Frank Talk from the Cowboys' Jerry Jones

Scott Pelley Reports on the NFL Team's Owner and General Manager

If everything's bigger in Texas, that goes double for the state's true passion: football. Which means if you own the Dallas Cowboys, you don't own just a team - you own America's Team.

You don't just build a stadium; you build the biggest in the land. In Texas you dream big, and in the mind of Jerry Jones, this was to be the year of the Cowboys.

The team is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the Super Bowl will be played in Cowboys Stadium. But there's one thing the 68-year-old Jones hadn't imagined - his team won't be there.

The snake-bit Cowboys never got in the saddle this season, and their high-flying owner told correspondent Scott Pelley this may be the lowest year of his life.

Pelley followed Jones through a season from hell. Winning is a lot more fun, but losing reveals more of a man's character - especially when he's the most innovative, controversial and bombastic owner in the NFL.



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The future felt warm and sunny in August as the Cowboys walked through the last snaps of training camp. Even in Oxnard, Calif., fans thronged the sideline to touch the Cowboys' star owner.

Jones is the only owner in the league who is also a celebrity, and he's one of only three owners who actually runs his team. He is the general manager, who picks the players, hires the coaches and runs the business.

He earned three Super Bowl rings doing that, and, preseason, he told Pelley how he liked his chances of slipping on a fourth.

"What do you see out here?" Pelley asked.

"This I could argue is one of the best teams on paper that I've been associated with in 22 years," Jones responded.

But as the season unfolded, no high hopes could defeat the picks, the fumbles and the rotten breaks that beset the Cowboys.

"You had the No. 1 offense in the league, the No. 4 defense in the league. Why can't you get the ball past the pylon?" Pelley asked him during an interview in the middle of the season.

"Stats are for losers," Jones answered. "They relish in them. The stat is the score. And when you don't win that score, nothing good happens. Have we gotten too full of ourselves? Possibly."

"You were the best general manager in the league in 1992, you were the best general manager the next year, you were the best general manager two years after that," said Pelley. "What happened to that guy?"

Jones responded, "He's very much here. I think he's smarter than he was then. I know he's more experienced. That guy is getting a real going-over and a real looking at during the season we're having right now, and he should be."

"George Steinbrenner was a great friend of yours," Pelley said.

Jones nodded. "He was. He was someone I really admired."

"If you were Steinbrenner's GM he might have fired you by now," Pelley remarked.

"Of course he would have," Jones said. "There is no doubt in my mind he would have."

In late October, high in his private perch in Cowboys Stadium during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jones looked like a parent watching his child dart through traffic. It isn't a game, it isn't a business - it's his life.

"There's a certain edge to you up here," Pelley observed.

Jones told him, "What you're seein' right now is agony."

Agony that ended with a score of Jacksonville - 35, Cowboys - 17. The general manager took the hit at a press conference after the game, telling reporters he had "never been more disappointed or surprised."

"You broke a sweat in there. I've never seen you sweat before," Pelley said.

"Well, I think it's time to sweat," Jones replied.

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