CultureSaturday 03.19.22

NFL Owner Jerry Jones’ Latest Scandal Is a Doozy

Even by NFL standards, Jerry Jones’ latest scandal seems purpose-made for the tabloids.

Last week, the president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys was sued by a 25-year-old woman who claims Jones is her biological father — and that he paid her mother $375,000 to keep quiet about it.

Jones’ rap of abrasive and lascivious moments is long. He fired his Super Bowl-winning head coach Jimmy Johnson because he wouldn’t let Jones control the team’s football decisions; disregarded the league’s revenue-sharing agreement while striking his own sponsorship deals; tried to get NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fired because of a player suspension over domestic violence; has shown up in racy photographs with strippers; threatened to bench any player who kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality; and kept an executive on the payroll for six years after he was caught allegedly filming cheerleaders changing in their locker room — and after he took “upskirt photos” of Jones’ own daughter in 2015.

But Jones is also immensely successful, having turned the Cowboys into the world’s most valuable sports franchise (at an estimated $6.5 billion).

In Will’s reckoning, Jerry Jones is as big a villain as Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Commanders, who is being investigated for sexual harassment and oversaw the most toxic workplace in the NFL. The question is, does Jones get too much of a pass from fans, players, and the news media?

The Long Game