Jimmy Johnson calls Jerry Jones’ G.M. claims a “crock”

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he always has been and always will be the general manager in Dallas. The former Cowboys coach who won two Super Bowls in Dallas says Jones is full of it.

Jimmy Johnson, Jones’s former college teammate who was hired by Jones to coach the Cowboys shortly after Jones bought the franchise in 1989, said on the Dan Patrick Show that Jones may claim he has always called the shots, but that the Super Bowl-winning teams of the 1990s were actually built by Johnson.

“That is completely a bunch of crock,” Johnson said. “Jerry started putting all those titles on himself after I left. He didn’t call himself general manager and president and all that stuff when I was there. He was just the owner. Because it was in my contract that I had total responsibility for all football decisions. It was in my contract, and he didn’t allow anybody to have that in their contract after I left.”

Johnson says that he takes more pride in what he did as the Cowboys’ general manager than in what he did as the Cowboys’ head coach.

“I was the personnel director there with the Cowboys,” Johnson said. “My pride was collecting the talent and putting together the team that won the Super Bowls.”

As for the current Cowboys, Johnson sees problems with the way Jones has structured the team. Johnson said that in the NFL, everyone — players, coaches, general managers, everyone — is motivated by the fear of losing their jobs. But when Jones has hired himself as general manager, there’s no fear of losing his job — and also no fear of any of Jones’s family members or other personal favorites losing their jobs.

“Really, the No. 1 motivator is fear, you know, fear of maybe letting down your teammates, of being chastised or maybe losing your job. Where’s the fear in Dallas? There’s no fear in Dallas. It’s a country club where everybody’s buddies,” Johnson said.

Johnson says that Jones wants to make sure that everybody understands that he makes the final call because he owns the team. Unfortunately for Jones, everyone does know that. And everyone knows the results in the years since Jimmy Johnson’s players retired have not been good.

94 responses to “Jimmy Johnson calls Jerry Jones’ G.M. claims a “crock”

  1. And this is why the Cowboys won multiple SB’s when Jimmy was in charge. Apparently Jerry doesn’t see that it all fell apart when he made himself GM.

    Oh well, more fun for those of us that enjoy watching the Cowboys fail. (Like me;-)

  2. If it’s true that final say in personnel decisions was in Jimmie Johnson’s contract then Jerry Jones just got called out publicly. I love it. Good on ya, Jimmie!

  3. Jimmy Johnson please come back!!! A man can dream can’t he. It’s been a nightmare since Jimmy( the real reason we won the Super Bowl)Johnson got fired by a joke of a GM. Jerra please wake up & realize u are no Jimmy Johnson or for that matter a “football guy”.

  4. Jummy is telling the truth; people were afraid of losing their jobs and positions right down to the kickers having asthma attacks during practice; Emmitt never let anyone else, his backup’s touch the ball cause he didn’t want to lose his position; running back by committee hasn’t worked in Dallas overall..

  5. Thank you Jimmy for telling the truth about Jerry Jones lying butt.

    Jerry Jones HAS NEVER BUILT A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM! Jimmy built those teams, made the draft selections and Jerry was just hanging around. When Jerry wasn’t getting the credit for those teams, that’s when he got rid of Jimmy and the Deadcows haven’t been anything since.

  6. Jerrah says if you don’t believe him that you should “just ask my son stephen”, LOL……Jimmy Johnson didn’t need to tell us what we’ve all known but it was cool to hear someone put Jerrah in his place.

  7. Jones wants to win, BUT, he wants to win his way. Problem is he can’t see his way hasn’t work nor will ever work. A GM cannot scout talent and review film with coaches and then negotiate boxing matches and Victoria Secret deals.

  8. Yeah, but the fact that Jimmy Johnson was unable to reproduce the success he had in Dallas casts some doubt on his claim. Honestly, the Herschel Walker trade and the greatness of Emmitt Smith probably had more to do with it than anything else.

