Jimmy Johnson Inducted to Hall of Fame, Cowboys Ring of Honor

Hall of Fame Gold Jacket Ceremony 2021 | Aaron Doster/NFL/2021

Jimmy Johnson accepted his gold jacket from former quarterback legend Troy Aikman on Aug. 7.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also announced that Johnson would be added to the team Ring of Honor, a sign of respect that many fans thought would never happen. The rift between the owner and former head coach has been well documented, but the two legends appear to have put the past behind.

Jones announced the change of heart in honoring his former two-time Super Bowl winning coach with the Ring of Honor during the Hall of Fame game in which the Dallas Cowboys were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones had said as recently as 2014 that Johnson was excluded from the honor due to “disloyalty.” The last several years have seen the relationship between the two greats improve significantly.

Johnson took a moment to address the past friction and set the record while accepting his gold jacket on Saturday.

“Jerry, you told me before (you) bought the Cowboys, we were going to make sports history,” Johnson said. “We did make sports history, not only for the Dallas Cowboys but for the NFL. Let me tell you from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Jerry. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.”

Johnson is now enshrined in the College Hall of Fame, the Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Johnson was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame for the 2020 class which was unable to hold a celebration last season due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Johnson said that he never hoped or dreamed of success while coaching teams to national victory.

“I didn’t dream about it, I believed we were going to win a Super Bowl,” Johnson said. “You can live your life influenced by others, or you can believe in something. If you believe it, you’re going to work to make it happen.”

Johnson took the reins of the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 after a successful career coaching the University of Miami. The Cowboys were coming off back-to-back seasons as the worst team in the NFL when Johnson took over. He went 1-15 and 7-9 in his first two seasons before putting his first Cowboys championship-quality team on the field. The Cowboys went 11-5 in 1991 before losing to the Detroit Lions in the NFC Divisional Championship.

The 1992 and 1993 seasons were among the best in Cowboys history. The team went 13-3 and 12-4 respectively on their way to winning back-to-back Championships. Johnson is one of only 6 coaches in NFL history to lead teams to consecutive Super Bowl victories.

Johnson found out that Jones planned to enshrine the former coach in the team’s Ring of Honor while on live television during the Hall of Fame Game. Johnson will join his predecessor, Cowboys legendary coach Tom Landry as the only two coaches in the Ring of Honor.

Johnson has coached 13 Hall of Fame players in his NFL coaching days. In his acceptance speech, he called for two more players — Zach Thomas and Darren Woodson — to get their moment in Canton, Ohio.

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