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Offseason | 2024

Jimmy Johnson is 'back in the fold' with Cowboys


FRISCO, Texas — Jimmy Johnson and the Dallas Cowboys are leaning hard into the make-up portion of their relationship as of late. The well-publicized breakup occurred decades ago, in the early 1990s, after Johnson helped lead the franchise to two Super Bowl victories in tandem with owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

In 2023, the longstanding rift was closed when Jones inducted Johnson into the team's coveted Ring of Honor at halftime of the Week 17 contest against the Detroit Lions. The two continually contend there were no hard feelings, and whether that's completely true or simply the sound of a hatchet being buried, the fact is they're now on speaking terms.

Well, to say they're simply on speaking terms might be an understatement, per Johnson.

"Since the Ring of Honor, I am on his (Jerry Jones') advisory board now," Johnson said, possibly with a bit of a jest regarding having an actual title, to Joe Rose on WQAM 560 AM in Miami.

Granted, Johnson was enjoying a hefty chuckle while saying that, but the underlying point regarding the mended relationship hits home; and it's clear Johnson and Jones are also indeed back to talking football — the former willing to again lend advice to the Cowboys.

"We were talking on the phone about an hour after his Green Bay loss, and he was talking about what all he needed to do because he had big decisions on Mike McCarthy and Dan Quinn and Dak Prescott," Johnson added. "Everything is hunky dory now. I am back in the fold with the Cowboys."

It's unlikely you'll get confirmation that Johnson is officially back in the organization in any capacity when factoring in his contractual commitment to broadcasting, but nothing says he can't offer up a listening ear and his opinions of the team to an old buddy of his in Jones.

It felt like an inevitable next step in their evolution after hearing Johnson's pre-ceremony comments on the Cowboys' owner.

"The two of us were working around the clock, together," he said of Jones in their dynasty years together. "People don't realize the relationship [we have]. Back then, Jerry and I talked every day. Every single day I'd be in his office. And we never really had a disagreement, and that's surprising to a lot of people, but we were always on the same page.

"And probably some of the tension happened there at the end of my career, as far as with the Cowboys, we were so busy going in different directions that we didn't talk as much. My feelings for Jerry have never changed. I love the guy.

"He's a big part, maybe the biggest part, of my entire career."

So it goes that the latest chapter in this thrilling saga has become one of mended fences, handshakes and hugs.

And for those who have long attributed the Cowboys' championship drought with a curse that was supposedly attached to the fashion in which Johnson departed Dallas, it can only feel great to see the legendary head coach not only immortalized and in good spirits, but to also hear he's "back in the fold" in helping the Cowboys improve.

And if the past is any indicator, historic things typically happen when Johnson and Jones put their differences aside and their heads together.

Maybe, just maybe, they'll find a DeLorean and a flux capacitor in 2024.

Great Scott.

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