The guesswork is over.
“He was an icon,” Jones said of Landry. “He was and he still is, his son is sitting right here, he is the Dallas Cowboys. I honor coach Landry. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Tom Landry, Tex Schramm and Gil Brandt, who is sitting in the audience.
“I couldn’t have built the Cowboys today if it weren’t for what they did, the shoulders I stood on. I’m deeply indebted to those three.”
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Jones was one of seven members of the Class of 2017. The others were Kenny Easley, Jason Taylor, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, Morten Andersen and former TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson. Jones entered the Hall as a contributor.
Landry was the only coach in Cowboys history before Jones bought the team, fired Landry and hired Jimmy Johnson.
The move enraged Cowboys fans and has lingered with some to this day.
“The changes were really inevitable. There was no real easy way to do it,” Jones said. “I wanted someone I knew. I wanted someone I knew well. I wanted someone who could get it done. I wanted Jimmy Johnson.”
Jones is the only owner to win three Super Bowls, two with Johnson as coach, in his first seven years of ownership. Since his purchase of the team, Jones has won 10 division titles and created a lasting imprint on the NFL in a variety of ways, including marketing, stadium development and network television negotiations.