The former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson on Sunday got an official cal- as the second member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s centennial class.
Hall of Fame president David Baker announced the news to Jimmy Johnson during Fox Sports’ halftime show just before the start of the second half of the NFC divisional-round game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
Johnson, a Fox analyst, won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys and crafted the bulk of the roster that won a third title for the team after he left.
He was visibly emotional upon receiving the news Sunday, as was his former quarterback Troy Aikman, who could be seen tearing up as he heard the announcement from Green Bay, where he was announcing the playoff game.
“The only thing I can think of is all of the assistant coaches that worked for me, all the great players that played for me, they’re the reason I’m here,” a choked-up Johnson said after Baker told him he was a Hall of Famer. “I can’t talk. This is so special.”
The Hall’s centennial class was selected by a blue-ribbon panel this previous week, and the remaining 15-member class will be disclosed on Wednesday. Baker announced Saturday that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher also would be enshrined as part of the centennial class.
When the full class will be revealed, the centennial class will include 10 seniors candidates, as well as three contributors to go with Cowher and Johnson. The class was chosen as part of the NFL’s 100th anniversary.
The blue-ribbon panel — which members of the Hall’s board of selectors, league historians, Hall of Famers, as well as New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick happens to be among — chose the class from a list of 38 finalists during a meeting at the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
The 38 finalists were selected from a list of almost 300 nominees over the course of the past five months.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 — composed of modern-era players — will be selected Feb. 1 in Miami Beach, Florida, the day before Super Bowl LIV.
The Cowboys went 1-15 in Johnson’s first season coach in 1989 but steadily improved until the team won back-to-back Super Bowls in his fourth and fifth years. The Cowboys went 36-12 in Johnson’s last three seasons in Dallas, winning two Super Bowls.
Jimmy Johnson and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones clashed following the 1993 season, and Barry Switzer directed Dallas to a Super Bowl win to close out the 1995 season with a roster largely assembled by Johnson.
Johnson was not only working as a coach, but as a personnel evaluator as well, it was cited in his case for Canton. He is often credited for the draft chart that used a point value for each draft pick to determine what selections should be used in trades.
almost all teams use his version of the chart in their draft preparations. In his most notable trades for the Cowboys, Johnson dealt running back Herschel Walker and quarterback Steve Walsh after his arrival, and those trades netted him four first-round picks, four second-rounders and two third-rounders.
Altogether with Dallas, he drafted 18 players who went on to start in Super Bowls,15 players who were named to the Pro Bowl and three players who eventually were named Super Bowl MVPs. In his four-year tenure with the Dolphins, he drafted four players who went on to a combined 19 Pro Bowls (Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain), and none of the four was a first-round pick.