The owner of the Dallas Cowboys may finally be extending the proverbial olive branch to Super Bowl-winning former head coach Jimmy Johnson.
At Jones' Hall of Fame inauguration speech Saturday night, he hinted at the possibility of Johnson making it into the Hall of Fame.
"Just so we're clear, you know me: I want to make anything we do in that Ring of Honor -- I want to make it have its own special attention, so I'm not going to get into that right now," Jones said after the induction ceremony. "But I hope it was obvious up there how much I appreciated what Jimmy has contributed to the Cowboys [and] his, frankly, lifelong friendship.
"Our differences, while they were certainly visible and magnitude because of the nature of it, if you really look at our friendship over the years, there's just not that much to fuss about. And so, it was pretty easy to reflect back on his contribution and what he meant."
Johnson coached the Cowboys from 1989 to '93, earning a 44-36 record. He had a 7-1 postseason record and directed the Cowboys to consecutive Super Bowls.
He turned the Cowboys from a 1-15 team in 1989 to Super Bowl champs in 1992 and 1993. Per ESPN, After Johnson and the Cowboys parted ways following the 1993 season, the Cowboys won their third Super Bowl in a four-year span in 1995 under Barry Switzer, but players from that era have lamented that the loss of Johnson led to a dynasty that wasn't as great as it could have been.
Jones and Johnson had their falling out after Super Bowl XXVIII, and have made critical comments about each other since then through the media. Recently, things have been more cordial.
"Jimmy, it was a great decision," Jones said, in reference to his hiring of Johnson in 1989. "You were a great teammate. You were a great partner, to the contrary of popular belief. We worked so well together for five years and restored the Cowboys' credibility with our fans. We were back-to-back. We were driven. We had thick skin. We took all the criticism they could dish out. I thank you."
Jones said he wanted "someone I knew, someone I wanted, someone I knew well, I wanted someone who I knew could get it done to be our coach," looking back on 1989.
"I wanted Jimmy Johnson. I said he'd be worth five first-round draft choices or five Heisman Trophy draft picks. I should have been laughed out of town when I said it."