BTB Interview: Former Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson

Coach Jimmy Johnson shows me some nice bling while I was visiting with him earlier today - a Cowboys Super Bowl ring!

This morning, Coach Jimmy Johnson was in Atlanta to promote the Crown Royal CAMO Operation Care Package. Coach was doing a great thing by lending his name to an event to get care packages sent to our troops overseas. The details are at the bottom of the post from Crown Royal, so if you drink Crown, or if you want to support the troops, read that part. One of Coach Johnson's messages was: Don't forget about the servicemen overseas, don't take them for granted.

Along with that, he did interviews with a handful of writers and I was there to take part. We got to spend around 10 minutes asking coach some questions. Naturally, mine were all Cowboys related, but other writers asked about Survivor and the NFL in general. So I transcribed mine, and some of the others that I thought you might find interesting and the results are this post.

(ME): Coach, you saw the Redskins/Cowboys game from last week. What is your evaluation of the Cowboys?

(JJ): Obviously it was very disappointing for any Cowboys fan. To see some of the decisions made; not taking a knee just before the half was just a horrible decision. I think they're still going to be a good football team. I think the biggest thing is they get their offensive linemen back healthy, then they'll be at full strength. Defensively I think they're going to be one of the top defenses in the league. Offensively they got the skill people but they need to get those offensive linemen back healthy.

(ME): You mentioned the kneel down, there's been some back and forth about who called it - Was it Wade Phillips, Was it Jason Garrett? What do you think about that, the dynamic between the two?

(JJ): In fact we're doing a piece on FOX NFL Sunday this weekend on clock management and game management. An offensive coordinator's responsibility is to score, but the head coach does the game management, and the end result is the head coach's decision and that should have been take a knee.

(ME): How was your communication with your offensive coordinators on the sidelines?

(JJ): I had a headset and I switched back and forth between my offensive and defensive coordinators and everything went through me, to the field. And there are some people who'll say Tony Romo shouldn't have thrown the pass, Choice should have taken a knee; what I explain is they don't think when they're out there playing, they react. So if you call the play they're going to execute the play and try to score. The simple thing is you just take a knee and you don't have those problems. With four seconds to go you don't have a play to score form your 35-yard line.

(ME): The Cowboys take on the Bears this week. What's the best way to deal with a Mike Martz offense?

(JJ): Usually with Martz's offense, he pretty much plays into your hands, because as good as that defense is for the Cowboys they'll get some sacks and interceptions. Now Martz is going to put up some numbers, as far as Cutler throwing the ball, so they'll put up some numbers, and probably score some points. I think the [Cowboys] defense will end up getting some scores themselves, or setting up field position.

(ME): So the key is to get pressure on the QB, make him turn it over.

(JJ): Yeah. You got to force Cutler into mistakes.

(ME): You ever wished you would have stayed a few more years in Dallas, won a few more Super Bowls?

(JJ): No, I had my run, I enjoyed it, winning back-to-back Super Bowls. I was ready to move on and move to South Florida

(ME): How's your relationship with Jerry these days?

(JJ): Good, good. In fact Jerry and I, I was at the grand opening of Cowboys stadium and sat with Jerry in his box as his guest. He flew his jet down and picked me up and we sat at the Pacquio fight at Cowboys stadium. So we've got a good relationship.

(Other Reporter): What about rookies in the league, anyone in particular you're looking at? (ME): Dez Bryant?

(JJ): I follow Dez Bryant because he played at Oklahoma State and that's where I coached for five years.  I think he is going to be a tremendous talent and really help the Cowboys if he can stay healthy. He's a very talented individual.

(ME): What about Roy Williams? What do you think is the problem with him in Dallas?

(JJ): Roy's kind of a long-strider, he's good on certain routes.  When there's a lot of congestion there, he's not as good. He reminds me a lot of Alvin Harper when I had Alvin. But Roy's good on certain routes.

(Other Reporter): We'll go Survivor/Cowboys. If Jerry Jones was on Survivor how long would he last?

(JJ): Well Jerry's had the good life for a long, long time and what I've found out, because I've had the good life for a while now myself, being on the couch and in the air-conditioning and sleeping in your own bed and having lots of food and water makes you want to go back and get those things again. So I don't know if Jerry would last very long on Survivor.

(OR): How did you maintain your hair on Survivor?

(JJ): I didn't. What I did though is I cut it shorter than I've ever had in the last 25 years so I didn't have to worry about combing it or fixing it. I didn't have any hairspray or any mirrors.

(OR): NFL Lockout?

(JJ): I think there's a general feeling there may be a lockout.  I hope not, there's so much at stake, so much money involved for everybody and the enjoyment of football for the fans. I hope they come together and get a CBA and come to terms. I don't think a lockout is good for anybody.

(OR): Are you surprised how far and wide the Cowboys fans are?

(JJ): It always amazed me back when I coached there, every road trip we would go into the hotel, and the hotel would just be packed with Cowboys fans. And same thing for the stands.  Obviously after winning a few Super Bowls, traveling around the country I hear about it all the time, whatever city I'm in, not only in the States, but when I go to the Bahamas or go out of the country, it's the same thing there.

(OR): What young or up-and-coming coach are you looking at in the NFL?

(JJ): It's hard for me to put one out there unless I've actually coached with him or know him personally, I don't want to go out and endorse somebody. I do know Sean Payton very well, he's young, but he's won a Super Bowl. One of the pieces I'm doing this week will give credit to Sean for some of his game management skills.

====

Crown Royal CAMO Operation Care Package Event

The Crown Royal iconic purple bag has been specially redesigned with a camouflage look to show support for the men and women serving our country overseas. For every camouflage-design bag sold (up to 10,000) Crown Royal will purchase another camouflage-bag and fill it with items for our troops and send overseas just before the holidays.

Through a partnership with non-profit Operation Troop Aid (OTA), the CAMO Care Packages will be filled with various items from snacks to toiletries and will be sent to legal-drinking age service members just in time for the holidays.


Visit www.crownroyal.com/military

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