  9. “…Because it was in my contract that I had total responsibility for all football decisions. It was in my contract, and he didn’t allow anybody to have that in their contract after I left.”

    And they haven’t won a THING since!

  10. I bet this is true. This comes up almost every year with Jerry Jones giving up his GM duties. I think Stephen Jones does make a lot of the GM decisions but obviously Jerry is not teaching him much. Jerry has made some good decisions over the years but the bad definitely outweigh the good.

  11. ummmm…..those teams were built by the Minnesota Vikings and Herschel Walker. Amazing what you can do with 15 extra picks from another team.

  12. Jimmy is wrong. Jerry DID give himself those titles and call himself the president a general manager while Jimmy was there.

    In the Cowboys’ 1990 media guide, Jerry is listed as “president-general manager.” Jimmy is listed as “head coach.”

    Even if Jimmy did make all of the personnel decisions, Jerry still held the title of general manager while Jimmy was there.

  13. And how did that work out for you in Miami Jimmy? The cowboys had a tremendous amount of luck and talent those years. And, neither clown (Jones or Johnson) could ever replicate it.

  14. If you’re a Cowboys fan and have followed the team closely over the years , you know that Jerry suffers from a serious problem in trying to re-write history. As my dad used to say, “people like Jerry lie when the truth would fit a whole lot better!” Jerry is obsessed with getting credit for the Cowboys success and to be thought of as a “football man.” If you live in Cowboys country, it has become both sad and almost comical to listen to him over the past 15 years or so.

  15. The problem with what Jimmy said is that he’s trying to take all the credit just like Jerry BUT if he was so great why were the Dolphins so mediocre when he was coach/GM. I think he selected just 4 better than average players in the draft during the time he was there.
    Yatil Green with the #15 overall?
    That period in time for Dallas was a total team effort but the 2 biggest egos involved want sole credit.

  16. Reminds me of the Jerry Krause Chicago Bulls of the 1990’s. Because of Krause/Jones-size egos, we’ll never know how many championships those two franchises could have actually won.

  17. I used too like the cowboys when Jimmy Johnson was the last real coach of the cowboys and he is absolutely right…Jimmy Johnson built the cowboys in the 90’s and he did the hershal walker trade that started the dynasty and that is a cold hard fact. After Jimmy left, I was done with Dallas cause Jerry Jones ego was too much to deal with then and has gotten worse now and is the sole reason dallas will always struggle.

  18. A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Same goes for an owner who hires himself as GM.

  19. Jimmy told the truth!!!! As for why he wasnt as successful in Miami, He wasnt privy to top of the draft stars like he was his 1st couple seasons in Dallas because even in Shula’s last season they finished 9-7 with a playoff berth… and never finished below 8-8 during his time there. Jerruh and Jerruh alone is the reason for the grease fire known as the Dallas Cowboys.

  20. I think we’re being a little unfair here. I was very fond of the Dave Campo – Bruce Coslet era.

  21. Jenny Jones only look at a few teams for recruitment:
    Texas, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma St…someone needs to show Jenny that there are more teams in college today.

  22. I love the Dallas Cowboys but since Jimmie Johnson left they haven’t been able to do anything right. 🙁

  23. Half the credit should go to the GM of the Vikings, who traded a load of picks for Herschel Walker. That trade set the Cowboys up like no team in draft history, but to Jerry and Jimmy’s credit, they were the people who selected great players. Nobody is perfect, but overall they both get credit for their ’90s success.

    Jimmy nailed it on the fear thing, though. It’s obvious the players aren’t motivated, and Jerry doesn’t have the guts to make hard decisions, when those decisions will improve the team.

  24. I feel bad for Cowboy fans. They have an owner who says he would fire a GM with the record he has had the past few years which, you would think, tells you that he understands he hasn’t done a good job as GM. But he says he will always remain GM which means he’ll never put the teams needs ahead of his ego.

