DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The cornerstones of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys dynasty are congratulating their head coach as he becomes the latest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jimmy Johnson learned of his induction during the Fox Sports halftime show of the Packers-Seahawks playoff game as David Baker, president of the Pro Football of Hall Fame, walked on set and delivered the surprise.
— NFL (@NFL) January 13, 2020
The announcement gained immediate reaction from Johnson’s former quarterback and current color analyst Troy Aikman, who was calling the game Sunday night. A camera focused on Aikman in the broadcast booth as tears could be seen while he watched his coach.
“Jimmy made me better, but more importantly, he made the Dallas Cowboys better. He was the architect of our 1990’s dynasty and while as our leader and coach, he should have been the first to be enshrined,” Aikman said on Instagram. “I am so grateful he will have his rightful place in the @profootballhof.”
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My relationship w Jimmy Johnson spans over 35 years. He was the first to recruit me out of Henryetta High School when I was 17 while he was the head coach at Oklahoma State. Two years later when I was transferring from Oklahoma, he recruited me to the University of Miami. I chose UCLA. After turning him down twice, the Dallas Cowboys chose me as the #1 overall draft pick in 1989. We had a rough start, went through some difficult times, had stretches when we didn’t speak. What I’ve learned though in life is we remember those who make us better. Jimmy made me better, but more importantly, he made the Dallas Cowboys better. He was the architect of our 1990’s dynasty and while as our leader and coach, he should have been the first to be enshrined, I am so grateful he will have his rightful place in the @profootballhof – congratulations Coach! You’re gonna look good in gold! #howboutthemcowboys
Johnson coached the Cowboys from 1989 to 1993 and won two Super Bowls during that time with a team that included Hall of Famers Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.
“Congratulations to the greatest head coach I’ve ever played for! Welcome to the Hall @JimmyJohnson,” Smith said on Twitter.
— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) January 13, 2020
“With tears in my eyes I watched my coach @JimmyJohnson get what he so rightfully earned. My Coach has turned men into CHAMPIONS on every level. Congrats Coach and welcome to the @ProFootballHOF!” Irvin tweeted.
— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) January 13, 2020
Cowboys owner and Hall of Famer Jerry Jones also reacted to Johnson’s induction as the coach helped put the team on the map after Jones bought the team in 1989.
“We’re so happy that the Hall of Fame has recognized Jimmy Johnson for what he is. A great coach. To Jimmy I say, ‘The stars were aligned and our dreams came true when we joined the Dallas Cowboys,'” Jones said. “And on behalf of the Cowboys, and our fans all over the world, I say congratulations Jimmy. We’re proud of you.”
Johnson’s Hall of Fame news also reinvigorated talks about why the coach still isn’t in the Cowboys Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium. It appears only time will tell when Johnson will get the honor that many believe he deserves as well.