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Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame in early August for his achievements back in the 1990s, leading the team to a pair of Super Bowl titles. Prior to the Hall of Fame Game, which featured his former team, Johnson wore his Fox analyst hat and offered a surprising assessment on the pregame show that will certainly excite Cowboys fans about the upcoming season. 

Jimmy Johnson inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

This year, Jimmy Johnson was among a larger than normal group to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall welcomed its newest inductees from both the 2020 and 2021 classes after last year’s ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. 

The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers had the most inductees with three apiece. Joining Johnson from the Pokes was Cliff Harris and Drew Pearson.

From the Cowboys arch-rival back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Steelers were represented by former coach Bill Cowher, Troy Polamalu, and Donnie Shell.

Prior to the induction ceremony on Saturday, the 2021 version of the teams kicked off the NFL season on Thursday during the Hall of Fame Game, with the Steelers winning 16-3.  

Johnson gives Cowboys fans hope in 2021

Prior to the game, Jimmy Johnson and the rest of the Fox NFL broadcast crew talked about both teams and expectations heading into the 2021 NFL season. Johnson offered an assessment that Cowboys fans loved to hear, and then proceeded to back it up. 

“If (Dak) Prescott is healthy, they’ve got as good an offense as there is in the league, as good a receiving corps as there is in the league,” Johnson said. “Their offensive line is back healthy now. With Ezekiel running the football, they’re going to have a great offense. 

“The question is the defense. You look at defensively; the first six picks in the draft were defensive players. And then you have Micah Parsons as a No. 1 pick who can be an impact player. And then they brought in Dan Quinn. I love Dan Quinn. He’s an outstanding defensive coach. So if they can shore up the defense, hey, this team, who knows, they could get back to the promised land.”

How far can the Cowboys go in 2021?

Jimmy Johnson knows talent and, more importantly, how to assemble it in a way that produces successful results. Those are the two main reasons he donned a gold jacket on Saturday. So his assessment on the 2021 Cowboys is, at the very least, encouraging. But is it realistic?

Parsons revealed exactly why the Cowboys drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick during the Hall of Fame Game. He flew from side to side throughout his limited action in the first quarter, where he recorded three tackles and recovered a botched snap. 

Linebacker Jabril Cox, who was selected in the fourth round, led the defense with five tackles. 

Besides those performances in limited action, it’s hard to accurately assess where the Cowboys will finish in 2021. As Johnson referenced, Quinn has a good reputation as a defensive coach. His leadership with all the new pieces in place, coupled with what most expect to be a high-powered offense led by Prescott, Dallas should be considerably improved from last season. Whether the end product is the “promised land” remains to be seen. 

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