Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones was in Las Vegas last week talking about why AT&T Stadium is a good place to host the Academy of Country Music Awards.
The $1.2 billion palace has hosted boxing matches, basketball games, football games, bowling events, rodeos and Jones has even hinted about hosting an Olympic-styled swim meet. It’s centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, and is approximately a 15-minute drive to the airport.
During his chat, Jones talked about why his Cowboys are the most popular team in sports.
"As you know, the Cowboys have not gone to the playoffs in several years,” Jones said. “We have not gone. Yet we're the most popular TV show there is on television. We lead all teams in TV ratings. We lead, 24 out of the last top 25 shows were NFL games, and any time your Cowboys play, and they’re up there at the top and leading."
That comment has led many to believe Jones’ goals have changed, that he doesn’t care about winning anymore and all he wants to do is market his team.
Jones is right, the Cowboys are leaders in TV ratings. And those ratings are why the networks, including ESPN, want his team on late Sunday afternoon games with 80 percent of the country watching. It’s why networks want the Cowboys to play on Sunday nights and Monday nights.
But it's wrong to think Jones doesn’t care about championships.
That is all he thinks about.
While the process is flawed in getting a fourth championship ring on his finger, his commitment is stronger than ever.
Jones is committed to coach Jason Garrett -- for at least one more season -- and he feels Garrett can take his franchise on a deep playoff run.
Jones isn't one of those owners afraid to spend money. He's given huge contracts to Miles Austin, Jeremiah Ratliff, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware over the years. He believed those players could help him win a championship.
This offseason, Garrett talked about the Cowboys needing to get younger, which produced questions regarding a rebuilding effort at Valley Ranch.
Jones said you don’t rebuild with Romo at quarterback. Retool, maybe, but not rebuild.
The Cowboys expect to reach the postseason every season. But the reality is they missed out by losing in the regular-season finale in each of the past three seasons.
Jones felt the sting of those losses and tried to fix the franchise each offseason, whether that meant firing assistant coaches, releasing top players or changing the duties of coaches and front office personnel.
He wants to win in the worst way.
You may not like how Jones runs his football business, but don't question the commitment. Jones is being honest about what the Cowboys represent: A popular NFL team that makes money. And let's be honest, that’s what the 31 other NFL owners want from their franchises.
You don't think Robert Kraft wants to make money with the New England Patriots? Of course he does.
Again, the process in which the Cowboys go about their on-the-field business may be flawed, but the way things are going off the field is just fine.
If anything, it’s the best in sports.
Please, don’t get mad at Jones for that.