  25. When Nepotism exists in the management it is a sign of complacency. Here are some examples:


    Are there others? Seems like Schottenhiemer might of done so.

    49ers might be an exception with a very young but apparently pretty good Jed York.

  26. Jimmy and Jerry were the right guys for just the right time. They absolutely fleeced the Vikings, and they didn’t play in the same free -agent environment that teams do now (including the Dolphin teams Jimmy coached).

    I give them both credit for all of that, Jimmy was a ruthless coach (asthma field) and that team absolutely ran through him, Jerry was ruthless as well – especially with the Herschel Walker trade.

    Someday maybe Jerry will decide to stop drafting as though he is a player away from winning it all. That isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

  27. Jerry must have thought he’d have ten Lombardi’s by now, about the time Jimmy’s silence agreement expired when he quit. I hope Jimmy keeps talking, and makes Jerry look even more the buffoon he does already!

  28. @pftmaniac

    The Walker trade was important but not as important as the lack of a salary cap. Neither the Cowboys or Johnson have won anything since the field was leveled.

  29. Wow, how pathetic! With his team reeling again and almost certainly out of the playoffs, Jones’ weak ego has to continue to live out the fantasy that he was the architect behind the Cowboy dynasty.

    As much as I despise the Cowboys, the sadder truth for Cowboy fans is that, if not of Jones and his ego, Johnson would have stayed and I have very little doubt they would have won maybe four or five CONSECUTIVE Super Bowls. And maybe more titles down the road after that team was re-stocked. Of course, Johnson was never able to duplicate his success in Miami, so maybe they would have nose-dived anyway, but I think that early 90s Cowboy team could have been the greatest dynasty ever. They were better than everybody else in that era and it wasn’t even close. Go re-watch the 94 NFC title game they lost to SF and you see how the Cowboys beat themselves in that game with Switzer as coach. I’m shedding no tears about it, but they were that good.

  30. No doubt Johnson’s eye for talent (and, ahem, a once-in-a-lifetime Herschel Walker trade) lifted Dallas to Super Bowl prominence. Switzer “earned” a title off of JJ’s residual.

    Since 1996 the Cowboys have been largely irrelevant. Jones is a great businessman but his front office management is pathetic. And his ego won’t let him separate the two.

    One question for Jimmy: Who was pulling the trigger down in Miami?

  31. This isn’t news at all!!! That’s the reason the cowboys haven’t won since jimmy left

  32. Jerry Jones = Old Al Davis.

    I say old al, because in his sane days Al was a great owner. In his later years, not so much.

    I wonder if Kraft is up in Boston, seeing this, and thinking he should be the new GM of the Patriots?
    Where’s the Tisch family? are they ready to take over the Giants gm and presidentail rolls..
    See a pattern here?

    As an eagles fan, i really dislike the cowboys. BUT with respect to the game of Football, no one, deserves to have a team go through the BS like Jones is pulling on them. Football is a team sport. Jerry isn’t acting like he’s PART of the team, he’s acting like the Dictator. As Al Davis did…

    Then again, the more the loose, .. ahh hell, my eagles suck this year too..

  33. royd85 says:Nov 7, 2012 12:05 PM

    And his current best players where mostly selected during the Parcells years.

    That is false and or missleading. It is well documented that Parcells did not want to draft Demarcus Ware. Parcells also had nothing to do with the drafting of Sean Lee and Bruce Carter (Their best players by a mile both STEALS in the 2nd round). Parcells was also part of 4 drafts in Dallas. 2 of which were complete flops.

  34. @tbtrojan- you clearly didn’t think your thoughts through.

    First two to come to mind were Zack Thomas and JasonTaylor. As mentioned, just the first two but there were more.

    Still, Jimmy turned out to be a a coward in Miami.

  35. Even if you don’t trust what either of them are saying, the numbers speak for themselves. The Cowboys were dominant when Jimmy Johnson was there. They’ve more or less been mediocre ever since.

