SI Loves 'Jerryassic Park'

IRVING, Tex. -- The DFW media calls it "JerryWorld.'' Back in the days when it was just a dream of the Cowboys owner – when Jones' vision was akin to a certain fictional mad scientist building an innovative-but-dangerous tribute to his own genius – I called it "Jerryassic Park.''

And now a new Sports Illustrated article calls the Cowboys' in-progress stadium in Arlington "possibly the greatest edifice to be constructed for the people's entertainment in this great land of ours, maybe the final frontier in sports-related architecture.''

There is a lot of dirt moved in Richard Hoffer's story, but because it's largely nothing more than a biographical profile of Jerry, it's mostly old ground. Hoffer gets Jones to mistakenly refer to himself as a "coach.'' There is a vague "falling-off-the-turnip-truck'' reference. There is the story of a 23-year-old Jones almost buying the San Diego Chargers, of Jones making money by "wildcatting,'' of Jones taking over the Cowboys and needing two hands to steady a cup of coffee. There is the "500 coaches'' crap and "Jerry likes to go on the sideline'' junk and the stuff about Fox and Nike and Pepsi.


Now – and good for Jerry, because truthful and flattering profiles of the man and his accomplishments are all too rare – the story mentions the fact that Jones is "impossibly charming.''

True. But again, anybody who knows Jerry Jones beyond the rep already knew that.

But when Hoffer and SI get to the part about literal dirt-moving. … they hit on something as special and something as deep as a Jerry Jones oil well.

Among the highlights about the stadium – which Sports Illustrated says possesses "glassine luminescence'' (whatever that means) -- scheduled to open in 2009: * "I'm writing a one-million-dollar check every day,'' Jones says. "That will keep your eye on the ball.''

* In order to scout architecture, Jones took trips to London's Wembley Stadium, New York's Bloomberg Tower and Sydney's Opera House.

* As a younger man, Jones was enchanted by the Astrodome. And later, on his first visit to New York, he instructed a cabbie to take him to Yankee Stadium, where he stopped just briefly enough to touch the building.

* SI says the close vote for the 2011 Super Bowl reflected a "grudge'' over "economic sense'' because a Dallas Super Bowl will return upwards of $20 million more to the NFL in ticket revenue alone than an Indianapolis Super Bowl.

* Texas Stadium offers 15,000 square feet of club space. The new stadium has 15 times that, with 200 luxury suites, some of them right at field level.

* The stadium will normally seat 80,000 but will be able to increase to 100,000.

* "Glass panels 120 feet high will open at each end for autumn breezes.'' (Unfortunately, Hoffer is apparently unaware of the fact that all we get in North Texas in autumn is more heat, but, whatever.)

* "The glass skin will produce a shimmering effect.''

* "A roof will retract at night to reveal that iconic hole familiar to Texas Stadium.''

* The height of the building is such that the Statue of Liberty would fit comfortably under the roof.

* Jones got the idea for the massive video screens while watching a similar effect at a Celine Dion concert in Las Vegas.

* The stadium, Sports Illustrated summarizes, "is undeniably a doozy.''

It will sicken Dallasites to learn that their political leaders lacked the foresight to know that Jones is an "adder-oner,'' as he tells SI. Translation: Arlington is locked in at a contribution of $325 mil for what was to be a $650 mil price tag. Guess what happens with any sort of construction like this? The cost balloons. Guess what happens with any Jones project? Wanting it to be the best, he adds "doodads.''

Next thing you know, this building will cost $1 billion. So the city gets a bargain. … and Jones gets the bill. And, of course, the occasional critic who, as SI cleverly notes, sees here "a pharaoh throwing up his pyramid.''

A shrine to himself? A tribute to his own genius?

I'm sticking with "Jerryassic Park.''

CowboysHQ Top Stories