Jerry Jones and The Dallas Cowboys: The Greatest At What He Does


When all is said and done Jerry Jones is going to go down as one of the greatest marketing geniuses in NFL history.  He has taken a 140 million dollar investment in the Dallas Cowboys and made it into the richest NFL sports franchise.

Jones is regarded as one of the most brilliant NFL marketing innovators of all time, as he has been at the forefront of many of the changes that has made the NFL the mega money making giant it is.

While Jones’s successes in his private endeavors have not translated into success on the football field as the Cowboys have not won a Super Bowl in seventeen years and had few playoff victories over the same period, Jones has won the Super Bowl Trophy for both making money and himself the face of the Dallas Cowboys.

Maybe that is all the counts for Jones.

Vilified in some circles for his care only about himself attitude, Jones has also help make money for the other owners in the league—just not as much as he has made for himself, as the NFL continues to be the most lucrative sports league in the world.

The 32 teams in the NLF are worth, on average, $1.17 billion, 5% more than last year, and the Cowboys are worth 2.3 billion according to Forbes magazine. Jones also has the prettiest stadium in the land.

Who could blame Jones for being a glutton when it comes to money, it is the American way.

Jones narcissistic and controlling aspects of his persona have made him successful in his business endeavors.  His need to be the center of attention is well documented with his radio show, television appearances and his immersion with the Cowboy operations.

To say that Jones has a long track record of doing things his way and is a micro-manger is an understatement.  His lack of success as the teams GM has led him to openly admit that he would have fired himself.

Owners have every right to run their businesses the way they wish to. There is little argument here that those that pay the bills can do as they wish.  But Jones vehemently states that he wants to win but does not!

One of the most frequently questions I ask people is that if your methods are not achieving your goals-then why are you still using them?  Most frequently people are fearful of trying new things or making changes, in their behaviors and attitudes.

They are uncomfortably familiar—meaning that while they do want to change they take predictability and safety over doing things differently.  I have little doubt that Jones does want to win as badly as he professes.

However, looked at in this manner it would be very difficult for Jones to give up the adulation and attention he is getting.  He would have to sublimate his primary need for attention be it positive or negative, for the greater need of winning.

At this point in time that does not seem possible for Jones despite the fact that the Cowboys get consistently derided for these obvious glaring deficiencies and poor decision making at the top.

One has to wonder what kind of individual would want to work for Jones under these circumstances.

Jimmy Johnson had the common sense to leave before he got swallowed up by Jones ego and the only other coach of notability was Bill Parcells, and one might image what went on between those two!  Other than that we pretty much have had one no name after the other.

Being micro-managed is one of the most frequent complaints that workers have.  It serves to both undermine their sense of competency while at the same time having the effect of making them less motivated and loyal.

Common sense suggests that workers know more about their specific jobs than others do, but that rarely stops middle management or owners from imposing their wills. They have to have something to do! The television show Under Cover Boss has had its instructive and illuminating  moments for both employees and employers.

So why work for Jones in any capacity?  Perhaps it is those individuals who are able to sublimate their egos and take orders while also understanding that it is better to be a head coach in the NFL than anywhere else.  Or perhaps they could not get a head coaching job anywhere else.

Moreover, there are those who thrive and enjoy being in a highly structured-controlled work environment.  Being told exactly what to do does also has its benefits.  People should be given credit for understanding under what conditions they best function under.

And finally, who could blame anyone for taking a handsome paycheck or any other kind of paycheck in this day and age? Being on the unemployment line is no fun as many Americans have found out these last five years.

Whatever the reasons they are good enough for those who took the job and that is all that counts.

As for Jones his record indicates that he is a far better business man than he is a football general manager.  For Jones it appears that he is going to have to sublimate many of his personal and psychological needs in order to achieve his goals beyond making money. Something he seems unprepared to do at this point in time.







Dr. Richard Lustberg

About Dr. Richard Lustberg

Dr. Lustberg’s On The Couch Column, Blog and Psychology of Sports Podcasts are syndicated on the Internet. He is extensively quoted and published, and is the sole developer and creative force behind The Psychology of Sports. Dr. Lustberg has helped launch and host Psyched Up, a Psychological Podcast addressing pertinent psychological issues for the Suffolk County Psychological Association and Psychology And You for the New York State Psychological Association.

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