OXNARD, Calif. — Jerry and Stephen Jones can be rightfully criticized for their management of the Dallas Cowboys, but what no one can say of either man is that they are not gracious hosts. Or that they do not know how to party.The Joneses are the life of every party, and they want everyone invited to their party. The more the merrier, who cares how it looks? If after more than 20 years in the National Football League every other team and league executive does not know this, they are either blind, deaf or just stupid.Jerry wants to win football games, make money, and have a lot of fun … not necessarily in that order.Last week, TMZ cameras caught the NFL vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, stepping off the famous Dallas Cowboys RV in downtown Los Angeles with team VP Stephen Jones.Also last week, thanks to TMZ, a handful of unflattering photos surfaced of Jerry years ago with younger females. The photos have since been revealed to be a part of a bizarre extortion plot, years ago, to bilk Jerry out of his money.The end results of both photos are the same — they just look bad.Jerry, never shy of a microphone, has not addressed the media for a week. When he did not address reporters after the Cowboys’ preseason game in San Diego on Thursday that was the red flag. That never happens.On Saturday after Cowboys practice, he went to great lengths to avoid reporters.I have personally received emails asking why myself, and the local media in FWd, have not addressed these photos that are just about everywhere on the Google machine. Because, initially, this gossip had no bearing on anything. Now, however, it does appear there was criminal intent to extort Jerry.Think whatever you want of Jerry, but this is not some elected official held to a perceived higher standard of behavior that so many of those fail to achieve. What Jerry has become, through largely his own actions, is a celebrity. It’s 2014, and celebrities enjoy a separate standard, which bites both ways. He is a target.This is not the case of former Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton with a series of unflattering photos with women at spring training in ’09; that was a question of Hamilton having a relapse with his highly publicized fight against substance abuse, and the possibility of being suspended by MLB.This is not a case of the media peering in to the former fiancée of Mavs forward Dirk Nowtizki, who later turned out to be a fraud and a crook of the highest order.In the end, this is a personal issue, but because of Jerry’s status as a public figure and a celebrity it makes him not only a target, but when criminality is potentially involved, very much newsworthy.There is a 100 percent chance he will have to address this uncomfortable issue with a “no comment,” or an actual answer. It is not fair, but this is 2014.In keeping with the TMZ theme, their cameras caught Blandino stepping off the Cowboys’ RV in LA last week with Stephen Jones.According to a report by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, several league officials were highly disturbed by the appearance of a high-ranking league official having a special relationship with a high-ranking member of the Cowboys that could affect competitive balance. In theory, Blandino’s “night out” crosses the line between professional and personal, thus creating a perception of favoritism.Let me just tell you — Jerry and Stephen are everybody’s favorite. There is not a league official out there who either has not stepped in, or does not want to be invited on, that magical bus.“One of the things we do, when we’re not practicing, is we entertain a lot,” Jerry told TMZ’s cameras in Beverly Hills on Friday night. “That is just part of our entertainment with the Cowboys.”If Jerry and Stephen are trying to buy favor with league officials, they are doing a terrible job of that, too. All of their “resources” and favoritism with the officials have netted one playoff win since 1996.The NFL is a billion-dollar business, but it is also a giant frat house.“I can’t think of another owner in the league who wouldn’t be [angry] after seeing that,” a league official told La Canfora.Here is the problem — there is no other owner in the league like Jerry.And, as we have seen this past week, that can bite both ways.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @MacEngelProf