Fans can always count on Jerry Jones to bring the theatrics to open Cowboys training camp.
At the team’s annual introductory press conference to address the state of the organization ahead of another new season, Jones dipped into the team’s past and toward a conversation he had with former Cowboys coach Barry Switzer about Jimmy Johnson.
It’s a story Jones has told before, one the Cowboys owner told to The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore while the veteran sportswriter was covering Jones’ 25th anniversary of owning the Cowboys.
Here’s what Moore wrote at the time:
‘How could you guys screw this up’
Jimmy Johnson steps down on March 29, 1994. Barry Switzer replaces him less than 24 hours later.
Once the deal is done, Jerry Jones and Switzer shake hands and hug. Switzer’s first question as head coach of the Cowboys is this:
“Where’s Jimmy? Where’s his office? I want to go get him.”
“Well, Barry, Jimmy is gone,” he replies. “He’s physically gone. That’s why you’re here. Why do you want him?”
Switzer doesn’t hesitate.
“Look, I really want this job,’' he says. “But I made up my mind the first thing I would do is grab you and him, put the two of you in a room together, make you look each other in the eye and ask after winning two Super Bowls, how in the world could you guys screw this up?’'
Jones expanded on the story during Wednesday’s press conference, adding in a few more expletives.
When asked if looking back now could he answer Switzer’s question, Jones replied: “I’ve never been able to know why I [expletive] it up. Not just that but anything else. No, I can’t answer that question.”
Johnson coached the Cowboys from 1989-93, winning Super Bowls in each of his last two seasons in Dallas. He parted ways the organization following the 1993 season due to his rocky relationship with the franchise.
“My role here, it was my job to keep it together and should have had deference to something that was working good,” an emotional Jones said of his relationship with Johnson.
“We had a great run of it. He’s a great coach, and I’m proud to have him as a friend and proud to have the times that we had. We just had a great experience.”