In professional sports, there are two types of owners. Some are content to stand to the side and let the professionals run the team; others feel the need to get their hands dirty at every opportunity. While there are pros and cons to both schools of thought, Jerry Jones undoubtedly subscribes to the latter. When the Dallas Cowboys make a decision, there’s no doubt who had the final say.
Jones’ inescapable presence around the league hasn’t made him the most popular figure, though. In fact, he recently gave Dallas Cowboys fans another reason to hate him.
Jerry Jones’ tumultuous time with the Dallas Cowboys
In 1989, Jerry Jones bought the struggling Dallas Cowboys. He immediately fired Tom Landry and Tex Schramm; while those moves weren’t popular, everything eventually worked out on the field. The club turned into the dominant team of the 1990s, winning three Super Bowl titles.
Since that run of form, however, things haven’t always clicked in Dallas. Throughout all the personnel changes, one thing has remained constant: Jerry Jones’ position as both owner and general manager. That places him in line for a good amount of hate.
In an ordinary team, the general manager holds plenty of power but is also held to a standard. In Dallas, however, Jerry Jones is judge, jury, and executioner. If he makes a bad personnel decision, the owner isn’t going to fire himself; he’ll simply ax someone else and try again next season. That reality throws off the entire power dynamic and makes it hard for anyone other than Jones to get things done.
“You look around the league — even really prominent owners that are very visible in our game — they’re not giving the medical reports after games about the team and who’s going to play the next game and who’s not going to play and how severe is the injury,” Troy Aikman explained in the fall. “Who played well? Who didn’t play well? Coaches don’t even know; they’ve got to watch the tape. Those things, I think it undermines a coaching staff, and it has an impact.
Even in the offseason, there’s another reason to hate Jerry Jones
For better or worse, the offseason usually gives football fans a chance to relax and recharge their batteries. Jerry Jones, however, has Dallas Cowboys fans riled up by the start of April.
While the coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halt, the NFL is trying to conduct business as usual. For the Dallas Cowboys, that means collecting season ticket payments. The team recently sent out an email, reminding ticket holders that their money is due by May 1.
Although the Cowboys reminded fans that they’d receive a refund if the games were unable to be played or took place behind closed doors, that provides little comfort. Several other teams have pushed back their payment deadline; in a time of mass unemployment and stay-at-home orders, it’s tough for some fans to spend money on football right now.
Will the Dallas Cowboys even play football this season?
In their email to season ticket holders, the Dallas Cowboys noted that they expect the NFL season to be played in full. At this point, though, it’s impossible to know what will happen.
While the NFL is in its offseason, the league has still be affected by the pandemic. The draft will be fully remote—Jerry Jones, for one, is prepared—and players haven’t been able to visit team facilities or take in-person physicals. Even in a best-case scenario, the start of the season will be tough; teams like the Cowboys, for example, will have to adjust to life under a new coach without knowing when they’ll be able to physically be in the same place.
Regardless of what happens, though, there will be a few constants. Eventually, the NFL will restart. Whenever that happens, Jerry Jones will still be calling the shots for the Dallas Cowboys. And, without a doubt, plenty of fans will still hate him.