Jerry Jones wishes he wouldn’t have fired Tom Landry so soon


As the owner of a perpetually 8-8 team, Jerry Jones has seldom second-guessed himself.

But he admitted Sunday that if he had his tenure as Cowboys owner to do over again, one of his first decisions would have been different.

While stopping short of regret, he said he wished he had waited before firing coach Tom Landry as soon as he took control of the team, even though it led to a period of great success in the 1990s under coach Jimmy Johnson.

“If I had a chance to do it over again, I would’ve waited a year and just got my feet on the ground a little bit more and probably just gone with the staff that we had and then later made the ultimate change that I made,” Jones said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

So even though he’d have still made the change, Jones would have at least been viewed as less disrespectful. It’s a small step, but perhaps one in the right direction.

Jones has seldom admitted wrongdoing since taking over the team, so it makes you wonder if one day he’ll regret not hiring a General Manager.

35 responses to “Jerry Jones wishes he wouldn’t have fired Tom Landry so soon

  1. The Dallas Cowboys used to be a proud franchise; some might say arrogant, while others might say dignified.

    But now they’re a freakshow. T.O. gets brought on board, and the most prominent image is of him blubbering about “That’s my quarterback”. Jerry Jones takes a quarter century to realize he could have treated Tom Landry with a little more class. The team is something like 168-168 since ’97.

    What a descent.

  2. What he really regrets is that Jimmy Johnson get’s all the credit for the superbowls they won in the 90’s. He’d rather have not won the superbowls than have someone else get credit for them.

    He probably thinks that if he had waited a year he could’ve been the coach, GM and owner because it only takes a year to learn how to coach an NFL team and not have had to hire Jimmy.

  3. BSPN translator…by keeping Tom Landry around and extra year…then firing him with no class, I wouldn’t have hired that credit-hogging schmuck Jimmy Johnson. This way, jerry wouldn’t have had to deal with people having you for running off the best coach of the 1990s…you wouldn’t have had to worry about winning Super Bowls either.

  4. This just proves that Jerry Jones lucked into his NFL success. The best decision he ever made … and he regrets it!

  5. You cant be the face of the franchise with Landry, Johnson, or even Parcells as coach. So that’s why there’s a Jarrett, Switzer, Hailey, and Phillips there after.

  6. As fans, we wish you never would have pushed Jimmy out… you never would have pushed Bill Parcels out… and you’d fire your GM and Jason Garrett a long time ago!

  7. Another way to interpret the remarks is this:

    “If I had waited another year to fire Tom Landry, chances are good that some other team would have hired Jimmy Johnson, and I would not have had to spend the next couple decades explaining why my team has been basically dysfunctional since I got my panties in a bunch and fired him.

    So I will talk about the distant past, the glory years, and divert public attention from my perpetually mediocre ballclub. And maybe people will give me a little of the positive attention that I crave.”

    Jones isn’t Johnson, and does not have Johnson’s eye for talent or motivation skills. As owner, he seemed to envy the credit Johnson was given for building the Super Bowl teams, and that probably led to the firing. Jones has become Captain Ahab, with the GM role being the great white whale that will take him down.

  8. Jones is a self-centered idiot who is a hero only in his own mind. He knows nothing of how to run a football team and was too “proud” to seek or take the advice of those in the know like Landry, Johnson, and especially, Parcells. Imagine, losing Parcells in favor of that useless wide receiver.

  9. So, the only thing Jerry Jones will show regret for is something that led to the cowboys winning 3 super bowl rings? If I recall correctly, the Cowboys traded Hershel Walker that season. That was one of the big moves that turned the cowboys around. If he had waited a year, I suppose it’s still likely he gets Johnson, but not necessarily a guarantee.

  10. whoa nelly. Now he says he shouldn’t have fired Landry so soon….but he still employs this so-called intellectual from Princeton who when he’s on the sidelines in critical moments looks like a deer in headlights?

  11. Everyone forgets that Tom Landry was the one responsible for drafting Aikman. The year earlier, Landry drafted Irvin and had plans to get Emmitt Smith the next year. Landry had great vision and was the coach that really started building the team of the 90’s. Landry recruited Aikman much like a college. They had Aikman visit the stadium and all the facilities. It was a huge deal. Jimmy Johnson drafted his college QB, which only played for Dallas a year or two… eventually going to Chicago.

  12. The Cowboys’ last success is directly attributable to Jimmy Johnson and his ability to parlay the Vikings’ disastrous H. Walker trade into a gold mine of talent for Dallas. End of story.

  13. I think a majority of the Cowboy fans now regret that Jerry Jones owns the team, and wish he had never bought them.

    What he has done to the organization is like going to the circus and waiting for the next act. You never know for sure what is going to happen next.

