The Cowboys list Jerry Jones as their owner, president and general manager. The Pro Football Hall of Fame assigned him an even more important title Tuesday — contributor.
Jones became one of the two contributor nominees for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, which could put him in the company of the Tom Landrys, Roger Staubachs and Emmitt Smiths with a gold jacket this February. Nominated along with Jones was former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
The contributor category was established in 2015 to give deserving candidates who didn’t play the game a chance for their contributions to be recognized. General managers Bill Polian and Ron Wolf were the first two nominees in 2015 and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. the lone nominee in 2016. All were elected for enshrinement.
Jones bought the Cowboys, hired the coach and bankrolled a team that became the first in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a span of four years. But championships rings are merely a prerequisite for a candidate to enter the discussion. There are 10 owners in the Hall of Fame and all of them won titles.
The strength of the Jones candidacy is his impact on the marketing of the NFL. He single-handedly altered the NFL’s financial dynamic and changed the way the league does business.