Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles during his legendary career, has never been shy about sharing his thoughts on his former team and owner Jerry Jones.
While Aikman applauds Jones for finally welcoming long-time scout Gil Brandt as the 22nd member into the team’s hallowed Ring of Honor last Thursday, he remains disappointed that former coach Jimmy Johnson has not yet been feted with the team’s most prestigious honor.
Johnson came to the Cowboys with Jones in 1989 and was the architect of the dynasty teams of the 1990s, winning two Super Bowl titles in 1992 and 1993 before leaving following the 1993 season because of a bitter fight with Jones over control and credit.
The Cowboys won another title in 1995 under Barry Switzer with Johnson’s players and gets much of the credit for making America’s Team into champions again after the luster fell off in the late 1980s.
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Aikman, who remains close with Johnson, said the Ring of Honor is something the former coach prefers over being inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is among the 25 semifinalists for induction in the Hall of Fame class of 2019.
“I do know that not being in the Cowboys Ring of Honor is a major disappointment to him,” Aikman said on 1310 The Ticket Tuesday. “It’s a major disappointment to me, for that matter. The guy turned the franchise around and brought back America’s Team and made the Cowboys relevant again. I ran into a lot of people when we began to win and they said they were big Cowboys fans, but that stadium was not selling out in 1989. It probably wasn’t in ‘88 the year before I got there either. Jimmy was a big part. He certainly was an architect of putting together those teams and drafting those players that you could argue was maybe the most talent in the history of our sport.
“I hope eventually it will happen. I’m sure at some point at will. I’m hoping it happens and he goes into the Ring of Honor while he’s still alive and I hope Jerry’s still alive when it happens. I hope they’re able to hug out on the 50-yard line and acknowledge what they did together.”
Aikman said he doesn’t know where Jones and Johnson’s relationship is now. He said sometimes it appears they are getting along great and sometimes it doesn’t. But he said honoring Johnson is the right thing to do because you can’t tell the story of the Cowboys without Johnson, which is deeper and more meaningful than a personal relationship.
“This is the Cowboys Ring of Honor,” Aikman said. “It’s not the Jerry Jones Ring of Honor, it’s not the Tex Schramm Ring of Honor, it’s the Cowboys Ring of Honor. As I’ve said many times when people ask me about a Hall-of-Famer in Canton, I’ve said if you can’t tell the NFL story without talking about that guy then he deserves to be in. You cannot, without a doubt, tell the Cowboys story without talking about Jimmy Johnson just like you couldn’t without Gil Brandt. That was long overdue as well, I’m glad he’s in. In time, Jimmy will as well. I just hope it happens here relatively soon.”