Jerry Jones throws bouquets at Jimmy Johnson during Hall speech

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For those wondering whether Jerry Jones would mention Jimmy Johnson on Saturday, they didn’t have long to wait. It was only four minutes into the Cowboys owner’s rousing 36-minute Hall of Fame speech that he brought up Johnson’s name.

Jones then talked about Johnson twice more – mentioning Johnson’s hiring and then his departure from the Cowboys after five seasons.

In 1989, when he bought the team, Jones recalled the unpopular decision he made to fire Tom Landry and hire his old college roommate.

“I wanted someone I knew well. I wanted someone that could get it done to be our coach. I wanted Jimmy Johnson,” Jones said. “I said he’d be worth five first-round draft choices or five Heisman Trophy winners. Of course, I sure did get laughed out of town when I said it. It was my first experience as an owner and a general manager – a difficult and very unpopular decision. Jimmy, it was a great decision. You were a great teammate. You were a great partner. Contrary to popular belief, we worked so well together for five years and restored the Cowboys’ credibility with our fans. We were back-to-back; we were driven; we had thick skin; we took all the criticism they could dish out. I thank you.”

Johnson, on stage as Jason Taylor’s presenter, gave Jones a thumbs-up before clapping his hands together in thanks.

Jones and Johnson ended their relationship before the 1994 season, after back-to-back Super Bowls, when Jones said any one of 500 coaches could have won those championships. The Cowboys had a chance to do something special by winning three consecutive Super Bowls, but Johnson left and Jones replaced him with Barry Switzer. The 1994 Cowboys lost to the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, although they did win a third title in four years in 1995.

“After Jimmy screwed up and we parted ways – and Kenny Easley there will be no confessions here tonight – I come home and, of course, [wife] Gene has been watching the news and finds out about it and I lay down,” Jones said. “It’s as silent as anything you can imagine. After I laid there a minute, she just looks over and says, ‘You can’t stand it, can you? You just absolutely, when it gets going, you’ve just got to get in it and mess it up.’ I was asked what I said, and I just shut up and went to sleep.”

It left even Johnson laughing.

But Jones also said he appreciated working with Bill Parcells more than any of his other coaches.

“Thank you, Bill, for all you gave,” Jones said. “I never enjoyed working with someone more than you.”

19 responses to “Jerry Jones throws bouquets at Jimmy Johnson during Hall speech

  1. Missed the ceremony tonight, but glad to hear Jones gave Johnson the credit he deserved. We all have our own opinions on this, but I’m in the camp that believes Johnson–not Switzer–was also responsible for the Cowboys win in Super Bowl XXX. As a Steelers fan, I truly hated the Cowboys of the 90s. But they were a great team. Mad respect.

  2. Pompous and overrated. Bowlen is just as deserving to be inducted and has twice the class.

  3. When Jones said”I never enjoyed working with someone more than you”, it doesn’t mean that he enjoyed working with Parcels more than any other coach.

  4. Jerry doesn’t deserve this. Sorry. But it’s true. His overall “contributions” to the game don’t reach HoF level. He spent lots and lots of money on his team with middling results but he made the NFL overall a little grubbier, put it a little more out of reach of the true fans.

  5. Can’t believe Jones had no mention of Al Davis., who mentored him upon his arrival into the NFL, and was instrumental in helping him achieve success.

  6. Michael LaRocca, Technical Editor says:

    Everybody I know was thrilled when Jerry Jones fired that cheating Tom Landry.

    You obviously weren’t living in DFW or anywhere near.

  7. Anyone who doesn’t think JJ deserves to be in the HOF is kidding themselves. He took a struggling franchise from the bottom of the league to the most valuable sports team on earth. Along the way he won 3 superbowls and is now one of, if not the most influential and recognizable names in the NFL. If that’s not grounds for being in the HOF, what is?

  8. His recognition of Landry was so backhanded as to almost be comical. Because right after he mentioned him he came out and said that change had to be done. It was really kind of poor. Just accentuating his own ego. He could’ve done it better.

    I’m not sure if he deserved the honor that would certainly true he has contributed to the game whether younlike the guy with the team or not. And in my mind if you’re going to put that guy into the HOF then Jimmy Johnson must be there too because he was responsible for as much, if not more, for their Super Bowl’s in the 1990s, including the one where Barry Switzer was the head coach because with her was basically using the groceries that Johnson had around.

    This from an Eagles fan…

  9. Whether or not he deserved it let’s just be clear … the “fans” didn’t vote on it but the other owners did. JJ made a lot of rich men a helluva lot richer. He helped usher in free agency and the big television contracts.

  10. cueghost says:
    August 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Time to put Jimmy in the Ring of Fame, Jerry… Get it done.

    Ring of Honor, that is… of course.

  11. Parcells did the same thing in Dallas he did everywhere without Belichick – failed badly with a career losing record, zero playoff wins, and never beat BB head-to-head.

    It also gets glossed over that Parcells never even would have been promoted to head coach with Giants if Belichick wasn’t running the defense for him and making him look good as the nominal defensive coordinator.

    Belichick made Farcells even more than Johnson made Jones

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