Stephen Jones: It’s unfair to criticize my dad as a micromanager


Cowboys Executive V.P. Stephen Jones thinks his father, owner Jerry Jones, gets a bum rap about the team’s decision making.

Although Jerry Jones is (to borrow a term from another powerful Texan) the decider in Dallas, Stephen Jones told ESPN Radio in Dallas that Jerry makes his decisions only after listening to all the football people around him.

“I think he does listen well. I think we hire good people, we’ve got a great personnel department,” he said. “I believe we’ve got one of the best coaching staffs. And it’s not like he’s going around making decisions in a vacuum. He really counts on our people to have input, he’s very open-minded to input from me. I think that’s probably the most unfair criticism is people just think he’s holding his thumb up in the air and making decisions because he can. I mean, that’s just not right.”

Stephen Jones said if people think his father has surrounded himself with people who will just go along with Jerry’s decisions, they’re wrong. In reality, Stephen says, Jerry has always listened to his coaches and personnel people and makes the key decisions only after carefully considering what everyone in the organization thinks.

“That’s, again, what I think’s unfair,” he said. “I don’t think that’s an issue with us as much as it is the perception. . . . Everybody has input, we discuss it and we come to a decision as a group.”

There’s probably some truth to what Stephen is saying about his dad, but it’s also true that when the Cowboys were winning three Super Bowls in the 1990s, Jerry Jones was only too happy to position himself publicly as the person who was calling the shots. Now that the Cowboys have only won one playoff game in the last 15 years, he deserves criticism just as much as he deserved credit when he was hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

19 responses to “Stephen Jones: It’s unfair to criticize my dad as a micromanager

  1. Right…because we all know how much Parcells really wanted ‘the player’ on his team.

  2. Let’s face it–free agency killed the dynasty and the Cowboys aren’t the only team that has suffered those consequences. It’s not Jerry’s fault entirely.

  3. Jerry Jones completely runs the Cowboys. He says jump, his coaching staff says how high? Jerry was probably the one who told Stephen to say that he takes in input from everyone.

    Jerry Jones is one of a very few real Cowboys left in America, and he don’t take any crap.

  4. EJ says:

    “Jerry Jones is one of a very few real Cowboys left in America, and he don’t take any crap.”

    Maybe, but it’s to his franchise’s detriment.

  5. You lost me at ” we have one of the best coaching staffs”. Your head coach iced his own kicker last year. That’s just one of many bad calls he made on the sideline.

  6. As a GIANTS fan I would like to say, Jerry, please stay the GM of the team. If a real football was the GM, we might not have made the playoffs last year.

    He is not a good GM.

    In all fairness to him, he is a terrific owner, I truly believe that, he is good for the NFL, he has helped the league, and I do believe that he is really a great guy.

    But Jerry is not a good GM, he really isn’t.

  7. Absolutely correct, Steve-O.

    … as screamed out in unison by the ghosts of Norv Turner, Chan Galley, Jimmy Johnson, Tom Landry, Wade Phillips, Dave Campo and Bill Parcells…

  8. Micromanager -yes, I see it. That happened to my last boss before I retired. It only took three years for the powers that be realized what a big mistake putting them in charge was and they terminated that person. I tried to tell them so. Years of micromanaging has been the downfall of the CowBabies.

  9. I’m sorry but when I watched the NFLN special on Tom Landry (A Football Life) and saw that smug smile on Jerry Jones face when he talked about firing one of if not the greatest coach of all time, it turned me against him for good.

  10. I say it with all sincerity that I cannot root for that team as long as Jerry’s in charge. His son can tell us all he wants – that Jerry dressed like a clown and did magic tricks at his sixth birthday party, took him to a strip club when he was sixteen, etc., we all know he only did it because the hired clown wouldn’t do it Jerry’s way, and he probably told the stripper how to wrap around the pole, but I digress…….. Jerry’s got one foot in his mouth, and a gun pointed at the other foot, all while managing to maintain his status as a world class meddler.

  11. Who cares as long as JJ is the owner, the gm, the head coach, the defense, and the offense coordinator I am happy. Jerry don’t change a thing becuase the window has been closed since the turn of the century.

  12. and what would you expect the son to say about his father.

    lets see…. ” I think Jerrah Jonz is a turd. He is a lousy evaluator of talent and he has the opinion of a jackass.

    bottom line is that jerrah jonz is a lousy gm and it can be seen in the consistency of the team’s inability to make the playoffs sans Jimmy Johnson. I don’t count the Barry Switzer era, he was living off of Jimmys leftovers.

    and to the guy who calls him a great owner I would ask, based on what? Yes he has a very nice stadium and tickets that are outrageously priced. And despite a ton of talent the team consistently underachieves. His drafts have been at best mediocre and the coaching staff is handcuffed by the owner who thinks that he knows more about football then anyone else in the same zipcode. If that makes him a great owner, then I guess he is a great owner.

    This team will not achieve until he puts a real football person in charge. But that is not going to happen anytime soon. The Cowgirls are his billion dollar toy and he is going to play with them the way he wants and damn everyone elses opinion. So the Cowboys are destined for continual mediocrity, which from my perspective is good because I can’t stand the team and think that Jerrah Jonz is a fool. A stupidly rich fool, but a fool nonetheless.

  13. It’s totally fair. He hires coaches who don’t have the balls to get the job done. Don’t have the much-needed ego about them to lay down the law, so to speak.

    Hiring soft HC’s who know their place won’t get you anywhere. The Cowboys may make the playoffs, but do they have the leadership to go all the way?

    Soft HC’s make soft football teams. Doesn’t mean the teams can’t compete or make the playoffs…but it means they realistically have no shot at a SB title.

    See Norv Turner.

  14. Jerry micromanages?????

    It looks like the opposite because his coaches look way too calm to be Super Bowl contenders.

  15. “Jerry Jones was only too happy to position himself publicly as the person who was calling the shots. Now that the Cowboys have only won one playoff game in the last 15 years, he deserves criticism just as much as he deserved credit when he was hoisting the Vince “………this sums it up quite well. What’s even funnier is that we never heard of “Stephen Jones” until Jerrah finally said he could talk to the media, LMAO

  16. Jerry Jones signs the checks, Jerry Jones can do what he wants. Keep himself as GM, hire a GM, whatever, he signs the checks.

    Bottom line is this: Jerry loves the spotlight. Absolutely loves it. Any little bit he tries to eat up. And because of this, and the fact that he’s the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, he probably got too much credit in the 90’s and too much of the blame in the 2000’s.

    The Patron Saint of Coaching, Bill Parcells, arguably did worst than Wade Phillips. Jason Garrett’s first year, after taking over for Phillips, was “refreshing” according to the media. He held his players accountable, was no-nonsense, “boring” in his press conferences and had highly automized, planned practices that resulted in a more disciplined team.

    His first full year was a disappointment according to the media. He made too many mistakes managing the game, his team fell apart during key moments of games, especially the defense, etc., etc.

    JJ can’t win with anything that comes with being the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. He does too much, he does too little. He takes too many risks, he doesnt take enough, etc., etc.

  17. People are going to say what they want about Jerry but who really cares. He owns the Cowboys and can do whatever he wants but the problem with Jerry is that he started butting heads with Jimmy Johnson and it just turned out bad. Jerry no longer wanted a coach like Jimmy so he got these soft weak coaches and they made the team just as soft as the coaches were. Jerry now knows he needs a strong coach to have a strong team to win. Jerry will do anything to win but he doesn’t know how to put together a winning team and neither did his coaches. Garrett is the guy for the job cause he knows what he wants and Jerry can get it for him.

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