Time, they say, heals all wounds.
Or, in some cases, only worsens and deepens the pain?
Took a minute during Labor Day weekend to watch ESPN’s interview with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. During the piece the topic of Jimmy Johnson arose, and Jones made it abundantly clear that – because he’s still bitter over their 20-year-old divorce – the former coach will not be enshrined into the Ring of Honor anytime soon.
“I don’t have plans for Jimmy Johnson to be in the Ring of Honor,” Jones said, at times pausing, struggling for words and seemingly even fighting back tears. “The criteria that I’m more interested in are with the guys that were on the field and making the plays.”
Obviously Jones’ stubbornness reeks of being a hypocrite. He was the owner, after all, who inducted into the Ring of Honor former general manager Tex Schramm and legendary coach Tom Landry, neither of whom played a single down for the Cowboys. But like Johnson, they were major cogs in winning multiple Super Bowls.
While admitting Johnson was a great coach, Jones reiterated that he’s a one-man committee and that “I get to make that decision to whether or not (Johnson’s coaching) was that impactful, in my judgment.”
Some would argue that – given his stance on Johnson – Jones should retroactively remove Schramm and Landry from the Ring of Honor, and, in turn, never ever never consider himself for enshrinement.
I covered the Cowboys of the early ‘90s as a beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. And I watched the divorce from the inside. Still as sad today as it was inexplicable in March of 1994. In short, Jones wanted more credit for the back-to-back Super Bowls and Johnson began flirting with other teams to prove his worth.
Simply, their split was about greed.
With his team stuck in mediocrity and fans growing more dismayed by his leadership, Jones would be smart to swallow his pride and induct Johnson. But he can’t bring himself to do it. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
“I lost my tolerance for having an associate and a friend not be loyal,” Jones said. “I’ve been told that’s trite. That I should be bigger than that.”
Yes, Jerry. Yes you should.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.