As a 23-year-old in 1966, Jones knew he wanted to get involved in football, but he wasn’t quite sure how to do it, so he decided he wanted to buy a team. The big problem for Jones though was that he didn’t have enough money to buy a team, so he needed to borrow the money.
In an interview that’s set to air on HBO’s Real Sports on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET, Jones explained how he planned to get that money, and it involved Jimmy Hoffa’s union.
Jerry Jones: “I was sitting with them, going over my dreams, when I said, ‘Where I really wanna be is in football.’ And they said, ‘Well, you know, our union might want to be involved in sports.'”
HBO’s Bernie Goldberg: “That was Jimmy Hoffa’s union?”
JJ: “Yes, that’s correct. Teamsters.”
BG: “So you went to Jimmy Hoffa’s union and asked to borrow money to buy a football team?”
JJ: “Correct. The Chargers. Yes.”
BG: “I’m just wondering — if that deal went through, if Jimmy Hoffa would have ever gone up to you and said, ‘You know, it would sure help us a lot if your wide receiver dropped the ball in the fourth quarter.'”
JJ: “Well, of course those things come to our minds all the time. But back at that particular time I was trying to figure out how to get it done. With no money.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, Jones eventually agreed to buy the Chargers from hotel magnate Barron Hilton for a price of $5.8 million, but he decided he was going to do it without the Teamsters’ money.
However, Jones’ deal to buy the Chargers ended up falling through after Jones’ dad talked him out of it because the AFL was bleeding money at the time.
The Chargers would go on to be sold for $10 million and Jones would finally buy an NFL team 23 years later when he purchased the Cowboys for $140 million.
In another part of the HBO interview, which you can see here, Jones talks about how everyone’s criticism of the Cowboys and him specifically has actually enhanced the franchise’s value.
Jerry Jones almost borrowed money from the Teamsters to buy the Chargers. (USATSI)
Source: CBS NFL