bought the Cowboys he would’ve put his daughter’s boyfriend in charge, who would’ve been around 7-years old at the time, so I don’t think that kid would’ve had the connections to hire Jimmy Johnson…
    ——————————————————
    Definitely chuckled at this. All jokes aside, had Trump bought the Cowboys he definitely would’ve put them in the ground. The man bankrupted a casino. A casino.

  16. ghostlight13 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:30 PM

    In ’84 Trump pushed for moving the USFL to a fall schedule partly to force a merger with the NFL. I hope Trump enjoyed his share of that $3 anti-trust settlement.

  17. dietrich43 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:35 PM

    Buying the Generals, and then moving to a fall schedule and suing the NFL, was such a better business decision. Yep.

  18. araidersfan says: Jul 13, 2017 3:37 PM

    Trump didn’t have much skill in evaluating QBs. When Trump owned the New Jersey General, he tried to get Marc Wilson away from the Raiders with a mega-deal. Unfortunately, Al Davis matched the deal and Wilson remained with the Raiders.

  19. hawksfansince77 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:43 PM

    If Trump got the Cowboys, they’d be called the Dallas Comrades by now!

  20. briang123 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:46 PM

    Talk about taking what he said out of context. And by the way, go watch the NFL Network’s own documentary Timeline show talking about how much trouble the NFL was in at that time.

  21. DolFan says: Jul 13, 2017 3:48 PM

    I would like to go back in time and buy Google or Apple stocks so who cares? That are a lot of investments opportunities we miss out on everyday.

  22. d9533 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    Everyone ~2 years from now: I feel sorry for anyone who ever believed in Donald Trump.

  23. niners816 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:51 PM

    *President Trump. Very disrespectful not to acknowledge his title. He is YOUR President.

  24. 345snarkavenue says: Jul 13, 2017 3:51 PM

    dreadpirate88 says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:27 PM

    Trump has had four of his 500+ business ventures fail. The rest of us should be so lucky

    —–

    I’d bet many of those he kept afloat by screwing everyone that did business with him.

    when you have a large organization and deep pockets it is easy to enter litigation with those that don’t and come out ahead because they just don’t have the resources (money and time). It is easier and often less costly for the small guy to settle.

    I’ve been in the construction industry for almost 40 years, as both a material supplier and an installation subcontractor, and when litigation occurs it is mostly due to one of the parties grossly under performing their contract duties. With all the people/companies Trump sues for performing so badly, he either does a very poor job of screening them, or it was his intent to pay less than 100% from the start.

  25. billswillnevermove says: Jul 13, 2017 3:54 PM

    Yes, the good old main stream media still taking pokes at President Trump. You liberals kill me. This would not be a story if Hillary or Obama made that same remark. Get use to it. He is your President.

  26. aarons444 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:54 PM

    And that would be true… if not for Jimmy Johnson

  27. chiefsfolife says: Jul 13, 2017 3:54 PM

    What a silly “story”, but I’ll play…….99% of stock investors in 1985: Apple is garbage I’ll never buy it.

  28. packfaninpackland says: Jul 13, 2017 3:58 PM

    Okay, so he made a bad financial decision … 30 + years ago.

    I (we all) should have bought Microsoft or Amazon stock at their IPO’s too. Most didn’t.

    What’s the point of this story 33 years later ?? I think he’s done okay for himself financially.

  29. metalup666 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:59 PM

    Shocker alert! Another bad decision from trump.

  30. i, flounder says: Jul 13, 2017 3:59 PM

    he’s a man who talks out of his behind, and a horrible businessman who can only make money by being a slumlord. none of this is news.

    and for the people that play the team game. hilliary sucks too, but she’s gone time to move on.

  31. stevejjones says: Jul 13, 2017 4:01 PM

    Not only is he President but he’s also prescient. Jerry has gotten nothing but grief.

  32. jerruhjones says: Jul 13, 2017 4:02 PM

    Donald is an idiot? Shocking.

  33. sportoficionado says: Jul 13, 2017 4:06 PM

    The man just absolutely loves to hear himself speak. Will say anything for a headline. As a Cowboys and nfl fan in general, I’m ecstatic that he didn’t buy the team, we could be watching the usfl right now.

