When Jerry Jones has something to say, he says it. The Dallas Cowboys owner turned heads again this week with a wild callout of Jimmy Johnson.
For seemingly a decade or two, Cowboys fans have clamored for Johnson to be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. Johnson won two Super Bowls with Dallas in the early ’90s dynasty, but he has yet to make the team’s hall.
Now, Jones is saying that Johnson or fans shouldn’t expect it anytime soon. In a July 31 interview with Newy Scruggs of NBC 5 in Dallas, the Cowboys owner blasted Johnson for “sniveling” over the honor and said that he as the team’s owner will handle when and how that decision is made.
“It’s BS for anybody to be making anything [of Johnson’s not being in the ring],” Jones said. “I’ve said I’m gonna put him in. Now when I put him in and the circumstances and what I do with that — there’s a lot more than Jimmy to think about here. And I’ve got a lot of other lives out here that have laid a lot on the line on the field that need to be in that Ring of Honor as well.”
Johnson’s exit from the franchise in 1994 was well-documented, but it’s clear there are still unresolved issues nearly three decades later.
“And so how I do that, what I do it with, I get to make that decision,” Jones said. “And it isn’t at the end of the day all tailored around whether Jimmy is sniveling or not.”
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Johnson’s Departure from Dallas
It’s not normal for an NFL coach and an NFL team to break up after winning two Super Bowls and sitting in prime position for a third, but the power battle inside the Cowboys was too big for the both of Jones and Johnson.
Jones wanted more control of football operations, while Johnson wanted to keep things as they had been: He would determine the final decisions when it came to personnel and how the team played.
Johnson was successful, but he also infamously and publicly undermined Jones and the Cowboys. In late 1993, he declared interest in being the first head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars after the expansion team was officially announced, and he made jokes at Jones’ expense on TV.
The end result was always going to be a breakup, but the fact that it took just five years and came after back-to-back Super Bowl wins will always be one of the most unique stories in NFL history.
Cowboys Owner Said Johnson Would Enter Ring of Honor
Part of why Jones’ latest quote is so eye-catching is that in 2021, the Cowboys owner said that Johnson would absolutely enter the Ring of Honor. During the 2021 NFL Hall of Fame ceremony, Jones explained that Johnson has a rightful place.
“It’s kind of hard to not recognize this contribution to the story of the franchise,” Jones said. “He will be in the Ring of Honor.”
It’s worth noting that Johnson replied, “While I’m alive,” to Jones after the comment. Then, at the beginning of 2022, Johnson revealed that no progress had been made on the Ring of Honor induction.
“Haven’t heard a word,” Johnson tweeted on January 5.