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Stephen Jones: It’s unfair to criticize my dad as a micromanager

Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones

Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones, left, and his son Stephen Jones, director of player personnel, right, leave the practice field following an NFL football rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2012, in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Cowboys Executive V.P. Stephen Jones thinks his father, owner Jerry Jones, gets a bum rap about the team’s decision making.

Although Jerry Jones is (to borrow a term from another powerful Texan) the decider in Dallas, Stephen Jones told ESPN Radio in Dallas that Jerry makes his decisions only after listening to all the football people around him.

“I think he does listen well. I think we hire good people, we’ve got a great personnel department,” he said. “I believe we’ve got one of the best coaching staffs. And it’s not like he’s going around making decisions in a vacuum. He really counts on our people to have input, he’s very open-minded to input from me. I think that’s probably the most unfair criticism is people just think he’s holding his thumb up in the air and making decisions because he can. I mean, that’s just not right.”

Stephen Jones said if people think his father has surrounded himself with people who will just go along with Jerry’s decisions, they’re wrong. In reality, Stephen says, Jerry has always listened to his coaches and personnel people and makes the key decisions only after carefully considering what everyone in the organization thinks.

“That’s, again, what I think’s unfair,” he said. “I don’t think that’s an issue with us as much as it is the perception. . . . Everybody has input, we discuss it and we come to a decision as a group.”

There’s probably some truth to what Stephen is saying about his dad, but it’s also true that when the Cowboys were winning three Super Bowls in the 1990s, Jerry Jones was only too happy to position himself publicly as the person who was calling the shots. Now that the Cowboys have only won one playoff game in the last 15 years, he deserves criticism just as much as he deserved credit when he was hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.