Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was not present when the NFL announced the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas during a press conference Monday morning at the NFL owners meeting at the posh Biltmore Hotel.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was there, as was Raiders owner Mark Davis.
But while Jones wasn’t there, know that the deal couldn’t have happened without his involvement, input and influence.
It was Jones who brought in Bank of America to help finance the deal when other banks and investors bailed on Davis.
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Jones told the Star-Telegram on Monday that he made many trips to Las Vegas to help get the deal done.
Now it’s up to Jones via Legends, the hospitality and marketing company he co-owns with the family of George Steinbrenner, who will sell the stadium to the public in terms of suites, sponsorships and naming rights.
“Legends is important,” Jones said to me. “They need Legends to sell.”
Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group wrote a comprehensive piece on Jones’ power, influence and impact on not just the Raiders’ deal but the NFL.
This is another example of why Jones is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and a continuation of what has been a fantastic year for the Cowboys owner, on and off the field.
It was one that began with the Cowboys opening a new headquarters and indoor stadium with the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.
It continued on the field with the Cowboys winning the NFC East with a 13-3 record and discovering a franchise quarterback of the future in Dak Prescott as well as a star running back in Ezekiel Elliott to serve as foundational pieces for years to come.
He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame during Super Bowl LI week in Houston in February.
And he now he stands to gain millions with the Raiders moving to Las Vegas in terms of the relocation fee to the Cowboys and personally with Legends spear-heading everything in sales and marketing.
Consider that it was Jones who pushed the deal through for St. Louis Rams to relocate to Los Angeles roughly 15 months ago.
Not coincidentally, Legends is selling the suites and sponsorships for the new stadium in Los Angeles.
Legends also had a hand in the San Francisco 49ers deal for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Legends sold out the suites and sponsorships there.
When the 49ers, the Rams, the Chargers, who will share the stadium in Los Angeles, and, now, the Raiders win off the field, it’s also a win for Jones.
No press conference necessary.