With 17 years of NFL experience under his belt, Stephen Jones has established himself as one of the brightest young executives in professional sports. Recognized as Owner Jerry Jones's right-hand man, Jones is currently the Cowboys Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, as well as President of Texas Stadium.
Jones is spearheading the club's new stadium efforts, overseeing the in-house development team while working directly with local government, community and business leaders. He was directly responsible for the club's successful referendum campaign in the fall of 2004 that saw the City of Arlington agree to join forces with the Cowboys in building a new state-of-the-art stadium for the 2009 season.
On a day-to-day basis, he oversees the operations of both the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Stadium. His work involves managing the organization's 300 employees, including the coordination of the Cowboys entire player personnel department and major player contract work.
Jones played an integral role in the team's rise from a 1-15 record in 1989 to being the NFL's ?Team of the Decade? with three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. As he enters his 18th NFL season, Jones is a driving force behind the Cowboys resurgence as one of the elite level teams in the NFL. His recent work has seen the club restock its roster with some of the game's top young talent.
Jones was the key negotiator in the work that brought All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens to the Cowboys in March of 2006. He also took the lead in negotiating the contracts for free agents linebacker Akin Ayodele, offensive linemen Jason Fabini and Kyle Kosier and kicker Mike Vanderjagt, each expected to play a major role in the club's success in 2006.
Over a one-week span in the spring of 2005, Jones was instrumental in the distribution of $30 million in signing bonus money to quarterback Drew Bledsoe, defensive tackle Jason Ferguson, cornerback Anthony Henry and guard Marco Rivera. The signing of Ferguson, Henry and Rivera all took place in one day, March 3, the biggest signing day in club history.
The re-working of the Cowboys roster began in earnest in February, 2003 when, over a two-week span, Jones helped orchestrate the signing of Flozell Adams to a long-term contract, the acquisition via trade and signing of Terry Glenn from Green Bay and the unrestricted free agent signing of linebacker Al Singleton. Adams has since earned back-to-back Pro Bowl berths following the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
The last four draft classes are proving to be the foundation for the future of the Cowboys with nine current starters and eight All-Rookie Team members coming out of those drafts, including linebacker DeMarcus Ware, defensive end Marcus Spears and tackle Rob Petitti in 2005.
In the ever-evolving strategy that dictates a team's competitiveness in the current collective bargaining agreement, Jones's performance in managing the Cowboys salary cap has played a prominent role in the team's ability to compete at the NFL's highest level.
Jones's involvement in shaping the Dallas roster under the salary cap was critical in allowing the Cowboys to maintain one of the NFL's most talented core group of players throughout the decade of the 1990s. His creativity and care taking of the Cowboys cap played a key role in the team's six division titles and four conference championship game appearances.
During a historic two-year period of time, Jones was involved in signing five Cowboys stars who were considered the best players in the game at their respective positions. Between September of 1993 and September of 1995, Jones helped orchestrate contract agreements with running back Emmitt Smith, quarterback Troy Aikman, fullback Daryl Johnston, wide receiver Michael Irvin and cornerback Deion Sanders.
Jones has enjoyed a life-long association with the game of football. A four-year letterman as a linebacker and special teams standout at the University of Arkansas, Jones was a starter for the Razorbacks in the Orange Bowl Classic Game that followed the 1986 season. Prior to attending the University of Arkansas, Jones was an all-state quarterback and a three-year starter at Catholic High School in Little Rock, Ark.
He graduated from Arkansas in 1988 with a degree in chemical engineering, and immediately went to work in the oil and gas business for JMC Exploration as an engineer.
On Feb. 25, 1989, Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys and installed Stephen into a key front office position as one-of-three vice presidents with the club.
Jones is actively involved with the Young Presidents' Organization and serves on the board of directors for the Southwestern Bell/SMU Athletic Forum, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Episcopal School of Dallas and Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Jones is also a member of the Dallas Citizens Council.
Jones (6/21/64) was born and reared in Little Rock. He is married to the former Karen Hickman of El Dorado, Ark., and the couple has three daughters and a son: Jessica (8/24/92), Jordan (10/8/93), Caroline (4/4/97) and John Stephen (4/19/99).