  14. Coach Landry was a man that I truly respected. An amazing coach, a great husband + father, and an incredible man. He was fired by a total piece of shizz who has not changed one bit in 25 years. Fall off the planet, Jerry Jones. No one would care.

  15. What’s done is done can’t cry about it. The only thing you can do now to try and make up for it is fire the current GM.

  16. As angry as everyone was when Jerry fired Landry, it turns out that it was probably the one thing he’s done right since taking over the team. If Landry had stayed one more year Jimmy would’ve gone someplace else, you probably wouldn’t have drafted Aikman, you definitely wouldn’t have made the Hershel Walker trade, and as a result would not have gotten key players that helped build that dynasty, including Emmitt Smith.

  17. A Lot of people say that Jerry Jones is a great owner. I say that he is the WORST owner in the league because he won’t see that keeping himself as GM is causing his team to suffer greatly and his putting money over winning and ignoring the fans of his team are totally ruining this once proud franchise.

    I’ve been a Cowboys fan since I can remember and am getting very close to the point of them losing my support because of him and his meddling. I no longer go to games nor buy their merchandise because it puts money in Jerry’s pocket.

    Let me ask you this, Mr. Jones…Since you made your millions in the oil business, let’s compare apples to apples here. What would you do if you had a rig operator that kept interfering with all his crew and never being able to bring a well in?

  18. Stop the press… Jerry Jones admits he made a mistake in firing Tom Landry too quickly. This hasn’t been the only mistake Jerry Jones has made since purchasing the Cowboys. It’s just one of many mistakes he has made. The list just goes on, and on, and on…

  19. Only in the football-lacking knowledge mind of ‘ol JJ could he NOW regret the move that gave him his championships and his NFL signifigance, about 25 years after the fact.
    Could the Landry situation have been handled better at the time? Perhaps.
    But, Landry had done his time, was at the end and he wasn’t going to retire on his own……WITHOUT a little help. Resignation was not going to happen.
    Whose to say if Jimmy Johnson would have been around in a year or two to accept the position?
    Because, make no mistake about it, hiring Johnson and that staff that they put together at the time with the football acumen they showed through all of their wheeling and dealing (most notably, the Hershel Walker trade) built a football dynasty.
    The only significant players that were already in Dallas when Johnson and his crew showed up was Irvin and, I believe, Tuinei and Jeffcoat.
    If Jones hadn’t pushed Johnson out or made things miserable for him, I believe that Dallas would have won, at least, another Super Bowl and an NFL record 4 straight.
    Switzer only won that 3rd title because of the talent that was already present.
    But, Jones wanted the credit all to himself and to be “the boss”. Something that persists to this day.
    Mediocrity or not.

  20. jerry will never be anything more than a lucky owner because when he is lucky enough to get it right he ruins it by not wanting anyone else to take the credit, had he stuck with jimmy johnson and let him run things they would more than likely been a lot better than a 500 ball club like they have for the last 15 years jerry wants all the credit so i think he deserves it hey jerry you suck as a gm there i said it!!

  21. Jones is only saying this due to the fact that he was subjected to so much negative publicity for firing Landry immediately. He didn’t care at all about Landry. Jones just did not want to make himself look bad and underestimated this fact when he made his fateful decision.

  22. I was a Cowboys fan from the 1960’s and immediately stopped rooting for them because of the way Jones treated Landry.

  23. It clearly speaks to Jerrah’s immense ego when his only regret is the way he let a head coach go so very long ago. Furthermore, NOTHING can be done about this mistake, as coach Landry is long gone. It would be not only more meaningful, but more relevant if he addressed his most glaringly poor and far-reaching decision. This of course is the firing of his BEST coach, Jimmy Johnson. There is a DIRECT relationship to the downhill slide of this franchise over these MANY years and the absence of JJ. I do not count the SB victory the year after he left, as the roster was made up of Johnson’s players. This would be , not only an appropriate admission, it would be so much more timely, as JJ is not only still alive to HEAR Jerrah’s admission, it’s also a poor decision that could possibly be REVERSED. Though it is far-fetched to imagine, it is no TOTALLY out of the question to bring coach Johnson back! Just IMAGINE the fan support for THIS move. The Hawks could lose their record for the loudest cheer the first time Jimmy steps onto the field for the first home game of his return to “Big D.” WOW!!

  24. I was a huge Landry fan. Tom Landry was a class act. I think that maybe it was time for him to leave, but the way Jones handled it was very disrespectful to Coach Landry. The whole thing could have been handled in a better way whether he fired the coach right away or waited a year.

  25. Jerry Jones ruined a once proud and powerful football team by letting his ego,money,and thirst for the spotlight get in the way.Landry was a coaching legend,he not only fired him way too soon,but also fired Jimmy Johnson who brought him a couple super bowls.He’s an idiot.Look at his present staff ? All yes men who couldn’t land a job on a good team.

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