Dallas Cowboys fans remain split on Jerry Jones. On one hand, he is arguably the game's most passionate owner, willing to hunt down and spend the money to stock the roster with talent. On the flipside, his very public hands-on approach has left Jones open to characterizations as a classic meddler.
But when you own the team -- and split time as president and general manager -- the world is your oyster. And your offspring's oyster. Stephen Jones, Jerry's son, is in line to take over the Cowboys when his father steps aside. The younger Jones already serves as chief operating officer, executive VP and director of player personnel (this family adores titles), and his involvement is on the uptick.
Cowboys beat writer David Moore of The Dallas Morning News believes the transition of power is farther along than some believe:
"I would argue that Stephen has quietly been in charge of the day-to-day decisions for several years now," Moore wrote Friday. "I would say those responsibilities increased when Jerry had to devote more of his time to getting the stadium built. Now, Jerry can still come in and override any decision. He remains the ultimate spokesman for the franchise. But in terms of how this team operates, Stephen and (coach) Jason Garrett have the most influence. As for management styles, I don't believe that Stephen is as impulsive as his father. I believe he's more willing to let the process that is in place play out when it comes to major decisions."
It's hard to imagine Jerry fading into the sunset just yet.
No doubt he's eyeing his legacy. Three Super Bowl titles and an early-1990s dynasty remain the stuff of legend in Dallas. Jerry, however, hasn't won the Lombardi in a very long time, and this is a man who wants to go out as all the great ones do: on top.