Here is the scene:
The NFL owners and players are sitting at the long board room table with their federal mediator trying to hammer out a collective bargaining agreement in the wee hours before the deadline runs out. Jerry Jones has his seat next to Jerry Richardson, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, with Robert Craft, the owner of the New England Patriots, one seat farther over.
And here is what happened:
Jerry Jones channelled his inner Jerry Maguire in an attempt to create another media circus surrounding the always outspoken Cowboys’ owner. According to Sports Illustrated, Jones took the whole room by surprise with what he would say next,
"“I don’t think we’ve got your attention,” Jones said to the players. “You clearly don’t understand what we’re saying, and we’re not hearing what you’re saying. So I guess we are going to have to show you to get your attention.”"
Jerry then stood up to storm out of the room in an attempt to try to get his fellow owners to proceed out right behind him. Si’s Jim Trotter said that Panthers’ owner Richardson also stood up about to walk out before he was grabbed on the forearm by Patriots owner Robert Craft.
Well once again Jones has the media wondering what Jerry was thinking. This latest episode comes on the heels of another disappointing season for his team and a Super Bowl seating fiasco.
Jones intentions were to provide a strong stance for the owners against the players, but instead Jones came off as the arrogant billionaire who is seeking even more money. Jones was upset about the expense credit over which the owners and players have bickered for two years now.
In the whole labor mess, I can understand the sides of both the players and the owners. The players are the ones risking their life on the football field, and it is their position that they ought to share more in the revenue created by the league. On the other hand, the owners insist that they are the ones taking all the risk. If the team loses and fails to make money, then the owners are the one who lose their money.
The owners made a last second offer to players which was more for show than actual progress in the negotiations.
Jerry Jones has been mainly out of the public eye since the Super Bowl. He has only made a short public appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine weeks ago, but there have been no shortages of stories to write on Jones. As Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote, “The hits on Jerry keep coming.”
SportDFW’s JD Moore also wrote earlier this month that Jerry Jones may be losing his grip or his mojo. He was once considered to be a revolutionary type of owner, now he is taking as much grief as any of the NFL’s owners. From the worst mistake in Super Bowl history to the recent tirade directed at the players, Jerry is looking more like a Daniel Snyder figure than a Robert Craft.
Craft, the owner of the Patriots, is an even-keeled and methodical leader of one of the NFL’s most successful franchises over the past decade. He has directed a team that has won 3 Super Bowls and consistently restocked its shelves with talent. Rarely does Craft make the news except for when his team has won another division championship.
Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Redskins, often makes news for knee-jerk signings that are an attempt to buy a winning team. The 100 million dollar deal that Snyder gave to Albert Haynesworth is now the biggest joke of the last 5 years in the NFL. Snyder also frequently makes news for other soundbites and questionable decisions. Rarely does the press given to Daniel Snyder have anything to do with the success of the Washington Redskins. Snyder may know football very well and may be dedicated to producing a winner, but his success has been limited and bad press frequent.
Jones has become a similar figure to Snyder. The news around his Cowboys last season had everything to do with Jones statement that his team would be the first to play in a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Long story short, loss after loss for the Cowboys led to a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, and a call for a roster overhaul. Then the Super Bowl press reflected negatively on Jones, and once again his name has been brought up for all the wrong reasons.
Jerry is a masterful negotiator, and in the long run, I believe Jones will be looked back on as a successful NFL owner, but as for now, as for 2011, Jones is going through the Amen Corner of his NFL career.