ARLINGTON, Tex. — The Dallas Cowboys’ home locker room after a game is suffused by a bright halo of light from a wall of TV cameras encircling the central figure in the room. It’s not Tony Romo,DeMarcus Ware or some other critical player bathed in all that false sun, but owner Jerry Jones, who beats his own team to the microphones just minutes after it comes off the field. Which is when it becomes apparent that the largest column-free structure in the world is not Cowboys Stadium, but rather the self-sustaining ego of the man who built it.
Most NFL owners exist more in the abstract than in our vision. We glimpse them sitting deep in the shadows of their skyboxes, surrounded by retainers, or traveling by black-windowed limo to a private tarmac, seldom obvious unless they hire or fire a head coach. Then there is Jones, who is so indelibly ever-present, sometimes standing on the sideline late in a game in his titan pose, arms folded in judgment, or milling about the locker room amid players stripping off sweaty gear, as if he too just played the game. He is always available for his close-up, and for his weekly radio show, the main actor in the psychodrama that is the Dallas Cowboys.