Jerry Jones is a savvy businessman, the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, and above all else, he’s a character. He’s also about to become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
If there were a Hall of Fame for funny colloquialisms, Jones would also be a member. He has a tendency to talk about the Cowboys and life in the most colorful and country ways possible. Perhaps this has something to do with the way Jones’ brain works. Jones, now 74, said back in 2012 that his mind is much younger than his actual physical age.
"I've been told that I have, by CT scans, that it's like the brain of a 40-year-old," Jones said in 2013, according to NFL.com. " ... The guy really did not know it was me. I was there anonymously. He said, 'And so I just wanted to come down. I saw your chart. I know how old you are. That part is really impressive.'“
Jones has likened Jason Garrett’s performance as the head coach of the Cowboys to “holding two handfuls of JELL-O,” and he explained his decision to let DeMarco Murray go with an interesting metaphor.
"And I said you can't have it all,” Jones said. “The way you get an airplane is to drive the 5-year-old Bronco.”
There are so many entertaining Jerry Jones sayings that we couldn’t possibly include them all. But in honor of his Hall of Fame induction, here are a few of our favorite categories of Jerry Jones-isms.
1. Dad jokes
Jones sure can turn a phrase, but he’s also up for the occasional dad joke.
That’s what he resorted to during a conversation with Michael Irvin’s agent, Steve Endicott, about renegotiating Irvin’s contract.
“Jerry says to me, ‘Steve, you know that town out in West Texas, El Paso?’” Endicott recalls Jones saying of his proposal. ‘“Well, I think we’re going to El Paso on that.’”
2. Who’s your daddy?
When he’s not making dad jokes, Jones has plenty of things to say that are related to dads.
Most recently, he said that the Cowboys could fix the pass rush problems the team experienced in 2016 by adding some “war daddies” on defense.
This sounds like a classic Jones colloquialism, but it’s actually a bona fide football term, even if it’s a little archaic. It was originally a military term, coined to describe a badass tanker.
“War daddies” isn’t Jones’ only daddy-related quote. He called quarterback Dak Prescott “the daddy” after Prescott laid a stiff arm on a defender on Thanksgiving Day.
Prescott seemed confused by the compliment, saying he neither has nor wants children. That probably won’t stop Jerry from calling the dynamic young quarterback “the daddy” again in the future.
Sometimes Jerry’s sayings refer to himself as a father figure and to a player as one of his children. This was the case when Jones discussed one of Randy Gregory’s suspensions for violating the league’s rules on substance abuse.
“He’s our baby. He may be an ugly baby, but he’s our baby,” Jones said.
3. Bugging out
Jerry Jones is at his most country when he throws insect references into his colloquialisms.
He used the phrase “circumcise a mosquito” not once, but twice. The first time it was about the NFL lockout back in 2011, and the second time it was regarding the possibility of placing Tony Romo on injured reserve in 2016. Both times, Jones meant something along the lines of “not getting bogged down by unnecessary details,” we think, based on context clues.
But one of Jones’ best catchphrases is definitely “lower than a crippled cricket’s ass.” Poor Jerry was asked about injuries to Dez Bryant and Romo in consecutive weeks, and he wasn’t feeling all that great about it. That phrase was probably an accurate summary of Jones’ emotions about those injuries.
4. Butt cracks
For the longest time, Jones resisted the siren call of smartphones. Sure, he could afford the latest and greatest. He just preferred his flip phone.
"I don't have any butt-dialing with that thing, I know that," Jones said.
That’s not the only thing Jones has had to say about butts. He was asked if Felix Jones was an every-down back or a change-of-pace guy.
“He has one of those nice bubble butts,” Jerry Jones replied.
We’re not sure what that meant about Felix Jones’ role in the Cowboys offense at the time. We’re also not surprised it was Jones’ answer.
The 2015 season was a rough one for Dallas, and the Cowboys’ 4-12 finish presented Jones with the opportunity to say something else about butts.
"I'm looking up, on my back, and all I see is ass," Jones said via Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.
5. Say wut?
Jones’ background was in the oil industry, and some terms from that field make their way into his sayings. That’s what happened back in 2012 as the Cowboys kicked off training camp.
"I’ve been here when it was glory hole days, and I’ve been here when it wasn’t," Jones said, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. "Having said that, I want me some glory hole."
When you think of the phrase “glory hole,” drilling for oil is maybe not what comes to mind. Thankfully, that’s what Jones meant. That doesn’t mean it’s not hilarious.
This offseason, with a number of players — including second-year phenom Ezekiel Elliott — either serving suspensions or facing the possibility of one, Jones was descriptive about how the team will handle it.
“We’re going to have to burn some wagons and float the Mississippi with some of the others,” Jones said as training camp opened, via The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis.
Of course, Jones’ storied Hall of Fame career wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t walked into former Cowboys owner H.R. “Bum” Bright’s office and offered him $140 million for the team.
Jones had a sense of urgency about it, which he communicated to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson in typical Jerry fashion.
“But I knew if I didn’t buy the Cowboys right then — there it was — I knew if I didn’t grab that damn caboose that it was going to be gone,” Jones said. “And I was going to spend the rest of my life thinking about doing it.”
But even while discussing his early hardships with the Cowboys, when the team was hemorrhaging money to the tune of about $1 million per month when Jones took over, he found ways to work some “Jerryisms” into the conversation.
Jones’ children, Stephen, Charlotte, and Jerry Jr., are poised to take things over for the Cowboys when Jones does decide to call it a career. But we’ll enjoy his creative expressions for as long as we can.