December 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walks on the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

25 Years a Cowboy...Has It Really Been That Long?


Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving against the Oakland Raiders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Has it been 25 years already? I have been avoiding the various sports news channels at all costs the past two weeks so as not to ruin my Winter Olympic watching experience by letting my eyes wonder to the ever-scrolling list of results from Russia. Imagine my surprise, then, when I tuned back in to my normal viewing habits to find that the Cowboys are making headlines in February. Nobody has been arrested, released from their contract or tweeted embarrassing remarks. On the contrary, the occasion is a rather important anniversary. February 25 marks the day 25 years ago when an oilman from Arkansas took the reins of America’s Team and started a tenure that, for better or worse, has rarely lacked in entertainment.

Like many other moments in when time that seem to skip a few ticks of the clock, I can remember where I was when that infamous news broke. I was watching the news in my parent’s home in rural Arkansas and my jaw dropped to the floor. In those days there wasn’t the constant overflow of news, be it from the sporting world or otherwise. Living in Jerry’s home state, though, I had firsthand knowledge of the deal and I am not ashamed to say that I wasn’t happy about it. The blasphemy began with Jones brash behavior. We all remember the infamous flight to Austin that resulted in the unceremonious firing of the man in the fedora who was the only coach the Cowboys had ever known, the great Tom Landry. Jones has subsequently been quoted numerous times as regretting the decision to let Landry go in so such a swift and uncaring manner. It certainly didn’t win him any brownie points with the Cowboys faithful, yours truly included.

Adding insult to injury for this Cowboys fan was the fact that my Arkansas address meant that I was subjected to any and all manner of combining of the Dallas and Arkansas Razorbacks brand. For those of you not familiar with the traditions of the Natural State, since there are no professional sports teams within its borders, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks are the polarizing sports franchise. The jubilation of Jones somewhat hostile takeover of the Metroplex reached a fever pitch in Arkansas when a former Razorback teammate of Jones…one Jimmy Johnson…was hired as the Cowboys new head coach. Pictures emblazoned with Dallas Cowboys helmets that had Razorbacks jumping through them became common place and it wasn’t long before rumors of Jones bringing the Cowboys to Arkansas for a preseason game surfaced.  That, of course, never materialized and soon the crazy mixture of Cowboy and Hog died down as well…thank goodness.

Those early days were a bit rough, with a 1-15 season that left many to wonder if Jones could turn things around in Big D. Dallas was practically giving away tickets to home games in Texas Stadium. In fact, those lean years provided me with my first visit to that hallowed ground and for that, I will be forever grateful. Higher ticket prices would soon come in the form of three Super Bowl wins and 1990s dynasty.

The roller-coaster ride that has been Jones’ tenure has given us many memorable moments. Some, like the aforementioned return to Super Bowl glory and the continued reign of the Cowboys as one of the top franchises in all of sports in terms of marketability have cast a favorable light on Jerry and company. He is also largely credited with bringing the corporate world and the NFL closer together…Pepsi and Nike anyone? The lack of a serious post season run since the early 1990s has brought back the ire of many fans. Jones refusal to hire a general manager to handle football operations has also cast him in a somewhat negative light.

The final chapters of Jones Dallas adventure have yet to be written and even though I haven’t always agreed with his decisions, this Cowboys fan hopes that Jerry can find a way to bring Dallas back to prominence in the NFL before he rides off into the sunset.

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  • Steed

    Jones is delusional. He is being interviewed on ESPN right now. He is so full of himself he cannot see reality.

    • santa clause

      Bitch back the fuck off the cowboys

      • Todd

        Santa Clause, wake up and smell the coffee. Like it or not, Steed is speaking the truth. What other owner has his own radio show? Or interviews with ESPN for an HOUR? Jerry is about Jerry, not winning. You want proof? He fired the coach that took the Cowboys to back to back Super Bowls and won in 1992 and 1993. Why in the name of all that is holy would you do that? Because Jimmy Johnson said he had a hand in building the team. Jerry didn’t like Jimmy getting that credit so he sent him packing. Since then? Jimmy’s team, led by Barry Swisher won the Super Bowl then NOTHING. Well, one playoff win since 1996. There is that I guess.

  • ctcowboy1968

    JJ fits the Grateful Dead song, what a long strange trip it’s been! Overall, JJ and his ego have ruined the greatest team of all time. It sucks that someone’s money can wreck the passion of some many others.

  • santa clause

    Romo id quality.

  • Todd

    Good luck with your last paragraph, Tammy. The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Your wish ain’t gonna happen. But he doesn’t really care. The Cowboys create more revenue than any other team in the NFL. He doesn’t have to win to make money. He can make money but he cannot run a football team. Try as he might, he cannot do it. His pride will continue to keep the Cowboys marred in mediocrity.

  • Zorro

    I was a fervent Cowboys fan in the Landry era. Even after the woeful 1988 season, I thought Landry still had the ability to bring the team back to respectability with Troy Aikman.

    The second I heard that Jerky Jones bought the ‘Pokes and fired Landry, I stopped being a Cowboys fan. I haven’t cared about the Cowboys since. Sure, I respect their performances in the early 90′s and have no ill feelings against their players, but I completely lost my passion for the franchise on February 25, 1989.

    The only thing Jerky Jones did to win championships was hire Jimmy Johnson. It was Johnson’s brand on the team that made it what is was in the early 90′s. But was it more than Landry could have done given Aikman in 1989? Who knows? I hope the triumvirate of Landry-Tex Schramm-Gil Brandt wouldn’t have botched the 1989 draft by taking someone other than Aikman.

    Once Johnson was fired, this team quickly reverted to mediocrity. Barry Switzer won a “gift” championship with Johnson’s system. I’m no
    Jimmy Johnson fan, but I understand that he was a good football mind who helped revive the franchise.
    The team has a .500 record in the last 15 or so years? That’s what happens when an egomaniac oilman tries to become general manager.

    Clint Murchison and even Bum Bright are rolling over in their graves. Owners should own, and let football people make personnel and strategic decisions.

  • jrcowboy49

    Too damn long with this idiot!