FRISCO - At the start of training camp, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson “will be in the Ring of Honor.''
"While I'm alive?'' quipped Johnson.
And yes, it seems that as long as we're all around for NFL Week 3 and "Monday Night Football,'' we're going to witness history.
But no, it doesn’t mean another “ring” for Jimmy. Yet.
“I’m going to be at the game,'' Michael Irvin said Thursday on NFL Network, "because Coach Johnson is going into the Ring of Honor. So I will be there with my coach, honoring him.”
That’s big news - but Irvin is now saying he misspoke. (First to report: RJ Choppy of 105.3 The Fan.)
And later on Friday morning, Jones himself also joined The Fan to further clarify.
"The one thing we did not want to do is any way is take away from this great recognition of going in the NFL Hall of Fame,'' he said. "We’ll get to the other stuff relative to the Ring of Honor later on. ... We can do both."
We knew that Johnson, Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris would be getting their Hall of Fame rings during halftime Monday night. That's it - but of course, that's plenty.
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Johnson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, has been a conspicuous absence in the Cowboys Ring of Honor, which features several of Johnson’s players, including quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Irvin.
Jones told Fox’s Curt Menefee that former Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm told him that he should keep the Ring of Honor “tight,” but not overlook the contributions of those that didn’t play for the Cowboys.
Based on Jones’ assertion, it was clear Johnson would be on his way, finally, to the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
And he will. Someday.
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Johnson came to the Cowboys in 1989 with Jones, who bought the franchise from Bum Bright. As the first head coach after the legendary Tom Landry, Johnson inherited a franchise that went 1-15 in Johnson’s first season as head coach and included the trade of running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Cowboys, quickly, became NFL contenders, nearly reaching the playoffs in 1990, followed by a postseason appearance in 1991 that led to a playoff loss to the Detroit Lions.
In 1992, the Cowboys reached the Super Bowl for the first time since Super Bowl XII, defeating the Buffalo Bills in a blowout. The Cowboys repeating in 1993, beating the Bills again. But, after that title, Jones and Johnson broke up, as Johnson left the team and Jones hired Barry Switzer as the franchise’s third head coach. The Cowboys went on to win a Super Bowl in Switzer’s second year, largely with the players acquired during Johnson’s tenure with the team.