Cowboys' Super Bowl-winning head coach Jimmy Johnson and hard-hitting safety Cliff Harris were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday in Canton, Ohio.
The pair was part of the hall's Centennial Class, whose induction was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and inducted alongside the Class of 2020 Saturday night.
The Class of 2021 will be inducted Sunday.
Johnson, who in 1989 replaced Tom Landry, the only man to coach Dallas from the franchise's inception in 1960, generally is credited with coining the phrase "How 'bout them Cowboys." He could take pride in it considering the Cowboys won two consecutive Super Bowls under his guidance and took a third with the roster he put together even though Johnson had left the team in a dispute with owner Jerry Jones.
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Johnson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the centennial class. He quickly rebuilt the Cowboys when Jones bought the team in 1989, using the draft and perhaps the most lopsided trade in pro sports history -- Herschel Walker to Minnesota for a slew of draft picks who formed much of the core of those title teams -- to revitalize America's Team. He made 51 deals in his five seasons with the Cowboys.
"We made history not only for the Dallas Cowboys but for the NFL," Johnson said of himself, Jones and the team, which was 1-15 in his first season and soon enough was winning Super Bowls. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Jerry."
Johnson also coached the Dolphins from 1996-99.
The center of the Dallas Cowboys universe.
Harris went from Ouachita Baptist University to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The standout tackler and cover man played for the Cowboys from 1970-79.
Harris went from a small school (NAIA) star to an undrafted rookie who started from the outset in Dallas. Known almost as much for the high-top shoes he wore as for his heavy and sure tackles, Harris made the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, earning the nickname Captain Crash.
He also had to juggle National Guard duties during his first few NFL seasons, sometimes reporting for duty during the week and usually getting to rejoin his teammates for games.
"We were the Doomsday Defense," Harris recalled. "The odds of me playing in the NFL, much less me standing here tonight, were incredibly long. I may be the only one who knows how truly slim that chance was, but if I could make it, anyone can achieve their goals. The key is to never quit."
Former Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson will be inducted Sunday as part of the Class of 2021.
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