It's time for the Dallas Observers annual list of the 50 Most Powerful People in Metroplex Sports. Cool.
He giveth (Jonestown Coliseum). He taketh away (Terrell Owens).
Not that it's a push, but for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, it is status quo. For the third time in the list's four-year history, the ol' oil wildcatter has rambled and gambled his way to the top of the Dallas Observer's 50 Most Powerful People in Metroplex Sports.
Only a businessman as shrewd as Jones could ditch Tom Landry, embrace Pacman Jones, not win a playoff game for 13 years and still have us chomping at the bit for another football season. With his unique combination of money and moxie, he gets what he wants, when he wants.
In the past year Jones has approached some of the metroplex's most daunting tasks as if he were Joey Chestnut mindlessly wolfing hot dogs.
Build the planet's most impressive sports stadium? Check. Muzzle head coach Wade Phillips in the off-season? Done. Flirt with, then immediately alienate and chase away legendary NFL coach Dan Reeves? Double-check. Rid, just a couple of years after acquiring, talented underachievers such as Pacman, T.O., Tank Johnson, Zach Thomas and Greg Ellis from the Cowboys' locker room? Giddyup.
There's only one man who could build a playground glitzy enough for the likes of The Jonas Brothers, Paul McCartney, Tony Romo and LeBron James.
There's only one Jerry Jones.
50. Tom Landry. The day he falls off this list is the day we all catch a flight to Hades in a wicker carry-on.
49. David Henry. The CBS Senior VP gets credit for helping The Fan snatch Cowboys radio broadcasts out from under The Ticket.
48. Nancy Lieberman. The undisputed first lady of Dallas sports is becoming a vital voice on ESPN.
47. Bob Sambol. His Bob's Steak & Chop House is one-stop shopping for athletes seeking delicious steaks and not-too-shabby scenery.
46. Dr. Kenneth Cooper. Our home-grown "Father of Modern Aerobics" now has a fitness satellite in McKinney's Craig Ranch.
45. Jamey Newberg. Dallas attorney and Rangers fanatic influences fan and even franchise opinions via his Newberg Report.
44. Larry Lundy. President of the Dallas All-Sports Association throws the city's glitziest black-tie party.
43. Jay Lombardo. If you see athletes wearing anything but their uniforms, they probably got it from Lombardo's Custom Apparel in Addison.
42. Gordon Jago. Director of The Dallas Cup does more for local soccer than Schellas Hyndman and Kenny Cooper combined.
41. Pat Summerall. NFL's former signature voice remains a marketable personality going strong in Southlake.
40. Chuck Dannis. Year after year he successfully runs the area's biggest participant sporting event, the White Rock Marathon.
39. Terdema Ussery. Cozy with NBA commish David Stern and Nike founder Phil Knight, the Mavs' president is often the eye of Mark Cuban's hurricane.
38. Tim Cowlishaw. Lead columnist at Dallas' Only Daily has also won a time or two on ESPN's Around the Horn.
37. Jordan Woy. Dallas-based agent represents Cowboys tight end Jason Witten and more than 75 NFL players.
36. Rudy Jaramillo. Regardless of manager, general manager or rebuilding project, the one constant in Arlington is that the Rangers' hitting coach will have Texas scoring runs in bunches.
35. Matt Doherty. Time for SMU's basketball coach to justify the $12 million facelift to Moody Coliseum.
34. Rickie Rush. T.D. Jakes starter kit influences several athletes as the pastor of Inspiring Body of Christ Church near Duncanville.
33. Brenden Morrow. Without his heart, soul and leadership, the Stars went nowhere fast.
32. Ron Washington. Almost fired last year, his unwavering optimism led him to be baseball's Manager of the Year in some halfway polls.
31. Brad Sham. Still the most recognizable voice in Dallas.
30. Steve Orsini. SMU athletic director lured June Jones from Hawaii by convincing private boosters to fund a five-year, $10 million contract.
29. Mike Rhyner. Despite losing longtime partner Greg Williams, The Ticket patriarch has kept The Hardline a ratings monster.
28. DeMarcus Ware. Where would the Cowboys be without one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL?
27. Roger Staubach. Captain America at the forefront of Arlington hosting Super Bowl XLV.
26. Gerald Ford/Carl Sewell. SMU's biggest athletic boosters annually keep the program from slipping to NAIA quality.
25. Mike Modano. Is this his final year on the list?
24. Troy Aikman. More prominent local role with looming arrival of Super Bowl XLV.
23. Michael Young. Still the face of the Rangers' franchise, he'll be counted on for the biggest hits and best leadership if Texas is to contend into the fall.
22. Marty Turco. Stars goalie remains the backbone to any hockey success in North Texas.
21. Michael Johnson. Back to relevance by returning a tainted Olympic gold medal, but Michael Crabtree's injury at his state-of-the-art facility in McKinney didn't help his reputation.
20. Stephen Jones. Heir to the Cowboys throne has his fingerprints all over new stadium.
19. Michael Irvin. Hall of Famer still in headlines by reporting almost-carjacking and producing Spike TV's Fourth and Long.
18. Jon Daniels. After a slow start, Rangers' young GM has orchestrated several boffo trades now paying dividends at a major league level.
17. Josh Hamilton. Without him the Rangers were a .500 team with no pizzazz.
16. June Jones. Among college football's top 15 highest-paid coaches, the new SMU guru is charged with working one of his makeover miracles on Mockingbird.
15. Don Hooton. When Major League Baseball launched its war on steroids, it started with a $1 million grant to his Taylor Hooton Foundation.
14. Dale Hansen/Norm Hitzges/Randy Galloway. The metroplex's Mount Gushmore is most responsible for shaping local sports opinions.
13. Rick Carlisle. Vanilla blandness often bored players and fans, but he maxed out talent by taking Dallas to the second round of NBA playoffs.
12. Wade Phillips. Win, lose or draw, it's his final season as coach of the Cowboys.
11. Eddie Gossage. The face of NASCAR in Texas has crafted year-round racin' in Fort Worth.
10. Tom Hicks. Still owns the Stars, but by this time next year he'll be former owner of the Rangers and getting cozy with a spot well down this list.
9. Joe Nieuwendyk. Fired Dave Tippett, hired Marc Crawford and immediately grabbed the Stars by the short and curlies.
8. Jason Kidd. Not often do 37-year-old point guards shape the future of a franchise.
7. Jon Heidtke. Wouldn't recognize him on the street, but the FOX Sports Net Southwest senior vice president makes the Mavs, Rangers and Stars decisions you recognize nightly on TV.
6. Nolan Ryan. Big Tex is the Rangers' catalyst and may someday soon also be their owner.
5. Mark Cuban. Even in these trying economic times, he shells out $23 million in luxury tax to help the Mavs over the hump.
4. Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs could stay afloat for a while without Cuban. But sans this guy, they're instantly a lottery team.
3. Hank Haney. Only Erykah Badu's voice consultant has a better job than Tiger Woods' swing coach.
2. Tony Romo. Make no mistake, America's Team has been re-booted just for its quarterback.
1. Jerry Jones. Even his mistakes create national headlines.
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