Former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson had a surprise visitor on the set of the Fox halftime show during Sunday’s playoffs as it was announced he would become the 328th Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Hall of Fame president David Baker made the announcement to the two-time Superbowl Champ and Fox Sports analyst during Fox Sports’ halftime show during the NFC divisional-round game.
“Thank you, coach, for all you have done for the game and all you do for the game,” Baker said to a visibly choked up Johnson.
“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,” Johnson said after Baker’s announcement. “I can’t talk. This is so special.”
The camera’s quickly cut to the moment in the press box at Lambeau Field, where color commentator and Johnson’s former quarterback Troy Aikman welled up while watching his former coach receive the news.
The Hall’s centennial class was selected by a blue-ribbon panel this past week, and the remainder of the 15-member class will be revealed Wednesday.
Johnson had coached the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles and put the franchise back in the spotlight after taking over from Tom Landry in 1989. He was also credited with building the team that won a third Super Bowl in the 1990s and marking them as the team of the decade during that era.
Ahead of Johnson and Dallas Cowboys GM Jerry Jones parting ways in 1994, it’s said they had a noted falling out over a comment that Jones made to reporters at the time, “any coach could have led the team to a Super Bowl title.”
But it would seem no matter what was said in the past; Jones is proud to have had Johnson as part of the Cowboy’s legacy.
“We’re so happy that the Hall of Fame has recognized Jimmy Johnson for what he is. A great coach,” Jones said in the statement, according to the team’s website. “To Jimmy, I say, ‘The stars were aligned, and our dreams came true when we joined the Dallas Cowboys.’ And on behalf of the Cowboys, and our fans all over the world, I say congratulations, Jimmy. We’re proud of you.”