When Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was 15, his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, was the epicenter of the civil rights movement. Amid efforts to integrate local high schools, protests erupted. White students tried to block black students from entering the building.
In a new article looking at Jones’s potential impact on the NFL’s efforts to improve its admittedly deplorable history of hiring minority head coaches, Washington Post finds a photo of 15-year-old Jones. Here he stands among protesters at a North Little Rock high school blocking the path of six black students.
Sixty-five years later, Jones attributes his presence to curiosity that defied his football coach’s orders.
Jim Albright, according to Jones, told the team that he “didn’t want to see any of you fools before entering this school tomorrow.” Jones claims (because, really, what else can he say?) that he was there to observe, not to participate.
“I don’t know if I or anyone else foresaw or knew about it. . . what was involved,” Jones said Mail. – It was more interesting.
On the one hand, he was then 15 years old. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine someone who is just curious with such a prominent place, given that there were certainly many others who were there not to watch, but to interfere.
A lengthy article focuses on Jones’ employment practices with the Cowboys. He never hired a black head coach and had a limited number of minority coordinators on his payroll. Former Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen, whose live editorials challenging the team are legendary. Mail that Jones could be a force for change among his NFL peers.
Jones disagrees with Hansen’s main point. Question Mail whether he has this “extraordinary ability” to effect change, Jones said, “Yes. I want to say that I understand it.”
He also seems to understand the basic truth that the hiring process is still driven by relationships and familiarity, not mere merit.
“It’s not tic-tac-toe,” Jones told reporters. Mail. “This is not Jimmy and Joe. This is someone you know.”
It is also something that the owner knows what the owner wants to do. In 2003, Jones decided to hire Bill Parcells. And Jones apparently viewed Rooney’s rule as a tick to be checked. telephone interview with Dennis Green — and, in turn, forcing the league to revise the rule requiring face-to-face interviews.
Was there a personal interview with Jones Mail convinces anyone that his motives in 1957 were pure, it cannot be denied that he has considerable influence over his other owners. If he had taken a prominent place, others would have followed him.
However, he had 33 years to do so. Could this have happened at the end of his tenure as team owner? It is entirely up to him.