Jimmy Johnson Dishes on Relationship With Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones in New Book

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

29 years after the two helped to guide the Dallas Cowboys to back-to-back Super Bowl championships, it’s still tough to make sense of the relationship between Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones.

And maybe that perhaps in part to Johnson not understanding his relationship with the Cowboys owner either. Johnson, the Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach, is set to release his new book “Swagger: Super Bowls, Brass Balls, and Footballs — A Memoir.” Johnson covers a multitude of topics, including his time as Cowboys head coach and working with Dan Marino in the final years of his career with the Miami Dolphins.

But Johnson’s relationship with Jones remains a hot topic of conversation — one that you could deem a love-hate.

“I don’t think people understand our relationship, because I don’t understand our relationship,” Johnson said with a laugh, via the New York Post. “If I saw Jerry today, we would hug each other, and laugh and tell stories and everything would be fine. But it goes hot and cold, just depending on the situation. I admire him, I think he’s a fantastic businessman, I think he’s passionate, I think he works as hard as anybody I’ve been around.”

Jimmy Johnson Still Looking for Cowboys Ring of Honor Induction

Johnson won in Dallas. A lot, actually, taking a 1-15 team his first year in charge and making them the standard of the NFL just three years later. And so it bears asking: How is it that 22 players, coaches and executives are enshrined into the Cowboys Ring of Honor and none are named Jimmy Johnson? That’s a question Johnson has been asking himself for a long time, though he has yet to get an answer.

It’s been over one year since Jones, sitting next to Johnson, said on national television that he would be in the Ring of Honor. Johnson jokingly responded “While I’m alive?”

Jones now appears to be waffling on when – or even to – make Johnson the 23rd member of the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.

“It’s BS for anybody to be making anything [of that]. I’ve said I’m going to put him in. Now, when I put him in, and the circumstances and what I do with that, there’s a lot more than Jimmy to think about here,” Jones told NBC Dallas/Fort Worth in August. “I’ve got a lot of other lives out here that have laid a lot on the line on the field that need to be in that Ring of Honor as well.

“And so how I do that, what I do it with, I get to make that decision. And it isn’t at the end of the day all tailored around whether Jimmy is sniveling or not.”

Jimmy Johnson Sees Unlimited Potential in Cowboys This Season

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his relationship with Jones, Johnson still wants to see the Cowboys succeed. Johnson said he would love to see Dallas play in this year’s Super Bowl.

“As long as [Dak Prescott] plays as well as he’s capable of playing, they’ve got the defense, they’ve got a couple of great runners [Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard], they got a talented receiver [CeeDee Lamb], so it’ll be interesting to see what they can do,” Johnson said. “And I think [the Cowboys and Eagles] are probably the best two in the NFC.”