Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest
By MIKE FISHER  |  Last updated 10/17/13

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Michael Irvin is seen on stage during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Press Conference held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 6, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
IRVING, Texas In the immediacy of the moment, some Dallas Cowboys observers believe the five-year, 40-million extension given now-departed Jay Ratliff two years ago ranks as Jerry Jones' worst-ever gaffe. "Well, if I had a legal pad and could show you all the decisions I've made ever, it's not the worst one I've ever made," Jones said Thursday. Jerry Jones has a personal worth of 3 billion, oversees a football team worth 2 billion and has three Super Bowl rings. So the life successes in his 71 years would seem to greatly outweigh the failures. But the old oil wildcatter is a risk-taker; failures are part of the equation. And Jones knows it. A few years ago, Jones voluntarily helped me with a top-10 list or rather, a bottom-10 list detailing the failures that stand out in his mind. Here, let's use Jerry's own "legal pad'' to create the foundation of a chronological list of Jerry Jones' Top 10 Failures. 1 In 1965, at age 25, he had a chance to buy the San Diego Chargers for 5.8 million. 2 In 1989, Jones bought the Cowboys, fired Tom Landry and hired Jimmy Johnson and announced all three blockbusters in a quickly-assembled introductory press conference. "It was my biggest Cowboys mistake because I didn't allow each of their stories their full due,'' Jones told me. "There wasn't time for Cowboys fans to really deal with each of the changes. I wish I had a do-over on that.'' 4 In 1989, the Cowboys selected QB Steve Walsh in the Supplemental Draft. Not a bad idea on paper, and as it turned out, a year later Johnson engineered a deal that sent Walsh (his old U of Miami quarterback) to New Orleans for a blockbuster package that included a first-, second- and third-round pick. But locker-room chemistry isn't played on paper. Walsh's presence created a year's worth of tension for quarterback Troy Aikman, who'd been the No. 1 overall player taken in the regular 1989 Draft. The "competition,'' if one could call it that, was a problem. The draft picks eventually acquired salvaged a near-disaster. 5 In 1993, The Cowboys were coming off of a Super Bowl win and unsigned Emmitt Smith was asking for "quarterback money.'' Jones played hardball as the defending champs started 0-2. Jones' stance was losing him favor in the locker room (especially when Charles Haley threw his helmet through a Texas Stadium wall). so he relented. Jones quickly have a four-year deal worth over 13.5 million to Smith, who went on to be a central piece in two more titles, became the NFL's all-time leading rusher and earn induction into the Hall of Fame. The person selected by Emmitt to presented him into the Hall? Jerry Jones. 6 In 1994, flush off two Super Bowl wins but tiring of the disloyalty of Johnson, Jerry tipsily insisted to reporters that "any one of 500 coaches could have won those Super Bowls.'' The JimmyJerry insults flew and eventually, Johnson flew the coop. This wasn't all Jones' fault. But had either man swallowed some pride, the 90's Cowboys might have been even more dynastic. 7 In 1998, Randy Moss was available with the eighth overall pick. Dallas owned the pick and Moss a magnificent college player the Cowboys personnel department was guaranteeing would be a magnificent pro stated his desire to become a Cowboy. Problem: Right at that time, the team was dealing with a PR nightmare due to Michael Irvin's behavioral and legal problems. Moss, too, was plagued by some of the same problems. Thinking way too linearly, fans and media screamed that a team employing one troublesome wide receiver couldn't possibly take on another troublesome wide receiver. Jerry listened, and selected solid defensive end Greg Ellis rather than Hall-of-Fame candidate Moss. 8 In 2000, the Cowboys traded two first-round picks to Seattle for wide receiver Joey Galloway. The concept: A bright, shiny toy to extend the career of Aikman. In his first game for the Cowboys, Galloway tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season, and the remainder of his Dallas career was lackluster. This deal is especially notable because it occurred in February just two months ahead of the NFL Draft, when Dallas could've used the first of those picks to select its own, young, affordable star receiver. 9 In 2008, Jones reached for another bright, shiny toy. Dallas gave up first-, third- and sixth-round picks to Detroit for receiver Roy Williams. Williams never quite proved to be a difference-maker, and yet the Cowboys multiplied their error by later signing him to a 54-million extension. 10 In 2011, Ratliff had two years left on his contract when the Cowboys signed him to the extension. He was a four-time Pro Bowler but was also 30 years old at the time arguably at the crossroads of when a long-term commitment to a player becomes unwise. Worth noting: Dallas isn't done paying the piper on these sorts of commitments. Jones hopes he doesn't someday have to add the contracts given DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin to his "legal pad.'' But for now, these "bottom 10'' will have to suffice.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
2017 NFL Mock Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Von Miller gifts every AFC West player custom bottle of wine

Bucs C Joe Hawley claims Seahawks player spit in his face

Report: A.J. Green jogging, no timeline for return from injury

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker