It’s been a tough weekend for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. His All Pro running back who lead the NFL in rushing last season, Ezekiel Elliott, was suspended six games by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy and on Monday his college head coach Frank Broyles passes away at 92.
Jones loved Broyles and played for him. He was a starter on the 1964 national championship Arkansas team. The Pro Football Hall of Famer said in a statement, “This is an immeasurable loss of a man whose personality and presence touched millions of athletes, students, coaches and fans for more than seven decades—a man whose spirit and impact on lives will continue to be felt for generations to come.
Coach Broyles was a life changing influence for me both from a personal and professional perspective.
He taught me, and he taught all of his players, how to be prepared for the fourth quarter, both on the field and in life. He then displayed to all of us how to handle that fourth quarter with the care and devotion he so lovingly provided for his wife Barbara as she faced Alzheimer’s in her final years.”
Through the years, whenever he was asked about Broyles, Jones would light up with a smile. This news, on the back of his reported frustration over the suspension of Elliott, no doubt hurts. Jones reflected on his old coach with high praise, in his statement, “He was the singular most important man of sports in the history of the State of Arkansas, and his impact on the game of football across our country was just as significant.
As a coaching innovator, he introduced the I formation to the game. He brought mathematical concepts to the strategy of football by always looking for numerical advantages in blocking schemes. He also artfully shaped the early careers of so many assistant coaches who moved on to build successful programs of their own as head coaches.
The Frank Broyles Award is so aptly named, because no one knew how to identify and develop quality assistant coaches better than Coach Broyles. To mention just a few, men such as Barry Switzer, Johnny Majors, Jimmy Johnson, Fred Akers, and Doug Dickey all benefited from his teachings and talent.”
Known as one of biggest financial boosters to the Arkansas athletics programs, Jerry Jones has spent millions of dollars giving back to his alma mater in facilities and donations. He credited Broyles and the game of football for much of his success in life saying, saying, “Outside of my father, Frank Broyles was the most influential man in my life. My thoughts and sincere best wishes are with his family today, and our loss, is shared by millions.”
Jerry Jones has gone from being celebrated as one of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017 to dealing with the suspension of one of his best players on the Cowboys to the death of a father figure.