Jimmy Johnson, the coach who led the Cowboys to two championships before leaving the team after a falling out with owner Jerry Jones, has said that he has an assurance from Jones that he will eventually be inducted in the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. Jones apparently doesn’t recall giving Johnson any such assurance.
In an interview on Outside the Lines, Jones became visibly agitated when he was asked about Johnson, and Jones said he has no intention of giving Johnson the Cowboys’ highest honor.
“I don’t have plans for Jimmy to be in the Ring of Honor. The criteria that I’m interested in have more to the guys that were on the field making the plays,” Jones said.
If the Ring of Honor were solely for Cowboys who had made plays on the field, Jones’s comments would make sense. But former Cowboys coach Tom Landry and former Cowboys G.M. Tex Schramm are both in the Ring of Honor. So why no space for Johnson, who twice hoisted the Lombardi Trophy along with Jones, and whose personnel decisions played a large part in a third Cowboys title after Johnson left the team?
Jones doesn’t have any real answer to that, other than that the decision belongs to Jones, and Jones doesn’t think Johnson is worthy of the Ring of Honor.
“To have that kind of recognition for a coach, I know that’s there, on the other hand, I get to make that decision,” Jones said.
The bottom line is that Jones doesn’t want Johnson getting too much recognition, because Jones wants the credit for those three Cowboys championships in the 1990s. Giving Johnson a permanent place in Jones’s football palace would be a little too much like giving Johnson the credit for building those championship teams. And Jones would rather have that credit for himself.