In the eyes of at least one NFL agent, Jerry Jones is the real commissioner of the NFL.
"Hands down, without a doubt, No. 1, and anyone who says otherwise is an absolute idiot. Jerry Jones is the shadow commissioner of the National Football League," the agent told Ben Standig of The Athletic in response to a question asking who is the NFL's most powerful person.
"He has made more rain for more owners than any man in the history of professional football in America. He single-handedly backstabbed Dean Spanos and the Chargers organization with what he did for Stan Kroenke in the Rams deal, which was obviously in the best interests of the NFL. He's made Roger Goodell his puppet. He's involved intimately in almost every marketing deal that the NFL has done over a billion dollars. And he has brought the windfall to all of these owners."
Jones has long been on the shortlist of the NFL's most influential owners. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II are also often mentioned among the biggest power brokers of the sport.
Jones has often been viewed as the leader among that small group.
"Say what you want about the guy, but he knows how to get the other owners to befriend him while competing against him," another agent said.
The Cowboys have the highest value of any team in professional sports, with Forbes estimating their worth at $8 billion. Jones bought the franchise for $140 million in 1989 and has been deeply involved in nearly every football-related transaction in the 33 years since.
The Cowboys saw massive success in the 1990s, winning three championships, but have not made a Super Bowl since the 1995 season. It's a testament to Jones' influence around the league that he remains so wildly powerful without much team success.