IRVING, Texas – Owner/general manager Jerry Jones’ construction of his new stadium didn’t prevent an outpouring of emotion when watching Texas Stadium go down.
Jones still recalled the feelings that poured out while watching Texas Stadium get torn down next to his daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, in April 2010.
“I thought about it, Charlotte and I were standing there at dawn and watched that stadium be blown up, watched Texas Stadium be blown up, both cried that time,” Jones said. “It was sad to see it go down.”
That was the same stadium he went to the night he bought the team in 1989 and laid down on the star. At that point, the thought of owning the team became very real.
“When I drove up to that stadium that night, I had to pinch myself to think that I get to run this stadium,” Jones said. “This is, I can’t believe it. I’ve been around venues and stadiums all my life… I got to walk in the Astrodome, we were down there working out to come play Nebraska, the Razorbacks were, and they took us over for a field trip. It hadn’t been played in yet, but I just saw it, and it actually inspired me when building AT&T Stadium.”
Jones said when he first saw Texas Stadium it was like a monument to him, and the memories and experiences he had in that stadium still remain a part of him. It was a special feeling to Jones when he bought the team to know it was his responsibility to make the most out of the sports in that stadium.
“I didn’t go to New York until I was about in my mid-30s,” Jones said. “First time I’d ever been to New York, and I land at La Guardia, first thing I did was walk out, wasn’t one thing going on, took a cab and just touched Yankee Stadium, just touched it. I had always heard about it, and I said, ‘Babe (Ruth), I know you’re in there. Yogi (Berra), I think you really may be in there, but just the idea of that type of thing, Yankee Stadium. Just that idea, well that was really the little bit of a reverent but a little bit of an appreciation of what was happening when I went out there that night and laid on the middle of that star.”
Jones just assumed when he bought the team that the wins would follow. He said it never occurred to him that wouldn’t happen immediately.
The Cowboys went 1-15 in Jones’ first season as the owner, but it wouldn’t be long before the Super Bowls followed. Those memories from Texas Stadium will stick with Jones, who said it’s a different feeling with AT&T Stadium.
“I know what it took to get AT&T Stadium there – a small miracle,” Jones said. “And to have put it together in the hard times and the rough times we put it in to get it built during this time and what all we had to do and what all… in other words, I was fresh then. I know what it is to try to rake up a billion two. So it’s got a little more real to me when I walk in out there.”