FRISCO, Texas – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones reflected Wednesday on his decades-long friendship with T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who passed away at age 91.
"Today a lot of constituency lost a great friend," Jones said. "Boone was a personal friend and confidant of mine. He was inspirational and he was a man of sports. His love for competing, frankly, was unmatched."
Though Pickens found remarkable success in the corporate world, Jones said pointed out that his accomplishments in business and philanthropy only grew after age 70, when he "helped more people, made more charitable contributions."
"At a time when many think maybe your best days could be behind you, or certainly you're at the end of your best days – in Boone's case in his 70s – that's when he was his very best," Jones said.
Pickens also was a generous donor to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin, who played at Oklahoma State from 2014-16, said he had lunch with Pickens in January and visited his ranch this past spring.
"He made Oklahoma State athletics what it is today," Jarwin said. "Just to have that relationship with a guy who meant so much to Oklahoma State, I'll cherish those memories forever."
As a young businessman in his mid-20s, Jones admired Pickens' success and acumen. He introduced himself then at a breakfast Pickens was speaking at in Oklahoma City. They would become "fast friends," Jones said.
"I'm going to personally miss Boone," Jones said. "I really do wish and want his family to know that our hearts and the Dallas Cowboys' hearts are with them."