Jerry Jones rumbled into Dallas, Texas like a drunken Brahma bull stumbling into a Helzberg Diamonds store. What he didn’t destroy, he crapped all over.
First, he ignored the fact that he had one of the NFL’s greatest icons still occupying the head coach’s office and brought in his equally brash and classless drinking buddy Jimmy Johnson to share a few beers and talk about the hijacking of America’s team. He did this, supposedly, on the sly, but the bumbling, stumbling, moronic dufus just happened to pick Tom Landry’s favorite Mexican restaurant to lay out the plans for his coup.
Next, he took the bigger-than-life, iconic Tex Schramm to Austin, where Tom Landry was golfing to make the architect of America’s Team unceremoniously fire America’s coach. It would not be long before Schramm would be gone, as well, and Dallasites would learn that the Arkansan who struggled to put together a coherent sentence would be involved in everything regarding the Cowboys, right down to the “jocks and socks.”
A couple of Super Bowls later, Jones and Johnson would be oiled up, celebrating their second world championship. They were celebrating in the same place, but not together. With the alcoholic truth serum in his blood stream, Johnson showed Jones how he really felt about his meddling and glory-hogging ways, snubbing his offer of a toast and all but dropping his pants and mooning the equally-oiled owner.
So Jones fired him.
For the record, I pretty much agree with Jones’ assessment of Bill Parcells. His act gets real old real fast. He is delusional, convinced that, while he may not have invented the game of football, he did perfect it— and he understands it better than any man alive…perhaps better than any man who ever lived.
Jones’ problem with Parcells, however, is the same as his problem with Landry, Schramm, and Johnson. His ego just will not abide the presence of any man whose personality or ability might detract from the spotlight he craves. Jerry Jones is a junkie: Attention and acclaim are his drugs.
What’s more, the rogue billionaire is a sloppy drunk. Get a little beer in him and the man who would be king is little more than his own court jester. All you need is access and a phone cam and you might just catch the stumbling, bumbling owner of the Ghost of America’s Team actually being honest.
Jones’ confession that he brought Parcells in to calm down his own critics and pave the way for him to build his new play pretty on the Prairie is as honest a statement as any of us will ever hear the glorified used car salesman make.
If Jerry Jones is not proof solid that cash cannot buy class, then no one is. If Jerry Jones is not evidence that the richest man in the room is not always the smartest, then who is?
Isn’t it sadly symbolic that a few days after Texas Stadium was blown to smithereens, we were reminded in no uncertain terms that— the glories of the past be damned— the drunken dufus has his unsteady hand on the wheel and we are swerving into the future, expletives flying and dignity dying.
But we have a shiny new stadium with plenty of beer spickets, so we can all get drunk and drown out the quiet little voice that whispers, “The Cowboys organization you love and remember so fondly is dead and that slobbering, stumbling billionaire who is definitely NOT smarter than a fifth grader is the drunken SOB that drove it off the cliff.”
First of all, let's get this obvious truth out of the way: Tom Landry was pure class in public and in private. Now regarding Jerry Jones, I'm not sure I see this is a much of an issue of "class" as much as stupidity. There are countless testimonies documenting Tex Schramm's lack of class from former well-respected players, but Tex was a master marketer of image probably better than anyone the NFL has ever seen. Jerry is also a master marketer but has never seemed interested in projecting a classy image for himself. Does Jerry lack class? Absolutely! But that's an easy call to make for anyone with a YouTube account. I see both Jones and Schramm as men with huge egos devoting their lives to building a legacy for themselves, but in much different ways. I think their personalities are the driving forces behind their opposing approaches to building/maintaining the image of the Dallas Cowboys, but I don't think "class" is exclusively defined by what is seen or heard in the public forum, especially the one Jones is subjected to these days. (By the way, Gene, welcome back to the promised land)