Jimmy Johnson helped develop the Dallas Cowboys into America’s team in the 1990s and his legacy will live on forever as he was announced Sunday night as the newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Johnson immediately broke down into tears as Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker greeted him during the broadcast.
“The only thing I can think of is... all the assistant coaches that have worked for me, all the great players that have played for me, they’re the reason I’m here, and they’re the reason... I can’t talk,” Johnson said as he was getting choked up with emotions.
“I mean, this is so special to me because when you put in the work that we put in, it’s nice to know people appreciate it.”
Johnson received hugs from his co-hosts Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Howie Long, Tony Gonzalez, Curt Menefee and Jay Glazer upon hearing the announcement.
The FOX broadcast also showed Troy Aikman watching Baker tell Johnson he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame; the former quarterback was in tears.
Johnson got his first NFL coaching gig with the Cowboys in 1989 when he jumped from the Miami Hurricanes, replacing Tom Landry. He helped shape the Cowboys by first making one of the most impactful trades in NFL history when he traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for several draft picks and then reunited with Michael Irvin.
He helped the Cowboys win two Super Bowls in the 1990s and has been credited with building the team that won Dallas their third in the decade under coach Barry Switzer. Johnson had left the Cowboys due to a deteriorating relationship with team owner Jerry Jones.
Johnson last coached for the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 1999.
Soon after leaving the Dolphins, Johnson became a host of “FOX NFL Sunday” and a staple for pregame and postgame analysis for several years.
He finished his pro coaching career with an 80-64 record.