A brief sleeper and an early riser, Jones gets into character every morning.
“I know it needs to be done if I’m going to be productive,” he said. “I often use the statement ’It’s the mirror that is the challenge.”’
If he can’t sell himself on something, it doesn’t have a chance to work. But if he “sees a positive endgame,” then he’ll take it to his wife, Gene, or his son, Stephen, his right-hand man running the Cowboys.
“When I can’t get positive about something, I actually lose energy,” he said. “My body language fails me. The ring in my voice fails me.”
Jones listens to motivational tapes for help. The best motivation, though, is having always worked for himself.
“When things go wrong, there’s not but one person responsible,” he said. “And there’s not but one way to correct it — get it straight in the mirror.”
Jones learned to value quality time with his thoughts when he was a kid. He’d spend hours playing entire games of football and baseball all by himself.
“And I’d have a good time doing it,” he said. “You can say I was fantasizing or make-believing. Yes, yes. The point is, it’s helped me imagine some things, like what it would be like to get that (Super Bowl) trophy. It maybe also helped me ignore some things that somebody else might not ignore.
“It’s mind games.”
He played another in September 1995, after agreeing to give Deion Sanders a $13 million signing bonus.
Woozy about writing such a big check to someone he hardly knew, Jones gassed up his jet and flew to Arkansas for a reality check, roaming through his old neighborhood and even knocking on the door of the house where he’d grown up.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Instead of being amazed at how far he’d come, Jones focused on how he’d done it. He decided the Sanders deal was a good one.
“You’ve got a grand opportunity here,” he recalls telling himself. “Don’t pull back. Go for it.”’
Now Jones is going for it again with a stadium he expects to be “the best sports venue that’s ever been built.”
Scheduled to open in 2009 with a capacity of 100,000 seats, it will host the Super Bowl in 2011. Taxpayers in suburban Arlington are paying $325 million, and Jones is taking care of the rest. His chunk started at $325 million but has more than doubled.
“I had a course of action that would’ve just renovated Texas Stadium,” Jones said. “We also could’ve built a stadium for $250-300 million less and still had a great stadium. But we’ve gone for it.”
ProFootballTalk: Patriots QB Tom Brady addressed Wes Welker’s decision to head West to Denver. Brady says he isn’t surprised by anything after being in the league for so long and hopes that Welker has a great season with the Broncos.
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Patriots 48, Cowboys 27