Jerry Jones says differences with Jimmy Johnson 'not that much to fuss about'

Jones faced backlash from wife after firing Johnson (1:44)

Jerry Jones still remembers Gene Jones' icy reaction to his decision to fire head coach Jimmy Johnson. (1:44)

CANTON, Ohio -- Jimmy Johnson in the Ring of Honor?

In his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones offered a peace offering of sorts to Johnson, his first head coach and former Arkansas teammate.

Could a spot in the Cowboys' prestigious Ring of Honor come for Johnson?

"Just so we're clear, you know me: I want to make anything we do in that Ring of Honor -- I want to make it have its own special attention, so I'm not going to get into that right now," Jones said after the induction ceremony. "But I hope it was obvious up there how much I appreciated what Jimmy has contributed to the Cowboys [and] his, frankly, lifelong friendship.

"Our differences, while they were certainly visible and magnitude because of the nature of it, if you really look at our friendship over the years, there's just not that much to fuss about. And so, it was pretty easy to reflect back on his contribution and what he meant."

Johnson coached the Cowboys from 1989 to '93, posting a 44-36 record. He had a 7-1 postseason record and directed the Cowboys to consecutive Super Bowls.

Johnson turned the Cowboys from a 1-15 embarrassment in 1989 to Super Bowl champs in 1992 and 1993. After Johnson and the Cowboys parted ways following the 1993 season, the Cowboys won their third Super Bowl in a four-year span in 1995 under Barry Switzer, but players from that era have lamented that the loss of Johnson led to a dynasty that wasn't as great as it could have been.

"Jimmy, it was a great decision," Jones said, in reference to his hiring of Johnson in 1989. "You were a great teammate. You were a great partner, to the contrary of popular belief. We worked so well together for five years and restored the Cowboys' credibility with our fans. We were back-to-back. We were driven. We had thick skin. We took all the criticism they could dish out. I thank you."

The relationship dissolved after Super Bowl XXVIII. Over the years, Johnson and Jones have sparred through the media, but in recent years, things have been more cordial. Johnson was also on the stage as Jason Taylor's presenter Saturday.

In describing his decision to hire Johnson, Jones said he wanted "someone I knew, someone I wanted, someone I knew well, I wanted someone who I knew could get it done to be our coach.

"I wanted Jimmy Johnson. I said he'd be worth five first-round draft choices or five Heisman Trophy draft picks. I should have been laughed out of town when I said it."