Of all the owners in the NFL, few (if any) are as polarizing as Jerry Jones. He has been the owner of the Dallas Cowboys for decades and despite most other owners having a fairly non-public role with their teams, Jerry Jones doesn’t really believe in that philosophy. He’s on the front lines every week.
Jones loves the spotlight and will never shy away from making a comment about anything happening in the NFL world. As a result of his love for the public eye, he finds himself in the middle of a lot of different controversies. This article will look at 10 of the most controversial moments in the history of Jerry Jones.
10. Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell
The most recent controversy that Jones has found himself in involves NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell suspended Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games in accordance to league’s domestic violence policy, and Jones obviously wasn’t very happy about his star player being taken out of the game for that long.
Jones said he was going to come at Goodell with everything he has and even briefly attempted to have Goodell removed as commissioner (he eventually threatened to sue the league, before backing off). This is a huge deal, since they are two of the most powerful people in the entire NFL. This feud is just heating up and no one knows how it will end or what will happen, although Elliott eventually ended the appeal of his suspension and Jones appears to have settled down a bit with the lawsuit talk.
9. His “High Visibility” With the Team
When it comes to naming NFL owners, there is a good chance most fans can name less than ten. However, one guy that would surely be on everyone’s list in Jerry Jones. He always seems to be in the news and whenever something happens with the Cowboys, you can be sure that Jones will be right in the middle of it. He’s the only owner in the league who refuses to hire a General Manager, decided to personally take on the day-to-day tasks of personnel decisions.
While it isn’t always a bad thing that he is in the public eye, trying to be the face of the team you own can often take away from the team itself, and the efforts of the coaches and players. While they would never say it publicly, there is a chance that Jones constantly being in the public eye is a distraction to the team and could affect how they play.
8. His Involvement With Moving the Rams Back to Los Angeles
In 2016, Jerry Jones was an instrumental part of Stan Kroenke’s plan to get the Rams back to Los Angeles after many years in St. Louis. He helped broker a deal between everyone involved and was instrumental in getting the Inglewood stadium plan passed.
Of course, football fans in St. Louis criticized his involvement and were not very happy with the role Jones played in their beloved Rams skipping town. While the new L.A. Rams are doing well on the field, who knows how much longer that will last? And the Chargers are back in L.A. too, meaning there’s suddenly an oversaturation of football. All we know is that the people of St. Louis are not the biggest fans of Jerry Jones after that.
7. Saying That Players Who Disrespect The Flag Wouldn’t Play
The whole situation surrounding the national anthem protests has been one of the biggest stories in the NFL this season. And Jones made his thoughts about it very clear. In fact, Jones stated publicly that any player on his team who “disrespects the flag” by kneeling or protesting the anthem would not play.
It was a very strong statement and one that has a lot of people (and likely some NFL players) upset with him over the perceived violation of free speech. This might come as a surprise to some, since Jones knelt with his players earlier in the season, but that was before the anthem played. Everyone stood up for the song, so it nothing more than a photo op for Jones.
6. His Potential Tampering with Adrian Peterson
While Adrian Peterson is now a member of the Arizona Cardinals, let’s flash back a few years to 2014 to when he was still one of the best backs in the game as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. When his contract was set to end, there were plenty of rumors that he wanted to head to the Cowboys and play behind that amazing offensive line in Dallas.
It has been alleged that Peterson had called Jones to express interest, with Jones feeling the same way. The problem is that it’s considered tampering if a player under contract speaks in such a way with executives from another team. So while Jones might not have started the conversation, he also didn’t do anything to stop it. The NFL didn’t investigate the matter too hard, but we doubt it’s the first time Jones had attempted to bend the rules in his favor.
5. His Mistreatment of Tom Landry
When it comes to the most beloved coaches in Cowboys history, Tom Landry has to be at or near the top of the list. He served as their coach for 29 years and had 20 straight winning seasons, and even won a few Super Bowls. However, when Jones became the owner of the Cowboys in 1989, he got rid of Landry almost immediately without notice and hired a former teammate in Jimmy Johnson.
Sure, Landry wasn’t doing too well anymore as a coach and the move was fine in a business sense, many Cowboys (and NFL) fans were upset with the way Jones went about it, not giving Landry his proper due as a long-tenured and successful head coach. Even Jones himself later said he wishes he would have done things a little bit differently.
4. When He Offered His Support For Bob McNair After Questionable Comments
With race relations seemingly being the biggest talking point in the recent NFL seasons thanks to one Colin Kaepernick, one incident stands out as probably the worst. Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, made a comment in which he said that the ongoing NFL national anthem protests were akin to letting inmates run the prison.
This, of course, was a horrific thing to say and had many players and fans alike furious, since the protesting players were almost entirely black (or other minorities). It’s the kind of casual, unintentional racism that desperately needs to be excluded from the NFL. Rather than criticize his fellow owner (or at the very least just shut up and say nothing, Jones basically spoke out for how great McNair was and how he was the victim in this whole ordeal, which is obviously quite a stretch.
3. Inappropriate and Racist Comment He Made on Video
Despite this incident only being made public recently, the video in question was actually recorded back in 2013. A groom-to-be saw Jones and wanted him to provide a message to the woman he was about to marry. He began the video by offering her a congratulations of the wedding, but then things got a little weird.
After the standard start, Jones said “now, you know he’s with a black girl tonight, right?” It was wildly inappropriate. Even though some people awkwardly laughed in the video, most would agree this is not something to laugh about. While he has apologized for the comments, why anyone would feel the need to make this comment in the first place is beyond us.
2. His Alleged Sexual Assault
Jerry Jones is a self-reported family man and someone who has been married to his wife for decades. However, it appears as if his wife isn’t the only woman Jones has shown interest in over the years. Back in 2009, a woman reported that Jones had forcibly touched her, kissed her, and made her fondle him.
The case eventually got dismissed, but it came out a few years later that Jones has allegedly paid her off in exchange for her silence. All in all, this is a terrible situation and Jones should be ashamed of the things he did that night.
1. That Racy Picture With Much Younger Ladies
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, they are right. A few years ago, some pictures surfaced of Jones looking pretty drunk and in some “precarious” positions with a few young ladies. Now if you remember, Jones is married and these ladies, as it turned out, were strippers. These photos look pretty bad and there is no arguing they are him.
Jones has since said that these photos were “misrepresented,” but that seems like a too-convenient excuse. Also, these photos were allegedly taken in 2009, and happen to be taken the same night as the alleged sexual assault. In fact, the women who filed the sexual assault claim against him has said she was the person who took these photos.