Being involved in a family business is one thing, but it takes on a whole new meaning when your family owns the Dallas Cowboys. While Jerry Jones is the most visible member of the family, his wife and three children are all involved in the day-to-day operations of the team.
Jerry and his wife, Gene Jones, have three children together: Stephen, Charlotte and Jerry Jr. Football is all the family has known for the better part of 30 years. Jerry may wear many hats, but his children insist he has never forgotten his role as a father.
“My mom and dad stressed the importance of family,” Charlotte told the Dallas Morning News. “It was family first. At dance recitals and school events, my parents were always there. They gave us the gift of their presence.”
Learn more about the family behind the Dallas star.
1. Gene & Jerry Got Married After Their Sophomore Year at Arkansas in 1963
Jerry and Gene were the kind of couple you see in old movies. Gene won the 1960 Miss Arkansas USA while Jerry played college football at Arkansas. According to Texas Monthly, the couple got married in 1963 after their sophomore year of college.
Gene spoke with The Dallas Morning News about her husband’s affinity for their children.
“There are so many stories,” Gene told The Dallas Morning News. “Stephen was the first child to leave home for college. Fayetteville isn’t that far from Little Rock. So one day Stephen wakes up at school and finds Jerry asleep in the bunk above him in his dorm room.”
2. Jerry Once Made Stephen Jones Apply to Wendy’s
Stephen Jones is the oldest child in the Jones family. Stephen wears multiple hats for the Cowboys with the following three titles: Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel. In addition to his business responsibilities, Stephen plays a big role for the Cowboys in roster decisions.
The Jones family had a rule that required their children to get a job once they were old enough to work. Jerry bent the rule slightly for Stephen to focus on football. Jerry recalled the conversation he had with his son.
“You’re going to have this football and training regimen,” Jerry told The Dallas Morning News. “I don’t think you can do that and have a job. You have to treat football like a job. You don’t take a day off. You don’t skip work. Do we have a deal?”
After Jerry came home one day to find Stephen throwing a pool party, he took him to Wendy’s the next day to interview for a job. Jerry had a change of heart before Stepheb started his new fast food job, and gave him one more chance.
3. Jerry Moved His Office Location to Watch His Son’s High School Football Practices
Despite Jerry’s various business interests, he wanted to stay involved with his family. One example came in the drastic measures he took to keep up with Stephen’s high school practices. Stephen recalled to The Dallas Morning News his father’s strategy in moving offices.
“When I began high school, he moved his offices to a building that overlooked the practice field,” Stephen told The Dallas Morning News. “It was on the eighth floor. I’ll never forget. He moved strictly to watch me practice for the next four years. When he was out of the office traveling, he would ask his assistant to tell him how I was doing. ‘Is he completing passes? Is he running?’ He would make her go over to the window and watch practice.”
Stephen was being looked at to play college football at Princeton and Arkansas. Jerry preferred Stephen get an ivy league education, but Stephen wanted to play for Arkansas. Jerry compromised by insisting Stephen take on the most difficult major. Stephen earned a degree in chemical engineering at Arkansas.
4. Jerry Fired His Daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Twice For Not Spending Enough Money
Jerry has no issues firing people if things are not going his way. He has tried to fire his daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, two times.
“I’ve been fired twice over budget issues and it’s because I didn’t spend enough,” Charlotte told The Dallas Morning News. “It didn’t last long.”
The firings never really held, and Charlotte is the Cowboys Executive Vice President as well as the Chief Brand Officer. Charlotte is a big reason why AT&T Stadium has hosted marquee events like the NCAA Final Four, Super Bowl XLV and the College Football Championship. Charlotte is married to Shy Anderson and the couple has three children: Haley, Shy and Paxton.
5. Jerry Jones Jr. Is the Cowboys Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
Jerry Jones Jr. handles many aspects of the Cowboys business operations as the Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Jerry Jr. has been involved in several different projects including the building of The Star, the Cowboys new practice facility, as well as the team’s season ticket sales.
Jerry Jr. described a shrewd business deal his father did with Nike’s Phil Knight while Reebok was the official NFL sponsor.
“I remember when I was still in law school, we went to visit Nike and Phil Knight and Howard Slusher,” Jerry Jr. told The Dallas Morning News. “Nike was not involved in the NFL then. It was Reebok. My dad said, ‘Look, I can’t do something with the Cowboys, but I sure can do something with the stadium. I can put Nike all over the stadium. Now, I can’t put it on the sideline or on the gear the coaches wear, but I can keep Reebok from putting it there.'”
Jerry Jr. is married to Lori Jones and the couple have two children: James and Mary Chambers.