There is, perhaps, no owner in professional sports who is as synonymous with his team as Jerry Jones. Since taking over the Dallas Cowboys in the late ’80s, he’s shown the league that a football team can be a profitable enterprise unto itself.
Jones is brash, opinionated, and often criticized with being too hands-on with his football team, but it may come as a surprise to those who know him that there is something he fears more than losing football games.
Jerry Jones’ biggest fear
Jones’ biggest fear is not spiders, death, or heights. Now nearing 80 years of age, he is still an active owner, but he is haunted by one thing. During a 2010 interview with 60 Minutes, Jones told a story about a time he went to pay for a car with his credit card and it was declined. This prompted the interviewer to ask him if he’s terrified of being broke.
Jones replied that he was, and when the interviewer reminded him that he was worth over $2 billion at the time, the Cowboys owner explained why his fear lingers on past the days of cut credit cards and low bank balances.
“Unlike professionals,” Jones said,”There’s not a doctor’s degree to fall back on. There’s no job to fall back on. What’s out there is to … jump in a car, and go try to sell something to somebody. I don’t want to go back that far. So yeah, I run scared.”
Jones’s interview goes to show that even the wealthiest people have the same fears we do. Even though they may be unfounded in Jones’ case, these fears may drive him even at his older age. It appears, however, that Jones is doing just fine years.
How Jerry Jones got here
According to Forbes, Jones spent his youth playing football, not learning how to become a billionaire. This was what spurred him to become so interested in America’s most popular sport. By the time he got to college, he was the co-captain of the 1964 University of Arkansas team that won the national championship.
Jones had to work for his money, working as an oil wildcatter in the ’70s. Here, he made his first millions and accumulate the wealth that eventually allowed him to buy the Dallas Cowboys for $150 million. From there, the Cowboys have received the majority of his attention.
Jones’ net worth
In 2010, Jones worried about losing $2 billion. As sports teams continue to increase in value, the magnate is worth $8.4 billion in 2019, reports Forbes. Although a lot of his time is still spent on the Dallas Cowboys, Jones maintains his holdings on oil companies and residential real estate throughout the U.S.
He is a man of many interests, but a particular one is also an investment in its own right. Jones is an art collector. For the average American, this means grabbing local artists and prints, but for an eccentric billionaire, it means original works by Norman Rockwell, Pablo Picasso, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
It’s safe to say Jones won’t have to go back to his blue-collar roots, but the fact that the fear remains shows that regardless of the success that someone sees, the fears they once had can haunt them decades later.