  34. pkrlvr says: Jul 13, 2017 4:07 PM

    I feel sorry for the Lions only having one playoff win in the same amount of time their cesspool city run by democratic, liberal lefty loons. Making America Great Again starts with eliminating lefty loony liberal brainwash!
    ———
    Someone sure sounds loony, but it’s not the folks in Detroit. Why are you conservatives still so angry??? You won, be happy! Stop the divisive crap. And learn proper grammar and punctuation if you are going to insult an entire swath of the country. Nothing worse than being ridiculed by someone who can’t even construct a sentence properly.

  35. pkrlvr says: Jul 13, 2017 4:12 PM

    Trump has had four of his 500+ business ventures fail. The rest of us should be so lucky.
    ——–
    Actually the number is 6 in the last 25 years….or about one every four years. That may seem good to you but probably not to all the people who got screwed over by them.

  36. smitty113 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:13 PM

    FAST forward to 2017 – Winning Yuge! MAGA

  37. bullcharger says: Jul 13, 2017 4:22 PM

    dreadpirate88 says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:27 PM
    Personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy of a business are entirely different matters. Trump has had four of his 500+ business ventures fail. The rest of us should be so lucky.

    —————

    DO you really believe that he’s had 4 business ventures fail out of 500+? Come on. No business person has had that success rate.

  38. bullcharger says: Jul 13, 2017 4:24 PM

    Did Trump miss on the Cowboys? If he bought them I doubt he would now be the President of the United States, so maybe it wasn’t such a miss.

    G.W. Bush wanted to be the baseball commissioner. Didn’t get what he wanted but he also was the President of the United States.

    Not too shabby.

  39. 345snarkavenue says: Jul 13, 2017 4:36 PM

    the most amazing fact is….there were 17 well known republican candidates and 3 democrats, and somehow we ended up having Trump and Hillary as the main options.

  40. RandyinRoxbury says: Jul 13, 2017 4:42 PM

    Trump was never a candidate to buy any NFL team.
    FAKE NEWS!
    He didn’t have the money and the Russians weren’t lending him anything under Gorbachev.

  41. dmoney253 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:44 PM

    ncarolinabluze says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:19 PM

    Trump is in the concussion protocol

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

  42. cribbage12 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:51 PM

    I think we all know who appears the loser to all the world.

  43. xavier179 says: Jul 13, 2017 5:28 PM

    Ding dong, that franchise is worth 4.2 billion.

  44. usdcoyotesfan says: Jul 13, 2017 5:50 PM

    Not surprising since he has declared 4 bankruptcies.

  45. granadafan says: Jul 13, 2017 6:11 PM

    Trump also killed off the USFL.

  46. vikingsvoice says: Jul 13, 2017 6:16 PM

    This is a fantastic anecdotal story.

  47. jspyle says: Jul 13, 2017 7:07 PM

    Trumps full of crap that he could have bought a tem. He’s wanted to be an NFL owner for years, but the owners wont let him join the club. Does anyone remember the USFL? Donald was the main guy in that league. How did that work out?

  48. RandyinRoxbury says: Jul 13, 2017 8:17 PM

    He was a wannabe NFL owner just like Marc Qban.

  49. MCxShow says: Jul 14, 2017 10:38 AM

    Oh wow what a surprise…yet another liberal article bashing Trump that has NOTHING to do with President Trump…

  50. shuzaam says: Jul 14, 2017 11:13 AM

    TRUMP CAN’T LEAD A HORSE TO WATER !!!

  51. RegisHawk says: Jul 14, 2017 11:31 AM

    It’s a patent lie, which I believe qualifies as standard operating procedure these days. The owners didn’t want him because they had vetted him (better than anyone else, by all appearances). They determined he was a financial risk and didn’t want to be bothered dealing with his tricks. That’s one of the reasons he got involved with the USFL and tried to force a merger…the legend in his own mind figured he would outsmart everyone and get an NFL team through the back door.

  52. aarons444 says: Jul 14, 2017 12:16 PM

    Trump also killed off the USFL.
    =====

    Was he the only owner?

    He played his part, but the other owners followed right behind him, right off the cliff.

    .. and they proved, in court!, that the NFL was out to break them. They just didn’t do a good enough job documenting the damages incurred.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!