    Oh, and Johnson has basically won everywhere he’s been until he burnt out with the Dolphins.

  36. The worst thing to EVER happen to this team is Switzer winning a Super Bowl. At that point, JJ felt validated in his work as a football exec. As a Cowboys fan, I have sadly become content to live in mediocrity until the time the JJ either comes to his senses and hires a real GM (doubtful), loses his mental faculties and has the team taken from him (wishful thinking), or dies and his family sells the team to avoid the taxes (most likely scenario). Until then I keep hoping that the team will come together and overcome the ineptitude of their owner for one glorious run (to the 2nd round of the playoffs).

  37. Jimmy shut up! Jerry is brilliant at what he does, leave him alone.


    Giants nation

  38. Obviously one playoff win in 16 years isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for Jones the GM. I’m really not sure why people think it would be a smart or desirable move for Payton to go to that dumpster fire.

  39. Jimmy didnt get the draft picks in Miami because their record was better when got there. He did make the mistake of trying to make Dan Marino hand the ball off more than he threw it. That didnt work for either of them very well.

  40. In the 5 seasons Jimmy Johnson was with the Cowboys, they drafted 13 Pro Bowl players. In the 19 seasons since, they have drafted 13 Pro Bowl players. I think at least 11 of those drafts have yet, or never have, produced a PB player.

    Whether they had lots of picks from the Herschel trade or not, the fact is they drafted prolifically when Johnson was with the Cowboys and they have drafted horribly since he left.

  41. The Cowboys will be stuck in the abyss of mediocrity and consistent inconsistency as long as the raging ego of Jerry Jones runs that team. He is so blind to the fact that he is holding his team back, and has been doing so for what, 16 years now?

    What GM would be allowed to run and build a team for that long, consistently hype themselves up as Super Bowl contenders, and fall flat on their face year after year after year? 1 playoff win in 16 years? What other GM, what other team, what other owner would allow this trend to hopelessly continue?

    It’s not about the best interest of the team, it’s not about regaining the glory days, it’s about Jerry and his ego not being able to concede that he cannot do a job he thought he could do. He just has to be at the forefront, it’s all about him, he wants the attention. His over inflated sense of self worth will continue to doom this franchise for years to come, and judging from his comments to the media about how he will never fire himself, there is no end in sight. That comment must have just sent chills down the spines of Cowboys fans, didn’t it? And brought big giant smiles to the rest of the NFC East.

    Here’s to another decade of over hyped under achieving directionless Cowboys teams with no leadership and no identity. I’m really glad i hate that team. Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, Tony Romo, lol what a joke that place is.

  42. I’m a Saints fan. But, he goes my two cents anyway. Frist of all I believe Jerry Jones wants to win as bad as any owner in the NFL. I just don’t think that he trust anyone enough to help him reach that goal. The real problem with Jerry Jones is that he’s just good enough at what he does to cause major problems. I feel sorry for the Cowboys fans. I’ve live in Texas sense Katrina and I know the love thier team just as much as I love the Saints. The sad truth is that this it Jerry’s team. He owns them. And, he has every right to do what he want’s to, even if that means assuring that the Cowboys will never win anothe SB while he owns the team

  43. In Jimmy Johnson’s four years with the dolphins he drafted 4 PB players, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. Maybe that’s not that spectacular, but in the previous nine draft years the Dolphins drafted 4 PB players and they went four drafts in a row, prior to Johnson’s arrival, without a single PB player.

    And in spite of that, he went to the playoffs three times in those four years. Yeah. He didn’t win SBs, but he had some success. To say he wasn’t successful is to deny the record.

    And trust me, I’m no JJ fan (can’t stand the U of M, hate the Cowboys and don’t care for the Fish), but the facts speak for themselves.

  44. If my memory serves me, things started falling apart for Jerry when he had his buddies ditch the cowboy hats for the caps.

