How Did Jerry Jones Make His Money?

Jerry Jones is a name synonymous with American football, business acumen, and the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. His journey to amassing a significant fortune is a tale of strategic investments, a keen eye for opportunity, and a relentless drive for success. In this article, we will delve into the various avenues through which Jerry Jones made his money, painting a comprehensive picture of his financial achievements.

Estimated Net Worth:$8.5 billion
Born:October 13, 1942
Country of Origin:United States
Source of Wealth:Oil investments, Dallas Cowboys, Real Estate

Early Life and Education

Jerry Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, but moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was raised. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he played football as a running back for the Arkansas Razorbacks and was a part of the national championship team in 1964. His time in college not only honed his understanding of the sport but also laid the foundation for his future business ventures.

Initial Business Ventures

After college, Jones’s first foray into business was with his father’s insurance company, but he quickly realized that his ambitions lay elsewhere. He ventured into the world of fast food but found little success. Undeterred, Jones continued to search for the right opportunity to leverage his entrepreneurial spirit.

Striking Oil

Jones’s breakthrough came in the oil industry. In the 1970s, he founded Jones Oil and Land Lease, which became an extremely profitable venture. His success in oil exploration and drilling provided the capital that would later allow him to make his most famous investment.

Purchasing the Dallas Cowboys

In 1989, Jerry Jones made the bold move of purchasing the Dallas Cowboys for $140 million. At the time, the Cowboys were losing over $1 million per month and were in a state of disarray. However, Jones saw potential in the franchise and was determined to turn it around.

Revitalizing the Cowboys

Jones’s approach to managing the Cowboys was hands-on. He became actively involved in all aspects of the team’s operations, from player contracts to marketing strategies. His efforts paid off as the Cowboys experienced a resurgence, winning three Super Bowl championships in the 1990s.

Stadium Innovation

Understanding the importance of a modern venue, Jones spearheaded the development of AT&T Stadium, which opened in 2009. The state-of-the-art facility not only serves as the home of the Cowboys but also hosts a variety of other events, generating significant revenue.

Expanding the Brand

Jerry Jones has been instrumental in expanding the Cowboys’ brand globally. The team’s merchandise sales are among the highest in the NFL, and the Cowboys are often referred to as “America’s Team,” a testament to their widespread appeal.

Real Estate Investments

Apart from his sports-related endeavors, Jones has also made lucrative investments in real estate. His company, Blue Star Land, has developed numerous projects, including residential communities and shopping centers, further diversifying his wealth.

Media and Entertainment

Jones understands the value of media and entertainment in sports. He has negotiated record-breaking television contracts for the NFL and has been a pioneer in creating content that engages fans beyond the game.

Investments in Other Sports

While the Cowboys remain his primary focus, Jones has also invested in other sports ventures, including the Legends Hospitality management company, which provides services to sporting venues across the country.


Jerry Jones is also known for his philanthropic efforts. Through the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities, he has contributed to various causes, including education, social service, and the arts.

Impact on the NFL

Jones’s influence extends beyond his own team. He has played a significant role in shaping the NFL’s business model, advocating for shared revenue among teams and pushing for innovative ways to grow the league’s profitability.

Controversies and Challenges

Despite his success, Jones’s tenure as the owner of the Cowboys has not been without controversy. His decisions, especially regarding personnel changes, have often been scrutinized by fans and the media alike.

Legacy and Influence

Jerry Jones’s impact on the sports world is undeniable. His business acumen and vision have transformed the Dallas Cowboys into one of the most valuable sports franchises globally, and his influence has shaped the modern NFL.

FAQs About Jerry Jones’s Wealth

  • How much did Jerry Jones buy the Dallas Cowboys for?
    Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million.
  • What is Jerry Jones’s primary source of wealth?
    Jones’s wealth primarily comes from his ownership of the Dallas Cowboys, oil investments, and real estate ventures.
  • How has Jerry Jones increased the value of the Dallas Cowboys?
    Through strategic management, branding, stadium development, and media contracts, Jones has significantly increased the Cowboys’ value.
  • Does Jerry Jones own any other sports teams?
    While the Dallas Cowboys are his main investment, Jones has interests in other sports-related ventures through Legends Hospitality.
  • What is Jerry Jones’s estimated net worth?
    As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, Jerry Jones’s estimated net worth is around $8.5 billion.


Jerry Jones’s journey to wealth is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit, his willingness to take calculated risks, and his ability to innovate within the sports industry. From his early days in oil to his transformative ownership of the Dallas Cowboys, Jones has proven that with vision and determination, success is within reach. His story is not just about making money; it’s about creating a lasting legacy that will influence the world of sports for generations to come.

The net worth figures and related information presented here are derived from a variety of public sources. These figures should not be regarded as definitive or fully accurate, as financial positions and valuations are subject to change over time.
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