OXNARD, Calif. – What a first day here in Oxnard, Calif.
There's all sorts of storylines to focus on, ranging from the health of Dak, the resurgence of Ezekiel Elliott and of course, how the Cowboys are handling the latest Covid-19 protocols.
But Jerry Jones had some interesting answers about a rather old topic when asked to comment on former coach Jimmy Johnson, who is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.
Jerry and Jimmy's relationship has been well-documented over the years. The two only worked together for five years in Dallas, winning two Super Bowl togethers. But the apparent power-struggle between the two masterminds seemingly got the best of the working relationship that ended after the 1993 Super Bowl.
"I just think of those great times. And Jimmy's a great coach, ridiculous," Jones said on Wednesday. "My role here, was my job was to keep it together. It was my job. Should have had deference to something that was working good. Those are the things that come to my mind. We had a great run of it. He's a great coach, and I'm proud to have him as a friend, and proud to have had the times that we had. We just had a great experience."
Jones couldn't get through that final sentence without choking up somewhat. The emotions of that situation have been apparent over the years, with many things being said from both sides.
The former college teammates at Arkansas, Johnson and Jones reunited in Dallas in 1989. Jones hired Johnson to replace Tom Landry as head coach. After a 1-15 start in 1989, the Cowboys immediately turned things around, winning two Super Bowls in the first five years.
After Johnson left, the Cowboys won another Super Bowl two seasons later, but haven't made it back since, leaving many people, including former players, to wonder just how many titles could've been won had they stuck together.
Johnson was replaced by Barry Switzer, who apparently wondered himself why things couldn't work out.
"Barry Switzer came in the office and Jimmy had just left," Jones recalled of the 1994 offseason. "And, so, Barry came down from Norman, Oklahoma, to talk about getting the job. And he comes in and he said, 'Where's Jimmy?' Now, Barry had coached us both. He said, 'Where's Jimmy?' I said, 'Jimmy's gone.' He said, 'Well, that's not right. Get him. Get him in here. Where's Jimmy?' I said, 'Barry, Jimmy's gone. We're sitting here talking about you being the coach.' I said, 'What in the world are you so anxious to talk to Jimmy about?' He said, 'I just want to get both you little assholes on this couch and ask you both how could you f--- this up.' That was Switzer."
Later in the press conference, Jones acknowledged that last part again, admitting that he "messed" it up.
"I've never been able to know why I f----- it up," Jones said. "Not just that, but anything else. No, I can't answer those questions."
He was asked if Jimmy Johnson would be added to the Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium, but Jones chose not to answer, saying that the focus should remain on Jimmy's Hall of Fame induction.
"I don't want to do anything that takes away from this year," Jones said of Johnson. "He'll have a year, provided everything goes good, he'll have a year that we also honor his Hall of Fame and it will be this year."
The Cowboys will be in Canton, Ohio that weekend to play the Steelers on Aug. 5. Along with Johnson, the Cowboys will also see Cliff Harris and Drew Pearson get officially inducted as well.