Normally, Charlotte Jones Anderson has her hands full as the executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys and the chairman of the NFL Foundation. This year she added college basketball to her resume as the chairperson of the North Dallas Final Four host committee.
With the game played at the stadium built by her father, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Jones Anderson is making quite an impression around the Dallas area and the NFL offices, according to the New York Daily News .
Anderson, a mother of three, is a rising star in the NFL. Roger Goodell appointed her the chairperson of the recently created NFL Foundation, which is involved in health and safety in sports and youth football. With the Cowboys, she's in charge of the brand. "My primary responsibility is the growth and expansion of a franchise steeped in tradition, being able to grow that and still acknowledge the tradition of the past but take us into different areas that we haven't been before," she said.
Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989, but Anderson didn't come to Dallas right away. She was one year out of Stanford and working for Arkansas congressman Tommy Robinson in Washington. The Cowboys went 1-15 in Jones' first season, and the only victory came against the Redskins on the road. "That was great," Anderson said. "That made the elevator rides a lot easier on The Hill."
Her political work, she said, "prepares you in a lot of ways when you work for challenging and controversial people. It allows you to build a lot of character along the way."
She said has enjoyed the change of pace brought by running one of the biggest amateur sporting events in the country, which culminates Monday with the national championship game between the University of Connecticut and University of Kentucky.
"The basketball has been an exciting challenge," she said. "We are pretty confident we can run a big event since we are used to bringing in 80,000 people."
At the NFL meetings in Orlando last week, I asked her what's been tougher: Being able to make a name for herself as Jones' daughter or being a woman in a league dominated by male executives.
Being her father's daughter got her vote.
"When your dad has such a presence and image and impact the way that he has in sport and with the NFL, he casts a very large shadow," she said. "With that shadow, he cast a lot of opportunity, too."
-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor