Another Centennial Class inductee revealed; this time it's Jimmy Johnson

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Clark Judge

Oooops, they did it again.

After saying it would not reveal the Centennial Class of 2020 until Wednesday morning, the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second consecutive day announced one of the two coaches on national TV. On Saturday, it was Bill Cowher. On Sunday, it was Jimmy Johnson.

Johnson was notified during halftime of the Green Bay-Seattle game when Hall-of-Fame president and CEO David Baker appeared on set to tell him of his election. An analyst for FOX, Johnson at first did not seem to grasp what was happening. When he did, he was emotionally overcome.

"The only thing I can think of," said Johnson, fighting back tears, "is all the assistant coaches that worked for me and all the great players that played for me. They're the reason I'm here … This is so special to me."

In truth, Johnson was no surprise. Cowher, on the other hand, was -- mostly because he never had been a Hall-of-Fame finalist before. Johnson and two others up for the Centennial Class (Don Coryell and Tom Flores) had. In fact, Coryell had been a five-time finalist.

Johnson was a finalist in 2015.

Johnson was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 1989-93 and the Miami Dolphins from 1996-99 and compiled an 89-68 overall record. He led the Cowboys to three conference championship games and two Super Bowl victories. He and Cowher were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of 25 voters specially chosen by the Hall to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the NFL.

Their selections complete the coaching category for the Centennial Class, which is composed of 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches. The remaining 13 inductees are not expected to be revealed until Wednesday morning on the NFL Network – unless, of course, Baker finds another national TV program between now and then that is hosted by a Centennial Class finalist.

Comments (12)

I'm not sure how I feel about these selections. Not that Cowher and Johnson are undeserving, but they're not who I would've picked from that list. Something about the TV appearances just doesn't sit well with me. I'm also starting to feel like Don Coryell will simply never make the HOF, but he'll occupy a spot on the list of semifinalists and finalists in perpetuity.

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brian wolf
brian wolf

Congratulations Jimmy Johnson !!

These "announcements" during playoff broadcasts reek of gimmick or drama but I knew this when the results of the BRP had to wait another week.

Parker, Coryell and Shaughnessy still have to wait along with Flores, Shanahan and Seifert.

brian wolf
brian wolf

As a motivator, evaluator of talent and ability to gauge college draft value, Johnson proved he could win at any level despite only nine years in the NFL.


Like Bill Cowher, I'm fine with Jimmy Johnson being in the HoF, though he wouldn't have been my first choice from the finalist list. His argument is good, though: he won two titles and contributed heavily towards a third, he has a modest innovator argument in standardizing the draft trade chart, and he was his own extremely successful GM and architect of the Cowboys dynasty of the 90s. His career is a bit short, though, and his W-L percentage is okay if not at the level of someone like John Madden or George Allen. And he has been a finalist and semifinalist before.

Still, like Cowher, a reasonable choice and a deserving HoFer.

brian wolf
brian wolf

Despite coaching on every Raiders championship team, including two as head coach, Flores stint in Seattle continues to haunt him.

I still wonder why Davis fired him after the 1987 season ?

Yes the Raiders underachieved, but many older players had to be replaced, while Davis and Marcus Allen were feuding over the addition of Bo Jackson. Having Marc Wilson at QB didnt help him either.

Maybe if Flores could have worked with Jay Schroeder or Buerlein, rather than Art Shell, the Raiders could have kept winning but Davis felt Shell was ready to be a head coach and didnt trust Mike Shanahan, who was fired way to soon.

Then there is Parker, who was a deserving coach, but obviously his drinking and racism issues, not to mention disdain of NFL owners, continues to keep him out of the HOF.

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