Former head coach Jimmy Johnson will be inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor during the team's December 30th game against the Detroit Lions. The announcement was made by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Johnson, who is now 80 years old, served as the head coach of the Cowboys for five seasons and achieved great success during his tenure. He led the team to a record of 44-36, securing three playoff berths and winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles in the 1992-93 seasons.
When Johnson joined the Cowboys in 1989, the team was in a sorry state, having only managed a 3-13 record the previous year. In Johnson's first season, the team even suffered a humiliating 1-15 record. However, his exceptional leadership and strategic moves helped turn the franchise around. Johnson orchestrated several critical decisions for the team's rebuilding process, including drafting future Hall of Famers such as Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman. He also engineered a trade that involved running back Herschel Walker and led to the acquisition of talented players like Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson.
Despite their early success together, tension started to build between Johnson and Jones. The conflict centered around who would have control over football matters within the organization. While Johnson initially had the authority, Jones desired more control and this led to friction. Jones infamously stated in a press conference that any coach could have won the Super Bowl with the talent on the Cowboys roster. Ultimately, the strained relationship caused Johnson and Jones to part ways, and this ongoing tension is what has prevented Johnson's induction into the team's Ring of Honor until now.
The Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor is a prestigious group that includes esteemed individuals such as Bob Hayes, Bob Lilly, Charles Haley, Chuck Howley, Cliff Harris, Darren Woodson, Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Drew Pearson, Emmitt Smith, Gil Brandt, Kevin Smith, Larry Allen, Lee Roy Jordan, Mel Renfro, Michael Irvin, Randy White, Rayfield Wright, Roger Staubach, Tex Schramm, Tom Landry, Tony Dorsett, and Troy Aikman.
Interestingly, both Johnson and Jones failed to replicate their success individually. Johnson went on to coach the Miami Dolphins for four seasons (1996-1999), leading them to three playoff berths but no championships. Meanwhile, Jones' Cowboys have only won a single Super Bowl since Johnson's departure under the leadership of Barry Switzer in 1995. Prior to Johnson's arrival, the team's only head coach had been the legendary Tom Landry, whom Jones controversially fired upon buying the team in 1989. Since Johnson, the Cowboys have undergone several coaching changes, cycling through seven different head coaches.
In conclusion, Jimmy Johnson's induction into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor is a well-deserved recognition of his contributions to the team's success during his tenure as head coach. His strategic moves and leadership helped turn the franchise around, leading to multiple playoff berths and Super Bowl victories. Despite the tensions and subsequent separation from Jones, Johnson's impact on the Cowboys cannot be denied. The Ring of Honor induction solidifies his place in Cowboys history and pays tribute to his remarkable achievements.