Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been named one of the two finalists in the “contributors” category (along with former commissioner Paul Tagliabue) for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017. ... and before anybody tries to argue against Jones, they should heed the words of a "frenemy'' who knows him best.
Jones and Johnson are, fairly, the co-architects of three Super Bowl championships. Jones additionally now has more than a quarter-of-a-century record as one of the most powerful, recognizable and successful sports figures on the planet. He's made the NFL bigger and better and, except for not having won a fourth Super Bowl (a silly argument if you think of it that way) has made "America's Team'' bigger and better, too.
"I can't tell you about how humble and gratified I am,'' Jones said Tuesday after the announcement, with many more words to come, as his induction speech (assuming he's selected) will almost certainly break the Hall of Fame record for length. (Oh, and the question of who should be his presenter will add lots of intrigue.) "There's not one thing I could've done by myself. ... I can't tell you how much this was a family affair.''
Jones mentioned Tex Schramm and Cowboys Nation and the media, too, while also saying this about Jimmy's endorsement: "I know where my heart is. I know where his heart is. It's a good place. Were all in it (together).''
Jones joked about feeling like he was "in a car wreck'' 27 years ago and "died and went to Heaven'' as he described (oddly, of course) his joy at being in the NFL. And his son, COO Stephen Jones, was so full of joy after practice that he starting crying when explaining to a small group of reporters that as valuable an owner as Jerry's been to the NFL, "He's an even better father.''
The Joneses aren't ready to address who might serve as Jerry's presenter (via video, as the Hall of Fame no longer does it with another person's speech on stage). But Fish is:
The Hall of Fame selection committee will vote on Jones, Tagliabue, seniors committee nominee Kenny Easley and a group of 15 other finalists on a list that will be crafted between now and Super Bowl week and then voted on, finally, on the day before the Super Bowl.
The room might argue. The public certainly will. But those who know Jerry Jones do not.
From Michael Irvin: “Don’t underestimate what Jerry has meant to this league. He’s done some incredible things. He’s thought outside of the box and had brought outside-the-box money to this league and everybody has prospered. You can say a lot of things, but you cannot say he was not good for this league.”
From Cowboys coach Jason Garrett: "He wants the NFL to be great and he wants the Dallas Cowboys to be great. "From my perspective, he's a first ballot Hall of Famer."null