Jerry Jones is the oil-rich, egotistical, impulsive, stubborn and immensely hated owner of the most valuable franchise in professional sports — the Dallas Cowboys. You know him, and if you’re not a Cowboys fan, odds are you loathe him.
Over the years Jones’ outspokenness and love of the spotlight has rubbed plenty of people the wrong way. He pissed off the Cowboy faithful from the very start when he fired coaching legend Tom Landry…
He makes his son-in-law clean his glasses…
And in perhaps his most egregious act, he appeared on Entourage.
Nevertheless, despite all his faults, there is something bizarrely and surprisingly likable about Jerry Jones. Let me explain:
1. He really, really wants the Cowboys to win.
Jones catches a lot of flack for his hands-on and impatient approach. And there is no doubt that he often gets in his own way. But this is not (well, not yet) an Al Davis/James Dolan situation where an unstable, out-of-touch owner lets personal vendettas take precedence over running a professional organization whose goal is winning games. Former Dallas head coach Bill Parcells probably said it best: “I knew he had a lot of passion for his work and his job and his organization. I could name a few organizations I don’t feel that about. The owner is just blasé about ‘if we win we win, good; if we don’t, that’s all right.’ You want to be somewhere where it’s important to the people and certainly it’s a high-profile franchise without question. I just felt like those are the kinds of things I look forward to. I was trying to do something at a place like that. I like them. I think they’re a good group. I think they’re passionate. I think they’re trying to be successful in the business. Hey, that’s all a coach can ask for.”
2. He’s confused about the definition of a “glory hole.”
He’s so innocent!
3. Selena Gomez adores him.
Look at her face! Has anyone ever looked at you like that?! No one in my family ever looked at me like that!
6. He’s not above drunken fan pictures.
Likability in today’s internet-fueled society is almost solely based on drunken mistakes. We all make them — and so do celebrities. WOW, WE’RE SO SIMILAR! Jerry Jones once bashed Tim Tebow at a bar (who hasn’t?) and most recently stumbled around Bourbon St. with a glass of white wine.
7. He’s comfortable with being widely disliked.
This is not always a good thing. Sometimes people are unpopular for good reasons. But there is something to be said for being able to take the harshest and most public criticism without getting gun-shy. It’s not a coincidence that Chris Christie and Eminem are both Cowboys fans.
8. He wore these sunglasses.
9. We hate to admit it, but having one of the largest scoreboards in the world is awesome.
When Jerry World opened everyone called it excessive and egotistical. Its $1 billion price tag (including $325 million from taxpayers) was a borderline insult during America’s recession. But then again: name me one fanbase that wouldn’t want a Jumbotron the size of Rhode Island?
10. The Dallas Cowboys are his life.
If you have the time you really should watch the whole 60 Minutes profile on Jones, but if you don’t here’s the gist — the Cowboys are everything to Jerry Jones. He’s gone from a family grocery story in Little Rock to building the most profitable and recognizable brand in professional sports.
Most professional sports owners are rarely seen or heard over the course of a game. Cameras don’t focus on owners because most of the time they simply aren’t there or they’re preoccupied. Jerry Jones is always there, and when he watches a game he goes through the same range of emotions as the casual fan. He’s worried, excited, angry, disappointed and nervous. Jones has dedicated everything he has to the Cowboys, and it’s hard to knock a guy for rooting for his team.