Richard Hoffer over at SI.com has posted what may be the definitive article on Jerry Jones in regards to his new stadium and the future of the Cowboys. He gets to all this by going back into Jerry’s past, to his early oil days and drops in plenty of interesting tidbits that you may not have known. For instance, did you know when Jerry bought the Cowboys the federal government actually owned 12% of the team because of a bank failure? Or that Jerry once tried to buy the San Diego Chargers with money he didn’t really have? Hoffer interweaves reflections from Jerry’s past into the present and takes a projected look at the future. All through the vision of Jerry Jones. And where else will you find out that the massive TV screens at the new Cowboys’ home were inspired by a Celine Dion concert?
In the article, we get to see Jerry the risk-taker, Jerry the arrogant, Jerry the humbled (well, humbled is a relative term here), but most of all we see Jerry Jones the enthusiastic-optimist. Always looking forward, always believing that this is the year. Strangely enough, you also get to see Jerry the human. A guy who has all the same fears as the rest of us, the same battles between risk and security, only played out on a grand, magnificent scale that we can only observe from afar. We’ll never know what it’s like to be underwriting a good portion of a $1 billion stadium project, but we recognize his drive is fueled by the specter of failure, a very human condition.
The article generally stays away from Jerry Jones the GM, only venturing into that area for reference or depth of understanding. This profile is not really about Jerry Jones the football guy - that’s a heated subject among Dallas fans. This profile is about Jerry the owner, and as an owner, he’s worked harder than almost anybody to make his team a success financially. The new stadium is just a symptom of Jerry’s burning desire to keep the Cowboys on top. To keep them relevant, to keep them in the forefront of the NFL.
They tell us that you could put the Statue of Liberty inside the stadium and it wouldn’t reach the top. America’s symbol swallowed up by America’s Team. The only thing that might not fit in the stadium is Jerry Jones’ ego, and I mean that in the best way. He believes in himself, he thinks on a grand scale, he knows that his own personal vanity plays a role in what he does, but he never stops taking the risks.
Now, he just needs to win again.