Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued a statement regarding the death of Pat Bowlen, the longtime owner of the Denver Broncos, who passed away at the age of 75. Bowlen will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August as a contributor.
This is a sad day for all of the people whose lives were touched by Pat Bowlen. It’s a sad day for football and for the NFL.
From the day I became involved in professional football, Pat’s influence inspired me. He loved the League, and he loved the game, and he cared deeply for the future of the NFL. I immediately felt a kindred spirit — a brotherhood. I had great respect for his passion and enjoyed working side-by-side with him. He recruited me to be a part of a group of owners who were instrumental in selecting a dark-horse candidate for Commissioner in 1989 - Paul Tagliabue. It was something he felt was critical for the future success of the League, and he was right.
Pat was always thinking about the long-term success and stability of the NFL as a whole, and we often shared contrarian views that didn’t always align with the conventional thinking of our peers. My favorite Pat Bowlen memory is of the two of us kicking each other under the table with excitement, like a couple of school kids, as we were finalizing the television agreement that brought Rupert Murdoch and FOX into the NFL as a broadcast partner in 1993. It has always stuck in my mind as a testament to his vision for doing what was right for the immediate and long-term future of our League. It wasn’t a popular decision at the time, but it was the right one.
His leadership of the Broncos and his dedication to the entire League will serve as a template of excellence in sports ownership that will be emulated and admired for years to come. And that’s a wonderful legacy.
Our thoughts and support go out to his family and also to football fans all over the country who have benefited from his wisdom and his love for our game.