Jerry Jones, a name synonymous with successful, is the owner of “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys. As a franchise the team and its cheerleaders bring ratings increases to every television station all over the globe. Moreover, the owner brought billionsof dollars to the National Football League. Personally, Jerry has an estimated worth of 7.0 Billion (yes with a B) dollars as of the year 2018.
On the other hand, Dean Spanos is the opposite, and with the continuing lack luster running of the Chargers’ Franchise due to what appears to be a series of bad or incomplete decisions, the comparison sparked a question.
Before I ask the question, I want you as the reader to think about a few things. How important are your decisions? What makes one person successful in the same circumstances where another would fail? How do seemingly talented people never get anywhere, while others of lesser abilities skyrocket?
The question is, what elements make you rise to the top? Ponder that ideology as District 4 presents Why You and Not Me? The Rise or Fall of A Dream.
The interview opens with Jerry speaking on how he bought his team back in 1989 and how little he knew back then:
Q. If you where buying a team today would you approach it in the same way? Could you approach it in the same way, with the way things are?
A. Oh no, no-when I look back, I had a narrow ideal. I really didn’t think the “NFL” was a viable “business”. I thought to make it work, I would have to couple it financially and visibility wise with some other business (he gives a thoughtful glare) boy have I been surprised.
Q. You are very proud of the fact that you are the owner and General Manager? That you are very hands on, some may say too hands on-but it is your business?
A. Here is the thing, in my mind the advantages of our structure, are good quick decisions. We don’t have a meddling owner with the Dallas Cowboys (he laughs at the irony of his statement) because the owner is the General Manager. If I where not the General Manager I would be a meddling owner because I think it is naive to think with what is at stake and the kind of commitments you need to make regarding [things like] players, personnel, business decisions-that an owner would not be involved.
Q. I know you have talked before about risk and reward, whether it be oil business or any other? When do you know if something is worth the risk verses the reward?
A. Well the judgement factor is to not think-you are doingsomething not, not risky (he smiles)! Believing it is safe when in fact there where a lot of risks involved.
Q. How is it possible that your team continues to go up in value?
A. Well first, I would trade some of the values for more first downs (he chuckles), some more Superbowl’s- but certainly we know that the market is huge, we have a great legacy of football in this state. I didn’t buy the Cowboys for money. If we would have had this interview back when I was buying the team and I was holding a glass of water, it would be shaking (he demonstrates a shaking of the water), I was that worried. I love the sport, I love football! I thought I was leaving the business world. I never thought it [business] would be so alive and well in the NFL.
We break here for a moment to think about our opening question what does it take to rise to the top? How did Jerry redefine the NFL? According to his answers in their totality it was by recognizing simply what it was and is-sports, oil, acting, dancing, singing, wall street, etc. does it matter? Better to accept and understand that anything that makes you money is a business. It allows you to see a risk for what it is-a risk, and perhaps be more prepared to take it, and not give in to fear or apprehension.
Q. Final Question, you’ve said you will always remain the owner, but do you see yourself stepping away or retiring as the GM? Is that at all in your vision?
A. No the structure is one that I am comfortable with in this way, it causes me to commit any resource I have, with in the rule, to help us win championships. I think our fans benefited 18 years with me doing it-being the GM. I am more motivated now (he motions pointing his finger down towards the floor) even more than I was when I first bought the team (he gives a super energetic and vivacious smile).
End of Interview. This interview was edited for content.
Written and Edited by Alex Love, Interview by Chris Meyers