Skydance Sports, NFL Films And Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones Team For Docuseries Covering Owner’s Rise, 1990s Super Bowl Titles And Building Of Richest Franchise In Sports
Skydance Sports, NFL Films and the Jerry Jones family are collaborating on what they call a “defining” docuseries about the Dallas Cowboys and the arc of Jones as the owner and builder of the franchise over 30-plus years.
As president and general manager, Jones is credited with engineering a massive turnaround that led to three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. While the Lombardi trophy has remained out of reach over the past two-plus decades, Jones and his family have shepherded the rise of the Cowboys to the status of the most valuable in professional sports.
Using never-before-seen footage from the NFL Films archive, the as-yet-untitled series will trace Jones’ rise from the son of an Arkansas community store owner to the top of the pro sports heap. Interviews will feature ex-Cowboys players Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders; former head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer; and luminaries like Rupert Murdoch and Phil Knight.
When Jones made the highly leveraged acquisition of the team in 1989, it was coming off a 13-loss season and was losing more than $1 million a month. After building into a championship contender, Jones also helped create the modern NFL, shaping its marketing, branding, broadcasting and team venue management.
The project will be the first stemming from a newly formed joint venture between Skydance Media and the NFL. The venture is designed to create a top-end sports content studio and expand multi-platform sports programming across a broad range of formats.
“We are incredibly excited to create a thrilling ride through one of the most memorable and high-powered turnarounds in football history. Launching this first series with Skydance Sports marks a momentous occasion for our partnership as we build the premiere sports studio of the future,” said Ross Ketover, senior executive of NFL Films.
Charlotte Jones, EVP and Chief Brand Officer of the Cowboys, called it “a very special and deeply personal project” that will “take sports fans, fans of business, families, and everyone watching on an adventure like none other.”
The project follows in a string of popular sports docuseries, among them 2020 Michael Jordan series The Last Dance and last year’s Derek Jeter/New York Yankees outing, The Captain. Streaming has helped boost opportunities for doc programming, especially in the sports realm, with Netflix, Amazon and Apple joining media companies investing in NFL, Formula One, NBA and pro tennis and golf titles.
“Jerry Jones is an incomparable figure,” Jesse Sisgold, Skydance president and COO said. “With the Dallas Cowboys, he has built the world’s most valuable sports franchise and has undeniably transformed both modern football and the sports business at-large. It is an honor to commemorate his journey and that of his dynasty by partnering with the Jones family, the Dallas Cowboys organization, and NFL Films to bring this uniquely American story to life.”
David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold and Jon Weinbach will executive produce for Skydance Sports with Ross Ketover, Pat Kelleher, Brian Rolapp and Hans Schroeder executive producing for NFL Films. Charlotte Jones will executive produce for the Jones family and Cowboys. John Skipper, former president of ESPN and now head of Meadowlark Media, will also serve as an executive producer on the project.