DALLAS -- A lot of folks will forever blame Jerry Jones (and his ego) for the death of the Cowboys’ 1990s dynasty.
That shouldn’t be so, according to Jimmy Johnson.
The perception is that Jones pushed Johnson out of Valley Ranch after the Cowboys won back-to-back Super Bowls because the owner/general manager wanted a bigger share of the spotlight. Johnson insists that isn’t the reality.
“I’d done my deal and needed to move on,” Johnson said during Wednesday’s PwC-SMU Athletic Forum luncheon. “Jerry Jones catches more abuse -- he doesn’t deserve abuse. I was going to south Florida.”
Johnson described leaving Dallas as the most difficult decision of his career. He is adamant, however, that it was his decision to walk away after the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVIII.
“It’s something I had to do,” Johnson said, adding that he was consumed with coaching and essentially an absentee father for his five years in Dallas. “I knew I was going to do it, but I had to do it. Sometimes you’ve got things you’ve got to do.
“It had nothing to do with anybody or anything. It was just me. I had done my job. For five years, I lived (at the facility). I didn’t have a life.”
Not that there wasn’t tension between Johnson and Jones, the former roommates during their days as offensive guards on Arkansas’ 1964 national championship team.
Jones’ quote about 500 coaches being capable of winning a Super Bowl with those Cowboys -- a point proven with the hiring of Barry Switzer -- will live on in infamy. But that’s all water under the bridge.
Jerry has said that he would seriously consider Johnson for the Ring of Honor, although no inductions are planned this season. Jimmy admits that he roots for the Cowboys from the Fox NFL studios in Los Angeles.
“Nothing would make me happier than to see him get another ring this year,” Johnson said. “I’d love to see that.”