The best question of the day came from a reporter with a British accent.
He apparently didn’t read one of the unwritten rules of covering the Dallas Cowboys:
“Do not tease the owner.”
“Jerry,” the gentleman said Thursday, “as an owner you’ve also done some acting — BASEketball, Entourage, The League.
“Now that you’re in the UK, any chance we might see you in Downton Abbey or anything like that?”
The media audience giggled at the thought of PBS Jerry, hee-hawing about Crawley House.
But Owner Jones couldn’t help but answer the question.
“I’m complimented by the fact that you mentioned the word ‘acting’ when you’ve said I’ve done some,” Jerry said.
“I’ve had some good times. Boy, I’ll tell you what. I really enjoy those that have all of the setup, the eye candy and all of the stuff that goes with making movies.
“All that’s good stuff.”
Yes, he really said “eye candy.”
He can’t help himself, can he? It’s Jerry’s world, and he’s bought up all the tickets.
Jones’ press conference Thursday at Allianz Park, the Cowboys’ London practice home, was supposed to last 10 minutes. Jones talked for nearly 30, before his press aide, Rich Dalrymple, pronounced it over.
“Am I through?” Jerry asked, sounding disappointed.
Here in the birthplace of the King’s English, Owner Jones — lord of the run-on sentence — clearly was in midseason form.
A question from a Florida reporter about Jacksonville owner Shahid “Shad” Khan quickly lapsed into a Jones defense of his own “socks and jocks” ownership style.
“I’ve always felt the more you’re involved the better it is,” said Jones, whose owner-involved team has won only two playoff games since winning the Super Bowl 19 years ago.
“It’s really been amusing to me to get the criticism for being as involved as I am. You go into any other discipline, any other occupation, and if that owner is down there picking the trash up off the floor, sorting the produce or sitting there rearranging the stock, or if he’s down there greeting the customers or on the manufacturing floor, he’s on top of things. He’s interested in it. He’s got pride in what he’s doing.
“But you do that in sports, and all of sudden, you’re not where you’re supposed to be. You’re meddling. You’re interfering.
“Of course, I smile about that.”
Jones smiled as he talked about a lot of things Thursday. He recalled his first visit to London as Cowboys owner and a cherished souvenir he took home. (No, not the Sky Mirror.)
“One of the greatest feelings I have is the picture of Princess Di and her young men there with Cowboys jerseys on,” Jones said.
Another question, this one about Jerry’s professed Welsh ancestry, led to Jones retelling the old story about the 1989 day that Elizabeth Taylor presided over the pregame coin flip. Liz arrived and walked to midfield, arm in arm with Jerry, where shaken referee Pat Haggerty mistakenly allowed Cleopatra to call the flip instead of the visiting Redskins.
Jones botched the dismount Thursday, changing the story’s ending.
But he spared no superlatives when talking about the NFL’s future in London.
“Speaking for the Dallas Cowboys, we very much would like to have a team in London,” Jones said. “It has cachet. It has an air about it of international competition. I think London is probably one of two or three cities outside of the United States that really does have all of the criteria that I would look at for having an NFL team.”
Other Jones topics Thursday included his recollection of a 280-pound Russian who could “actually stand on the floor in a normal room and kick a chandelier.” The Cowboys scouted him.
Billionaire Jones also tossed in his two cents about his injured quarterback, Tony Romo.
“Only God knows what’s in store for his back,” Jerry said.
In another breath, Jones had also gushed, “I’m planning on him having at least five years of playing at a level that would allow us to be possible contenders.”
Yes, he said five years.
Nobody asked Owner Jones whether he worried that, by then, Romo would be 39 and have had five more back surgeries.
Instead, as Jones suggested out of nowhere, Romo is going to make an excellent offensive coordinator — “when he grows up.”
It was all good stuff Thursday.
I’m guessing, though, that PBS might want to put Downton Abbey in lockdown, at least until Sunday.