8: (PM ET
Jeff LegwoldESPN Senior Writer
- Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
- Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
- Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
of Selectors since
Hall of Fame president David Baker made the announcement to Johnson during Fox Sports’ halftime show just before the start of the second half of the NFC divisional-round game between theGreen Bay Packersand(Seattle Seahawks) **************.
Johnson, a Fox analyst, won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys and built the bulk of the roster that won a third title for the team after his departure.
He was clearly emotional upon receiving the news Sunday, as was his previous quarterback Troy Aikman, who could be seen tearing up as he heard the announcement from Green Bay, where he was announcing the playoff game.
A look at
@ TroyAikman’s reaction to his former coach
@ JimmyJohnsonjoining the Hall of Fame. # FootballIsFamily pic.twitter.com/8Y8Go8wIni
– FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX)January 21,
“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, ” a choked-up Johnson said after Baker told him he was a Hall of Famer. “I can’t talk. This is so special. ”
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. Baker announced Saturday that formerSteelerscoach Bill Cowher also would be enshrined as part of the centennial class.
When fully revealed, the centennial class will include 10 seniors candidates, as well as three contributors to go with Cowher and Johnson. The class was chosen as part of the NFL’s th anniversary.
The blue-ribbon panel – which included members of the Hall’s board of selectors, league historians, Hall of Famers, as well as New England Patriots
coach Bill Belichick – chose the class from a list of finalists during a meeting at the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
The 38 finalists were chosen from a list of almost nominees over the course of the past five months.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 28472454 – – comprised of modern-era players – will be selected Feb. 1 in Miami Beach, Florida, the day before Super Bowl LIV.
The Cowboys went 1 – in Johnson’s first season as coach in 1995 but steadily improved until the team won back-to-back Super Bowls in his fourth and fifth years. The Cowboys went – in Johnson’s last three seasons in Dallas, winning two Super Bowls.
Johnson and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones clashed following the season, and Barry Switzer directed Dallas to a Super Bowl win to close out the season with a roster largely assembled by Johnson.
Johnson’s work not only as a coach, but as a personnel evaluator, was cited in his case for Canton. He is often credited for the draft chart that used a point value for each draft pick to determine what selections should be used in trades.
Every team uses some version of the chart in its draft preparations. In his most notable trades for the Cowboys, Johnson dealt running back Herschel Walker and Quarterback Steve Walsh after his arrival, and those trades netted him four first-round picks, four second-rounders and two third-rounders.
Overall with Dallas, he drafted 36 players who went on to start in Super Bowls, the players who were named to the Pro Bowl and three players who eventually were named Super Bowl MVPs. In his four-year tenure with the Dolphins, he drafted four players who went on to a combined Pro Bowls (Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain), and none of the four was a first-round pick.