Jones Finally a Billionare

The Cowboys owner broke that level Thursday in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the world's billionaires, the first time Jones has made it onto the popular and sometimes controversial list.

He joined 63 other rookie billionaires, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, the founders of Google and the creator of Cirque du Soleil.

According to Rich Dalrymple, the Cowboys spokesman, "Mr. Jones has never viewed those types of lists or rankings in a competitive light. The numbers that matter most to him from a competitive perspective are the ones that appear in the win column at the end of December and January."

It's unknown whether the ranking might help or hurt Jones in his haggling with North Texas officials over tax breaks and concessions for a proposed new stadium for the Cowboys.

The ranking caps a comeback year for Jones, who moved back into the national spotlight with his hiring of coach Bill Parcells and the Cowboys' return to the NFL playoffs.

Jones' appearance on the list was not a shock. He had steadily moved toward 10-digit net worth since he bought the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million. Last year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $950 million, and he has appeared for several years on the magazine's rankings of the wealthiest Americans.

The magazine appraised the Cowboys operation at $851 million. Forbes estimated Jones' investments in banking, real estate and energy at another $150 million or so.

Finally, Jones' investment in five Petit Jean poultry plants in Missouri and Arkansas put him easily into billionaire territory.

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