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Jerry Jones: Cowboys Are Worth $10 Billion But I'll Never Sell

Sophie Alexander
Jerry Jones: Cowboys Are Worth $10 Billion But I'll Never Sell

(Bloomberg) -- Jerry Jones has the Dallas Cowboys to thank for the bulk of his $6 billion fortune after buying the team in 1989 for a then-record $150 million. While it’s hard to say how much the National Football League franchise is worth today, Jones has made it clear no amount of money will persuade him to sell the team, which faces the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving.

Jones, 76, who derives some of his wealth from real estate and energy assets, recently acquired a controlling stake in Comstock Resources Inc., an oil-and-gas company that’s seeking to expand in the Haynesville Shale region. He spoke with Bloomberg this month about the Cowboys, art, and Texas oil and gas. The following comments have been edited and condensed.

How much would you accept to sell the Cowboys?

If I had to sell the team tomorrow I wouldn’t accept anything less than $10 billion. But, I don’t want to imply that I would take $10 billion for them. The Cowboys are just not for sale. They’re a long-term asset and my immediate family -- which has been a part of making them what they are today-- they’ll own the Cowboys long after I’m gone.

So, would you say the Cowboys are worth $10 billion?

I don’t say $10 billion just to say a ridiculous number. I just think you really have to go on what people would pay. I don’t want to say at least $10 billion but I certainly think you can justify a $10 billion value, but economically I’d rather have the Cowboys than the $10 billion.

(The Bloomberg Billionaires Index conservatively values the team at $4 billion.)

How much art do you own and which is your favorite?

I have probably about 70 or 80 pieces and most of them are at the Cowboys stadium, including the Sky Mirror by Anish Kapoor. My favorite is Norman Rockwell’s Coin Toss, which is in my home.

When did you acquire Coin Toss?

In 1989, right after I bought the Cowboys, Ross Perot called me and told me that he had a Rockwell painting that he thought I should have. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it because I just spent $150 million on the team, but I decided to buy it for $1 million. Christie’s just appraised the piece and they said it’s worth $25 million.

Will you use Comstock to roll up other gas companies?

It’s a serious consideration.

What types of acquisitions are you looking for?

Ones like Comstock, which has great reserves, great operations and a potential revenue stream, which allows you to develop those reserves.

What’s next?

I get to do business where I get to have a lot of fun -- that’s why I’m in sports and that’s why I own the Cowboys. My plate is pretty full with the Cowboys, real estate development and oil and gas. I don’t have time to have as much fun as I want to have. But we are very aggressive with real estate development in the Dallas area. We have several projects that we’re involved in.

--With assistance from Kevin Crowley.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophie Alexander in New York at salexander82@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, Peter Eichenbaum, Steven Crabill

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