Former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson had a surprise visitor on the set of the Fox halftime show during Sunday’s playoffs. Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker walked onto the set to officially inform Johnson that we would be the 328th member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Johnson will have a place in Canton, joining Bill Cowher as the second of two coaches elected to this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class of 2020.
“This is so special to me,” an emotional Johnson said on the set, surrounded by his co-hosts and Hall of Famers Michael Strahan, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, and Tony Gonzalez. “When you put in the work that we did, it’s nice to know that people appreciate it. All the assistant coaches that worked for me and all the players that played for me, they’re the reason I’m here.”
Johnson was Cowboys owner/general manager and Hall of Famer Jerry Jones’ first hire when he bought the team in 1989. Together, they transformed the Cowboys from a 1-15 also-ran in ‘89 into a dominant two-time Super Bowl champion from 1992-93, led by future Hall of Fame “Triplets” Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin. Smith and Aikman were draft picks during Johnson’s tenure, and Irvin played for Johnson at the University of Miami.
Johnson stepped down after the 1993 season, but the foundation for future success was set. The Cowboys reached the NFC Championship game in 1994 and won their third Super Bowl in 1995 under Barry Switzer.
Johnson coached the Miami Dolphins from 1996-99, leading them to three playoff appearances in four years. He has been an NFL studio analyst at Fox since 2002.