Jones shares spot­light

Along with wife Gene, Cow­boys owner melded fam­ily and foot­ball, turned fail­ing team into three-time NFL cham­pi­ons.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Clarence E. Hill Jr. Fort Worth Star-Tele­gram

An un­likely, un­con­ven­tional, rebellious but swash­buck­ling jour­ney that be­gan in 1989 ended in the game’s place of honor Satur­day.

Jerry Jones — who once tried to bor­row money from the no­to­ri­ous Team­sters Union to buy the San Diego Charg­ers decades be­fore buy­ing the Cow­boys — is an out­sider no more.

He be­came a fully made man with his in­duc­tion into the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame be­fore more than 1,000 friends, fam­ily, for­mer play­ers and coaches. The en­tire Cow­boys team and thou­sands of Cow­boys fans at­tended the cer­e­mony at Tom Ben­son Hall of Fame Sta­dium.

Jones shined brightly with cus­tom-made gold Nike shoes given to him by Nike owner Phil Knight to go with his Hall of Fame gold jacket, sit­ting next to his wife, Gene, dressed strik­ingly and all in white.

She has been the bright light for 54 years of mar­riage and she was his pre­sen­ter Satur­day night be­cause — more than all the ti­tles, mar­ket­ing, pro­mo­tional and sta­dium deals — she rep­re­sented his jour­ney to the Hall of Fame.

Gene Jones, who has at­tended 597 con­sec­u­tive Cow­boys games, was the per­fect sym­bol of Jones’ love of fam­ily and foot­ball. That was the point that Jones, who en­tered the league as a cocky oil and gas wild­cat­ter from Arkansas and shook up the NFL’s but­toned-up es­tab­lish­ment,

JOE ROB­BINS / GETTY IMAGES

Dal­las owner Jerry Jones ad­dressed the crowd at the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame in­duc­tion cer­e­monies for nearly 37 min­utes Satur­day, thank­ing count­less play­ers and coaches who were part of his 29 years with the Cow­boys.

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