(Photos courtesy of Dallas Cowboys)
Talk of Fame Network
Since the departure of former coach Jimmy Johnson from Dallas over two decades ago, there’s been a lot of talk of how much he meant to the franchise and what might have happened had he stayed with the Cowboys – a club that won two Super Bowls with him and another with his players.
So we asked Hall-of-Fame receiver Michael Irvin, one of the stars on the club that won three Super Bowls in four years (1992-95) and pushed San Francisco off the map as the Team of the Decade.
Johnson, you might remember, left after a fissure with owner Jerry Jones prior to the 1994 season – a year when San Francisco went on to win the Super Bowl. A year later, the Cowboys were back on top, besting Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX.
But that was it. There would be no more Super Bowls, no more playoff success, no more nothing without Johnson. So what might’ve happened had he stayed?
“When Troy (Hall-of-Fame quarterback Troy Aikman) and I get together we look at each other — and I’m telling you there’s not a time we don’t get together (and say) ‘We should’ve at least had five ourselves,’ “ Irvin said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “We should’ve won five. We should’ve at least walked away with a minimum of five Super Bowls.
“That’s a minimum I really do believe that. You look back on it now, and if I had the sense I have now … if I had it then … we certainly would have won five Super Bowls. It just works out that way. It still gets to me, man. I’m telling you. It really does.”
Johnson not only was the coach who took the Cowboys to the top of the NFL; he was the talent evaluator, too, swinging the Herschel Walker trade, then pulling off the deal that brought Hall-of-Famer Charles Haley to Dallas. Without him, the Cowboys were a bottom feeder. With him, well, listen to Irvin.
“There was no turnaround without Jimmy,” he said “Just the whole mindset of what Jimmy built and how he set our mind toward one goal. There were a lot of guys when we got here. And they were all wanting to have (their own space) and do their own thing. Some people wanted to make money. Some people wanted to be famous. Maybe some guys wanted whatever they wanted. (But) Jimmy was able to get us all on the same page. And that’s what beautiful about winning championships.”