By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
When Jerry Jones acts, we all react.
He flies to Lubbock, and next thing you know the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State game isn't relocating to Dallas after all. He builds a $1 billion shrine to himself under the guise of football, and next thing you know Arlington is hosting the 2011 Super Bowl.
He cares, he finagles, he meddles, he cares some more, and next thing you know the Dallas Cowboys owner tops the Dallas Observer's 2007 50 Most Powerful People in Metroplex Sports.
As his team prepares for training camp in San Antonio, the man who fired Tom Landry and crafted the longest post-season drought in franchise history is enjoying unprecedented popularity. In 2001 he appeared on the cover of Texas Monthlywith satanic horns. Last week, Sports Illustratedproclaimed him "The King of Texas."
The fact he's done it without a single playoff win speaks directly to Jones' power.
He cock-blocked former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller's courtship of Tech-OSU with a re-route to Tarrant County. And when he decided the Cowboys' new stadium needed after-budget upgrades—60-yard video screens and enough room to house the Statue of Liberty—he paid for it with $350 million out of his own pocket.
50. John Painter. Without his tireless promotion, the Mesquite Rodeo would fade into oblivion.
49. Tom Landry. With his hat in the Ring of Honor, his statue outside Texas Stadium and his legacy hovering over America's Team, he's eternal.
47. Larry Lundy. The President of the Dallas All-Sports Association throws the city's glitziest black-tie party.
46. Don Hooton. Major League Baseball's war on steroids launched with a $1 million donation to his Taylor Hooton Foundation.
43. Pat Summerall. Voice of the NFL still a viable, marketable personality going strong in Southlake.
41. Gil Brandt. His presence as NFL consultant keeps the finger of this former Cowboys GM on the pulse of football.
40. Jamey Newberg. Dallas attorney and Rangers fanatic influences opinions on his must-read Newberg Report.
39. Marty Turco. Every spring he has the fate of the Stars in his hands. More often than not, he drops it.
38. Matt Doherty. SMU's basketball coach must justify a $12 million facelift to Moody Coliseum.
35. Bob Sambol. When athletes desire juicy steaks in jumping ambience, they head to Bob's Steak & Chop House.
34. Steve Orisini. SMU Athletic Director charged with bringing a championship, any championship, to the Hilltop.
33. Gerald Ford/Vic Salvino/David Miller. Without SMU's biggest boosters, Orsini wouldn't stand a chance.
31. Stephen Jones. Heir to the Cowboys throne has his fingerprints on new stadium.
30. Chuck Dannis. Runs area's biggest participant sporting event, the White Rock Marathon.
28. Brad Sham. Cowboys icon may have the most recognizable voice in Dallas.
27. Dave Tippett. Stars coach clinging to relevance—and a job—after repeated first-round flameouts.
26. Michael Irvin. Finally making news in Canton instead of handcuffs.
25. Jay Lombardo. Chances are every local athlete got everything except his uniform from Lombardo's Custom Apparel.
24. Todd Dodge. The author of the Southlake Carroll juggernaut has been handed the keys to North Texas.
21. Ron Washington. So far, his boundless enthusiasm hasn't meant diddly squat to a Rangers roster mired in mediocrity.
20. Michael Johnson. Sprinting back into the limelight with a new beer commercial and a new state-of-the-art training facility in McKinney.
19. Michael Young. Face of the Rangers franchise too often makes news with his mouth instead of bat.
18. Dale Hansen/Norm Hitzges/Randy Galloway. No one shapes more sports opinions than the metroplex's Mount Gushmore.
15. Avery Johnson. His authoritative stamp is imbedded on the NBA's best team to not win a title the last two seasons.
14. Mike Modano. When he goes, the Stars will disappear with him.
12. Rudy Jaramillo. Through rebuilding transformations and years littered with high homers and higher strikeouts, the Rangers' hitting coach remains untouchable.
11. Wade Phillips. You get the feeling that if he fails, the next Cowboys coaching change press conference will include Jones introducing himself.