Although Jimmy Johnson‘s tenure was short with the Dallas Cowboys, he left an everlasting imprint. It’s something that longtime owner Jerry Jones has moved toward publicly recognizing the gravity of the situation. All that has pushed Johnson to voice a heartfelt message for his former boss.
Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones’ fractured relationship
In the two-plus decades since Jones parted ways with Johnson, the two have experienced moments of serious contention.
The former head coach transformed the Cowboys into a Super Bowl team, winning two Vince Lombardi trophies. However, Jones’ ego got in the way toward him wanting more credit in helping put together the championship-winning teams.
The internal conflict led to the relationship to fracture entirely after only five seasons despite Dallas coming off back-to-back Super Bowl wins. However, the two have amended the bond to where Johnson issued a strong heartfelt message to Jones.
Jimmy Johnson voices a heartfelt message to Jerry Jones: ‘From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Jerry’
Over the years, the relationship between Johnson and Jones has featured many contentious moments.
However, the two have improved their standing as time has passed since the former head coach’s departure. A greater appreciation has developed stemming from what was accomplished during the brief time working together in Dallas.
During his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech on Saturday night, Johnson demonstrated that undeniable notion, voicing that he’s grateful for the opportunity Jones presented him as the head coach.
“I guess you want to know what I’m going to say about Jerry Jones,” Johnson said via Pro Football Talk. “Well, Jerry, you told me we were going to sports history before we ever bought the Cowboys — before you bought the Cowboys because I didn’t pay a damn cent. You know what? We — WE — we did make sports history, not only for the Dallas Cowboys but for the NFL.
“To go from the worst team in the league two years in a row to winning back-to-back Super Bowls and building a heck of a football team, we did it, and let me tell you from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Jerry. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.”
Johnson’s first season with the Cowboys featured the team finishing with a 1-15 record. However, he helped construct a strong core group led by Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, transforming the team into a Super Bowl contender.
In the final three campaigns under Johnson, Dallas reached the playoffs in each campaign, including back-to-back Super Bowl wins in the last two seasons. In the five-year run, the Cowboys held a 44-36 regular-season record and a 7-1 mark in the playoffs.
Johnson left an irreplaceable impact on the franchise that led Jones to finally realize his past mistakes.
Cowboys’ Ring of Honor recognition finally presented
In the last couple of weeks leading up to the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Jones faced pressing questions concerning Johnson’s status regarding the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.
The longtime team owner finally gave in, recently voicing that the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach will receive that recognition.
“I think we’ve got some great days ahead of us,” Jones said via ESPN. “We are going to certainly be recognizing what’s happening here with the Hall of Fame, but Tex Schramm, who started that Ring of Honor, he said, ‘Jerry, keep it kind of limited with people, but make sure it wasn’t just about the plays they made. Make sure they contributed to the story of the franchise.’ Now, it’s kind of hard not to recognize [Johnson’s] contribution to the story of the franchise.”
It’s a long-overdue honor that Johnson deserves because of his incredible impact and legacy with the franchise. Beyond that, it’s another way for the two to mend the fences further and show greater appreciation for what was accomplished in the five years of working together.