As the Dallas Cowboys and their fans prepare for the new season, I have found myself looking to the future of my beloved franchise. Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones, who has owned the team since 1989, continues to tout that he will be the owner until his death. With Mr. Jones about to turn 71 this October, it seemed right to look onto his successor and how the Cowboys will change for the next generation. The man who has the future in his hands is none other than Executive Vice President of Player Personnel Stephen Jones, or known more fondly by Jerry as son.
When Jerry bought the team in 1989, he had envisioned it as a family business and knew that one day his kids would be a part of theDec. 4, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones (left) and owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
franchise. In addition to Stephen, Jerry has also employed his other children in other ranking positions in the organization. His daughter Charlotte is vice president in charge of the brand and cheerleading and his son Jerry Jones Jr. is the vice president in charge of marketing.
But it is Stephen who has risen to become his father’s right hand man in all football matters. Most of the big signings in the last decade have been a result of Stephen Jones being directly involved and he has recently taken a bigger role in talking to the media, something his father exclusively did. Jerry even from time to time tells media members to ask Stephen certain questions. The signs all point to Stephen as the next Owner and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys. The question is how different will things be with Stephen at the helm?
It is assumed that Stephen would assume GM responsibilities like his father did and continue in that role. So far, Stephen has been in locked step with his father on all football moves since Jerry had full control in 1994. But, Stephen has been noted to go against the grain when he felt it was necessary. The famous story of Stephen pushing his father to a wall to convince him not sign former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders is actually true. Also, he had sit down and convince his father to release former Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens for hours before Jerry eventually said he would.
The problem is that he still signed off on most of his father’s moves in the last decade, most of them not too good. On just plain football matters, Stephen doesn’t have the experience needed to run the franchise in the capacity of general manager. His father didn’t have the necessary knowledge and it shows by the team not drafting properly over the past few years. The franchise can’t wait another 24 years for Stephen to become just as good as his dad. He needs to be better than his father.
Which is why I would urge Stephen Jones to have a new general manager in place ready to go day one of his stewardship of the Cowboys. Let Stephen name himself President, and focus on the business side of things. His siblings can help him market the Cowboys to a new generation just as good as his daddy was. Just bring in a new General Manager and end the era of no accountability. Only then will Stephen truly escape being another clone of his father.