On December 20, 2023, Dallas Cowboys fans were treated to an emotional celebration as Jimmy Johnson was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. The induction was long overdue, considering Jimmy delivered Jones’s first two Superbowl victories.
In a 2018 interview with ESPN, Jones told the reporters that Johnson wasn’t in the Ring of Honor because of disloyalty. The recent celebration cast light on their 30+ years-long relationship. Ian Weisberg described the moment as electrifying for fans and a ‘melting pot for the past and present.’
Genesis: How Jimmy and Jerry Started Off
Immediately after purchasing the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones hunted for a head coach to catapult his franchise to success. Jimmy Johnson was an easy pick. Jones had already watched Jimmy successfully lead at the University of Miami.
In the 1988 season, the Cowboys were struggling, having finished with a 3-13 record. They needed strong leadership to motivate them to greatness, and Jimmy came prepared. Under Jimmy’s coaching, the Cowboys moved from struggling to a powerhouse in the NFL. They won back-to-back Superbowls in the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
Storms: Jimmy and Jerry Part Ways
Back-to-back victories weren’t enough to keep Jones and Johnson in a happily-ever-after bromance. Their strong personalities and strategy differences posed a threat to the power duo. In a TV appearance on Fox and Friends, Johnson claimed that their relationship became difficult because Jones became more active in decision-making.
In other interviews, both Jones and Jerry confessed that communication problems led to the end of their working relationship. In March 1994, Jones paid Johnson $2 million, ending Johnson’s 5-year career as the Cowboy’s head coach. However, Jones and Johnson spoke positively about each other after parting ways.
Reconciliation: Jimmy and Jerry Hug It Out at the Hall of Honor Celebrations
In the next almost 30 years, Jimmy missed out on being named to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. During his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020, Jerry Jones made an unprompted announcement that Johnson would be inducted into the Dallas Ring of Honor. Johnson had to wait three years before Jones fulfilled his promise.
Jones fulfilled his promise on December 20, 2023, in front of many ardent fans. According to CBS Sports, Jones inducted Johnson “because it is the right thing to do.” Both Jones and Johnson focused on their relationship’s positive elements and success.
In fact, Johnson defines their relationship as a brotherhood, always laughing and sharing jokes. While downplaying the past misunderstanding, he admits both Jones and him are “quite egotistical.” The induction comes when the Dallas Cowboys need some sunshine moments after losing to the Green Bay Packers 48-32.