Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones will join a small group of owners in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor.
Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is filled with players.

But there aren’t many owners.

Including the Class of 2017, there are more than 300 members in the Hall of Fame.

Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones will be inducted into the Hall on Aug. 5 in Canton as a contributor.

Jones will become the 14th owner recognized in the contributors category to enter the Hall. Jimmy Conzelman and Jim Thorpe had ownership stints, but they are in the Hall of Fame as players.

Jones not only has three Super Bowl titles on his résumé, but he has helped the league reach unprecedented heights through his creative marketing and promotions.

“Everything about the way we experience the game of professional football as fans today is because of Jerry Jones,” said Brad Sham, longtime voice of the Cowboys. “If the category is contributor to the NFL, by any objective standard Jerry Jones is a Hall of Famer.”

During Jones’ ownership, six Cowboys players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They are Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders, Larry Allen and Charles Haley. He was the presenter for Irvin, Smith and Allen.

“He needs a nod. Everybody needs to appreciate the fact that he’s been great for a long time,” said Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis.

Joining Jones in the Class of 2017 are Kenny Easley, former TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, Jason Taylor and Morten Andersen.

Players and coaches must have played or coached at least five seasons before being considered for the Hall. There is no mandatory retirement period for a contributor.

Here’s a look at the owners:

Bert Bell: Former NFL commissioner, owner of Philadelphia Eagles (1933-1940), and co-owner of Pittsburgh Steelers (1941-1946).

Wow factor: He is given credit as a visionary with his attention to television policies and an NFL players association. He proposed a policy to not televise road games to maintain gate receipts.

Charles W. Bidwill Sr.: Owner of Chicago Cardinals (1933-1947)

Wow factor: He dealt the AAFC its most stunning blow with the $100,000 signing of Charley Trippi in 1947. It was his financial help that saved the Bears’ ownership for George Halas in 1932.

Al Davis: Owner of Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1966-2011), former head coach of Oakland Raiders, commissioner of American Football League.

Wow factor: As AFL commissioner, Davis forced a quick merger with the NFL in 1966. He is the only person to serve in the pros as personnel assistant, scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and team owner/chief executive officer. He won three Super Bowls.

Edward DeBartolo Jr. Owner of San Francisco 49ers (1977-2000)

Wow factor: His Niners averaged 13 wins per season, including the playoffs, from 1981 to 1998 (not including the strike-shortened 1982 season). The Niners made the playoffs 16 times and won five Super Bowls.

George Halas Founder and owner of the Decatur Staleys/Chicago Staleys/Chicago Bears (1920-1983), former head coach of Bears and co-founder of NFL.

Wow factor: Owned the team for 64 years. Founded Decatur Staleys and attended league organization meeting in 1920. Coached Bears for 40 seasons with six NFL titles.

Lamar Hunt Founder and owner of Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs (1959-present)

Wow factor: Co-founder of the AFL in 1959. He founded the Dallas Texans in 1960 and moved team to Kansas City in 1963. Spearheaded the merger negotiations with NFL in 1966. Owned franchise for 47 seasons.

Jerry Jones Owner, president and general manger of Dallas Cowboys (1989 to present)

Wow factor: Marketing and promotion guru who set the standard of facility excellence with AT&T Stadium and The Star in Frisco. Architect of one of sports’ biggest-ever television contracts. Also won three Super Bowls.

Tim Mara Founder and owner of New York Giants (1925-1959)

Wow factor: Bought the New York Giants for $500 in 1925 and built franchise into a perennial power with three NFL titles. His franchise featured Red Grange and played games at the Polo Grounds.

Wellington Mara Team administrator and owner of New York Giants (1937-2005)

Wow factor: During his 69 seasons with the Giants, he was assistant to the president and treasurer, secretary, vice president and secretary, president, president and co-chief executive officer. Franchise won four NFL titles, including two Super Bowls. He was NFC president for 17 years.

George Preston Marshall Founder and owner of Boston Braves/Boston Redskins/Washington Redskins (1932-1969)

Wow factor: Flamboyant master showman who pioneered gala halftime pageants. He organized the first team band. Instituted two divisions with title playoffs in 1933. Won two NFL titles.

Dan Reeves Owner of Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams (1941-1971)

Wow factor: First post-war NFL owner to sign an African-American (Kenny Washington in 1946. He also signed Woody Strode in the same year). First to hire a full-time scouting staff. He paved the way to move the Rams from Cleveland to Los Angeles.

Art Rooney Founder and owner of Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers (1933-1988)

Wow factor: Rooney bought Pittsburgh Pirates franchise for $2,500 in 1933 and renamed them Steelers in 1940. Signed fabled Whizzer White in 1938. Won four Super Bowls.

Dan Rooney Team administrator and owner of Pittsburgh Steelers (1955-present)

Wow factor: Joins father Art Rooney as the second father-son combination in the Hall of Fame. Team won six Super Bowls, including two after his induction.

Ralph Wilson, Jr. Founder and owner of Buffalo Bills (1960-2014)

Wow factor: One of the original founders of the AFL. Made an unprecedented four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, but did not win. Played major role in AFL-NFL merger.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame