Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson Maintain Antagonistic Relationship To This Day

Published on August 2nd, 2022 1:27 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Jimmy Johnson of Dallas Cowboys ended a relationship with the team owner on bitter terms. In early 1994, the Dallas Cowboys won their second straight Super Bowl and were on top of the world.

A few months later, the coach of the team, Jimmy Johnson, would announce that he was leaving the Cowboys.

The team, which was a bonafide dynasty, would soon fall apart.

What happened?

How could a Super Bowl winning coach, who had led the team from a 1-15 record to consecutive Super Bowls in just a couple of years, leave "America's Team"?

The split between Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson was acrimonious, and the two sides (or, at least Jerry Jones) remain heated to this day.


In 1989, Jerry Jones appointed his friend, Jimmy Johnson, as the second head coach in franchise history.

The Cowboys were in a sorry state, and, believe it or not, were talking about possibly relocating from Dallas.

In Johnson's first year as the team's head coach, the Cowboys posted a record of 1-15.

Johnson, however, would waste no time in rebuilding the team, and would pull off one of the most transformative trades in the history of the NFL when he dealt Hershel Walker for multiple high-value assets.

In just a few years, the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, and Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys were the toast of the NFL.


Jimmy Johnson's savvy trades and pick-ups resulted in Jerry Jones (technically the General Manager of the team) delegating control over on-field matters to Johnson.

Things were working, and Jones wanted to give Johnson more control over the team.

This didn't last, however, and Jones soon wanted these responsibilities back.

Johnson, however, was loathe to give up his new power.


In December of 1993, Jimmy Johnson indicated that he might be interested in coaching the new expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This infuriated Jones, who said that he, and not Johnson, would decide where Johnson would coach next.

The team held it together, winning their second straight Super Bowl, despite the ongoing strife between the team's owner and their head coach.

In March of 1994, Jones buried Johnson when he said that the Cowboys would have won the Super Bowl regardless of who was coaching.

A few weeks later, Johnson was out the door. The Cowboys would give Johnson a $2 million bonus.


Jerry Jones remains bitter about the split to this day, and was hesitant to include Johnson in the Ring of Honor.

For Jerry Jones, Johnson was disloyal to the Dallas Cowboys, which is an unforgivable sin.

For Jimmy Johnson, Jerry Jones didn't appreciate his efforts and wanted sole credit for the success of the Cowboys.


Things have not simmered down between the two, with Jerry Jones recently saying that Jimmy Johnson's "snivelling" wouldn't help land him on the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

One thing is for sure - the Cowboys have never come even close to achieving the success that they did when Johnson was running the team.

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