<
>

Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson share spotlight at 1992 Cowboys reunion

DALLAS -- On a night when the stars of stars of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first Super Bowl win, once again none shined brighter than owner Jerry Jones and former head coach Jimmy Johnson.

As great as the Cowboys of that decade were, becoming the first team to win three Super Bowls in four seasons, Johnson's departure after the 1993 season has led some to wonder what might have been in considering that dynasty.

Still, Johnson and Jones insist their relationship that dates to their time together as football players at Arkansas is fine. At the Super Bowl earlier this month, Johnson congratulated Jones on earning an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Saturday night at Gilley's in Dallas, where the reunion took place, they praised each other for what he brought to the success of the Cowboys.

"Jimmy and I really understand the circumstances, and to some degree, we have a good feel for each other, and so I've always had to overlook his foibles. But he's had to overlook mine, too," Jones laughed.

"I've accentuated, too, the heights. I think I said when we first came in that Jimmy Johnson is worth five No. 1 draft picks, so I've always had great admiration for the great qualities that have made him the coach that he is. We just absolutely had five years together that you can't write a book about and make it any more rewarding."

Johnson made the trip to Dallas from the Florida Keys because Troy Aikman -- the quarterback of those teams -- hosted the event, which allowed players and coaches to see each other for the first time in years and raised money for the United Way.

"Troy has been such a wonderful person," Johnson said. "He's a great, great friend and Troy talked to me on numerous occasions and said, 'Coach, we've got to have you there,' and I said, 'For Troy, for you I'll be there."

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was a backup quarterback on the teams of the 1990s. While he sees numerous former players who remain in the area on a regular basis, there were some he hadn't seen in a long time.

"Those are special times for this organization," Garrett said. "To be a part of those Super Bowl teams, you make bonds that you have for the rest of your life."

Not only were players from the Super Bowl XXVII team on hand, so were players from Super Bowls XXVIII and XXX who also won championships.

Early in the night, players, coaches and staff on the 1992 team who have died, including Mark Tuinei, Hubbard Alexander, Joe Avezzano and Joe Brodsky, were remembered.

At the end of the ceremony, the Hall of Famers on hand -- Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Charles Haley, Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach, wearing their gold jackets -- presented Jones with a painting by local artist Vernon Wells of the owner and general manager in a Hall of Fame gold jacket of his own.

"Silver and blue are the Cowboys' colors," Irvin said, "but you look good in gold."