  45. All this braying about the Herschel trade…it netted the Cowboys Russell Maryland (yawn), Emmitt Smith, & Darren Woodson…that’s it, in terms of name players from the draft picks. The only key player Jimmy didn’t pick in his tenure was Michael Irvin…& with Irvin’s off-field stuff back then, what other coach would’ve gotten production from him? Not many.

    The fact is Johnson built those teams, & in my mind is the only credible, modern GM/coach in history (because Parcells won his SB with George Young). It’s puzzling why the guy Johnson beat over & over(Marv Levy) is in the HOF, but the guy who won 3 SBs (essentially) is out. Dumb dumb dumb.

  46. Well, first…and I don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet..

    Many writers have already debunked this whol story and showed in many programs (while Jimmy was here) that he was indead president and Gm during those days. Jimmy had control but Jerry still had to sign off on moves.

    Secondly, if Jimmy’s team was so amazing how come they didn’t win the year after he left, but the year after that? Was it Jimmys players that won it? If so, that makes Jimmy a good scout and doesn’t say much about his coaching.

    Also, Jimmy went 2-3 in the playoffs after he left Dallas including a 62-7 ass whooping to send him off.

    They needed each other, not one way or the other.

  47. markdamack says:
    Nov 7, 2012 3:17 PM

    Secondly, if Jimmy’s team was so amazing how come they didn’t win the year after he left, but the year after that? Was it Jimmys players that won it? If so, that makes Jimmy a good scout and doesn’t say much about his coaching.

    That being said you know how hard it is to repeat as super bowl champions? So what they didn’t win in 1995. if you look back you can see there was another equally great team during the cowboys run; the SF 49ers lead by future hall of famers steve young and jerry rice. They met 3 times in the NFC championship from 93-95, they won the 2 times with jimmy and lost in ’95 to the eventual SB champs without him.

  48. There is NO doubt that the Cowboys were FAR better off with Jimmy Johnson there. NONE.

    Still, a Walker-like steal/trade doesn’t come along very often.The Vikings GM (Lynn) said at the time something to the effect of, “For the good of the NFL this will remain the worst trade of all time”.

    And, I will also note that I told football fans back in 1989, that the Cowboys were “the best 1-15” team you were likely to see. There was some decent building blocks there, and they got Aikman with the first pick of the draft.

    So, I would add a footnote that Tom Landry deserves at least some mention in providing some building blocks to those dominant early 90s teams.

  49. bigredgoog says:

    When Nepotism exists in the management it is a sign of complacency. Here are some examples:


    Giants–Team has been in the Mara family for 80 years.

    Bengals–Mike Brown inherited the team from his father, and many Brown family members are employed there.

    Steelers–On their third or fourth generation of Rooneys.

    Colts–Jim Irsay inherited the team from his father.

    I don’t really see a trend there. Five Super Bowl wins in the last seven years, offset by the hot mess that is the Bagels.

    In my opinion, nepotism isn’t so bad if the family members actually know what they’re doing, or at least if they know how to get out of the way of those who do know football.

  50. what i’m confused about is how did jimmy put together 2 surper bowl winning teams in dallas but in 3 or was it 4 years in miami he ended it on the wrong side of a 62-7 rout in a play off game he picked most of the players then too. what happened jimmy?

  51. There’s something off-putting about Jimmy Johnson’s interviews these days. Here’s a guy who made an awful lot of money coaching football, yet he doesn’t seem to have a good thing to say about anyone, or anything, associated with the game. Yes, we all know about the mistakes Jerry has made, and continues to make. Jimmy should still have some class, and be the bigger man.

  52. Yeah, as others have mentioned, Parcells did not really stack the Cowboys with talent.

    Parcells wanted to draft Marcus Spears instead of Demarcus Ware. Jerry overruled him, and they ended up getting both (They got Spears later in the first round with a pick they had from trading down the previous year).

