Injury #1: Jerry runs Jimmy off

by - January 13, 2009 - Posted in Injuries & Usurpations

General Manager Jerry Jones has, in his 20 years in the position with the Cowboys, made some significantly poor decisions.  In a series we’re calling Jerry’s Injuries & Usurpations we’ll be providing specific examples of bad personnel management dating back to his ascension to the role of General Manager in 1989.  This list hardly exhausts the mistakes made by GM Jerry over the years and merely provides the lowlights – decisions so questionable or wrong that even the biggest Jerry apologists can’t argue against them.  Without further ado…

#1.  February 1994 – Jerry so infuriates Jimmy Johnson that Johnson resigns as head coach of the Cowboys following consecutive Super Bowl championships

Perhaps the seminal moment in recent Cowboys history, Jerry’s decision to part ways with Jimmy Johnson has sent the Cowboys down a path of destruction from which they have yet to recover.  A solid coach and a proven winner at every level, Jimmy Johnson was the perfect fit for the Dallas Cowboys when hired in 1989.  His no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners coaching style guided the ‘Boys from NFL doormats to the pinnacle in a mere 4 year span, culminating in the Cowboys Super Bowl wins in 1992 and 1993 – their first titles since 1977.

But perhaps more importantly, Jimmy Johnson was not only a great motivator.  His eye for talent was second to none.  In his 5 years in the draft room the Cowboys drafted an astonishing 9 Pro Bowl players, including Hall-of-Famer Troy Aikman, NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, Darryl Johnston, Mark Stepnoski, and Darren Woodson.  By comparison, in the 15 drafts since Jimmy’s last with the team Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have drafted a mere 11 Pro Bowlers, with Larry Allen being the only consensus “great” player among that group.

In Jerry’s defense, Jimmy Johnson was no saint to work with.  His huge ego often ruled the day, and his moodiness and penchant for publicly mocking Jerry was legendary.  Jerry’s own ego proved even larger, however, and his claim that “any one of 500 coaches” could have done Jimmy’s job proved his ego beyond a doubt.  No general manager worth his salt in the NFL would let a coach go with the success Jimmy Johnson had in his years with the Cowboys, and Jerry’s doing so only further illustrates that General Manager Jerry must go.

11 Responses to Injury #1: Jerry runs Jimmy off

Ryan

January 13th, 2009 at 11:59 am

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We miss Jimmy (or at least I do). I personally would love to have him back.

Ryan

January 13th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

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We miss Jimmy (or at least I do). I 'd welcome him back with open arms.

fruitsnax

January 13th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

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Jimmy was great and yes I would love him to come back also. Too bad there is no way in he!! it will happen.

fatboy

January 13th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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i'm not neccessarily into the jimmy worship, but at the time the move was the dumbest jerry could have made. combine that with hiring barry, and it signed the 'boys death certificate.

Jeff

January 13th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

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I beg to differ that this was Jerry's biggest blunder. It was Jerry's first move after he bought the Dallas Cowboys. The way Tom Landry was treated when Jerry let him go was his greatest blunder. From that point on, Jerry has been guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of all of us. Even when the Cowboys had redemption four years later when Jimmy Johnson rebuilt the team, no one was really fond of Jerry. We all knew Jerry had little part in the redemption of the Cowboys. The smartest thing he did was let Jimmy have the authority he needs as a coach. Then he committed his second biggest blunder by letting Jimmy go. From that point on, the Cowboys have been a joke. They have been the toy of a millionaire oilman trying to live out a dream he couldn't live when he was younger.

Ryan

January 14th, 2009 at 12:03 am

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Not necessarily #1 in importance, but #1 chronologically. Running Jimmy off the way he did was essentially the beginning of the end. And you're right though that the Landry thing could have been handled better. However, Landry was on the decline and the Jimmy thing worked out fairly well.

Jeff

January 14th, 2009 at 5:38 am

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I beg to differ that this was Jerry's biggest blunder. It was Jerry's first move after he bought the Dallas Cowboys. The way Tom Landry was treated when Jerry let him go was his greatest blunder. From that point on, Jerry has been guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of all of us. Even when the Cowboys had redemption four years later when Jimmy Johnson rebuilt the team, no one was really fond of Jerry. We all knew Jerry had little part in the redemption of the Cowboys. The smartest thing he did was let Jimmy have the authority he needs as a coach. Then he committed his second biggest blunder by letting Jimmy go. From that point on, the Cowboys have been a joke. They have been the toy of a millionaire oilman trying to live out a dream he couldn't live when he was younger.

Ryan

January 14th, 2009 at 6:03 am

Avatar

Not necessarily #1 in importance, but #1 chronologically. Running Jimmy off the way he did was essentially the beginning of the end. And you're right though that the Landry thing could have been handled better. However, Landry was on the decline and the Jimmy thing worked out fairly well.

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