IRVING, Texas -- Last Saturday, Eddie DeBartolo was selected for induction into Pro Football Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game.
As owner of the San Francisco 49ers, he presided over one of the greatest runs by an organization in NFL history. The Niners won just four of their first 32 games CHECK under DeBartolo but in 1979 he hired Bill Walsh and drafted Joe Montana. By 1981 San Francisco won a Super Bowl. They would win three more Super Bowls.
During his time the Niners won 13 division titles, made 16 playoff appearances and played in the NFC Championship Game 10 times.
His players loved him.
As far as contributions to the game, however, DeBartolo's résumé is built -- proudly -- on winning. And that's not a knock on DeBartolo, who was suspended by the league for his involvement in a corruption case that ultimately led him to hand over control of the franchise.
If DeBartolo is a Hall of Famer, then it will be just a matter of time before Jones finds himself in Canton, Ohio, as well.
Jones has three Super Bowl wins as owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys became the first team to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span when they took home Super Bowl XXX in 1995.
The Cowboys have made 13 playoff appearances under Jones. In 2014, Jones was named the Executive of the Year for the Cowboys' 12-4 record.
The Cowboys have not played in a conference championship game since 1995. Only the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins have a longer drought in the NFC, and the Cowboys had the worst record in the conference in 2015, finishing 4-12.
What makes Jones' résumé Hall of Fame worthy, are his contributions to the game.
But Jones helped transform the NFL with his business instincts. In the early 1990s, CBS and NBC asked for a reduction in rights fees because they maintained they were losing about $75 million a year. Former Cleveland owner Art Modell, the chairman of the broadcast committee, wanted to give a $238 million rebate and a two-year extension.
That would have cost the owners $8.5 million each. Jones and former Philadelphia Eagles owner
Norman Braman got together enough votes to block the vote. The owners instead settled on a $1 million reduction per team.
Jones was added to the league's television committee and was directly involved in negotiations.
Fox outbid CBS by more than $100 million a season as it got into the NFL business.
Now the television deals bring in $4.95 billion a year to the NFL.
Jones played a big part in the most recent collective bargaining agreement between the owners and NFL Players Association and just last month he helped broker the return of the NFL to Los Angeles.
Going into to the relocation meeting it appeared as if the San Diego Chargers/Oakland Raiders partnership for a new stadium in Carson, California, had the inside track. Jones favored the Inglewood, California, site held by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
The final vote was 30-2 in favor of the Rams moving back to Los Angeles and the Chargers holding an option to join them. If they don't use the option by 2017, the Raiders will have the option to join the Rams.
Jones estimated Kroenke's plan could generate $15 billion for the NFL.
The Cowboys' home in Arlington, Texas, AT&T Stadium, is the best in the NFL, although that is likely to end when the new stadium in Los Angeles is built. This summer the Cowboys will move into new practice facility called The Star at Ford Center that will be complete with an Omni hotel, high-end shopping and a 12,000-seat indoor stadium this summer after a partnership with the city of Frisco, Texas.
Jones' marketing push made other teams keep up with him or fall behind. The NFL actually sued Jones for his outside agreements with the likes of Pepsi and Nike, and he countersued. He was a wildcatter then. Now he is the ultimate insider.
Jones will forever be scorned by a legion of Cowboys fans for the firing of Tom Landry, which Jones has admitted he handled poorly. Others will not forgive him for the departure of Jimmy Johnson after the 1993 season in which fans are left to wonder if the Cowboys could have won more Super Bowls had Johnson stayed.
More still will rail on him for the Super Bowl drought and continue to wonder if Jerry the owner should fire Jerry the general manager, especially after a 4-12 finish in 2015.
Those people will cringe at the thought of Jones wearing a gold jacket, but they fail to recognize the contributions to the game.
No owner has “grown the pie,” a term Jones loves and one commissioner Roger Goodell uses often, more than Jones.
And that's why he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.