Jerry Jones, Paul Tagliabue Names Finalists for NFL Hall of Fame

Class of 2017 to be named during Super Bowl LI; enshrinement next August

Jerry Jones, the owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, was named a finalist Tuesday for the National Football League's Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.

Jones was named a finalist along with former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said during his news conference Tuesday that he believes the owner is a first-ballot entry into Canton.

"From my perspective he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The impact that he's had on the National Football League in his 27 years has been significant," Garrett said. "There's no question in my mind, from where I sit, that he should be recognized as a Hall of Famer and it's great that people see that."

Garrett said Jones wants the NFL and the Cowboys to be great and he does everything he can every day to make them as great as they can be.

"One of the things that all of my teammates and all of my fellow coaches have said throughout the years is that line one for this guy is to do everything that he can to help this team win. He'll do anything that he thinks is necessary to help the Dallas Cowboys win football games," Garrett said. "To work for him, obviously one of the great owners in all of sports, it's a real privilege."

Here's more on Jones and Tagliabue from the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee:

Jones bought the Cowboys franchise in 1989 and quickly restored a winning tradition in Dallas. Under his leadership, the Cowboys captured three Super Bowl championships over a four-year period with victories in Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX. In addition, the team has won nine division titles during Jones’ era. The Cowboys owner has also had great influence on the growth of the NFL. His impact in areas of sports marketing, promotion and development greatly enhanced the league’s success and also altered the American sports culture over the past three decades.

“I can’t tell you about how humble and gratified I am,” Jones stated today.

Tagliabue served as the NFL’s Commissioner from 1989 through 2006. The NFL grew significantly in a number of areas during his 17-year tenure. With Tagliabue leading the way, the league expanded from 28 to 32 teams; constructed 20 new stadiums, and secured long-term labor agreements with the NFL Players Association. The Commissioner also established an overseas presence, created a league-wide Internet network and launched NFL Network. He also orchestrated historic television deals that ranked as the biggest in entertainment history including a TV package negotiated for 2006-2011 valued at $25 billion.

“I’m deeply appreciative of the vote of confidence from the Selection Committee,” Tagliabue shared moments after learning the news of his selection as a finalist.

The Contributors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2017 Contributor nominees were reduced to a list of 10 semifinalists. Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members of the committee meet at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the Contributors semifinalists and today selected Jones and Tagliabue. The Contributor category is for individuals who made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching.

Jones and Tagliabue must receive the same 80 percent voting support from the entire Selection Committee that is required of all finalists during the annual selection meeting to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting on the eve of Super Bowl LI, will consider 18 finalists, including two Contributor Finalists (Jones and Tagliabue), one Senior Finalist (Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley who was named by the Seniors Committee yesterday), and 15 Modern-Era Finalists to select a class of no fewer than four or more than eight.

The list of Modern-Era nominees for 2017 will be revealed in mid-September.

The Class of 2017 will be formally enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton next August.

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