    Parcells did draft a few competent late round guys (Jay Ratliff, Bradie James), but really his draft classes were nothing special.

    If you look at the last few years of Cowboys draft picks, they’ve been getting better. Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, DeMarco Murray, Tyron Smith and Morris Claiborne have all been really good picks. Dez Bryant… not so much, but you can’t win them all.

    Of course, all of those “good picks” came in the first three rounds. The Cowboys have not drafted well in rounds 4-7 lately, and that is part of why they aren’t very good.

    What might be the Cowboys biggest weakness is their inability to evaluate and/or coach offensive linemen. Everything to the right of Tyron Smith is sort of a disaster, and has been for a while.

  53. This is exactly why I can’t stand Jerry Jones! The Dallas Cowboys were a great team when Jimmy Johnson was their head coach and general manager.

  54. Some things never change. It’s this kind of obsession for the credit that got these guys to the blowup that got Johnson our the door 20 yrs ago. It’s also foolish for us to sit here and accept the suggestion that Jones doesn’t have working for him people who have to perform to keep their jobs. Do we really think he doesn’t have a scouting dept that he has put a lot of money into? Also let’s not just say whatever Johnson and Parcells did was great and Jones’s other decisions have been bad. Parcells is the guys who used high picks for Spears, Fassano, and Carpenter. Even Johnson (if he was “in charge” selected Russell Maryland no. 1 overall – not a great no. 1 pick). Neither Johnson nor Parcells were here in the pas few years when we drafted guys like Lee, Carter, and Murray all after the first round. They all hit sometimes with talent and all miss. Our biggest problem now is not talent, but football fundamentals. Either Garrett needs to get that cleaned up or he may need to go.

  55. As a 49ers fan, I was glad to see Jimmy go…I can remember vividly the dominance of that cowboy offensive line….I think my granny coulda got 1000 yds rushing on that team…when the cowboys wrested Charles Haley from us, it changed our dynamic, and he was a killing force against us in the two NFC title games we lost, which is to say, perhaps the 49ers missed two Super Bowl appearances because of J Johnson…..Jones is a spoiled rich kid, that dont want anyone else playing with his fire truck…he needs some of John Elways “i know what i dont know”….at least Al Davis, the dearly beloved of Raider Nation, was a football man, who, while having misfired in the various drafts, showed down to his last days the ability to draft real talent…..Cowboy fans, at this stage, the best you can hope for is the Jones family to sell the team, and ride off into the Texas sundown…


  56. I no fan of jimmy, Jerry or the cowboys, but just because a guy doesn’t equal the success of his first stop at the next doesn’t lessen his past accomplishments.
    What did Vince Lombardi do in Washington?

  57. Jimmy could not duplicate the success in Miami for 2 reasons:
    1. WHO ELSE but the Minnesota Vikings would give up a slew of Draft Picks for Herschel Walker?
    2. He wanted to use that same model in Miami but he did not have the draft picks.

    Also, he gave up on Marino too quickly.

  58. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Nov 7, 2012 12:57 PM

    The real question is who maserminded the Walker trade? I have a feeling it was Jimmy and that trade is what built that dynasty. The closest thing we’ve seen as a trade of that magnitude is what the Rams did this year with RGIII.
    Really? Do you have any idea what the Rams received in compensation for dealing Eric Dickerson?

    The RGIII trade is closer to that of Eli Manning for Phillip Rivers deal.

    The HW Trade was only 1 step of the process – 15 teams and 55 players were a part of all the various trades from the original 5 players and 8 conditional picks that went to Dallas – who would eventually wind up with Russell Maryland, Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, Kevin Smith and Clayton Holmes from the deal.

  59. So where was the same success in Miami?!?

    The Vikings and General Manager Mike Lynn made one of the greatest mental farts of all time by giving up those picks for Herschel Walker and that plus a favorable schedule gave the Cowboys their championships…

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