It was announced on Sunday that former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of their Centennial Class this fall. Huzzah.
Jimmy Johnson is very deserving of a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio and his acceptance speech is surely going to be a must-see spectacle. Johnson has always had a way with words (“How ‘bout them Cowboys!” seems to stick out) so the speech that he prepares will surely be memorable.
What about the speech that sends him into the hallowed halls of Canton, though? As is tradition Johnson, like every Pro Football Hall of Famer, will be “presented” by someone for enshrinement. Inductees choose who they want to have present them and over the years we have seen a variety of roles selected by enshrinees.
Here are three potential options for Jimmy to use to induct him into the Hall of Fame, obviously the choice ultimately is up to him.
Someone from his personal life
Sometimes Hall of Famers have someone from their personal lives induct them into immortality. Maybe a spouse, a child, a sibling, you get the idea. The person often wants to share the moment with someone close to them and if Johnson wants to go that route then who are we to fault him?
Obviously Cowboys fans want to see a huge Cowboys connection during this moment, but the moment truly belongs to Johnson and he should share it with whoever he wants. That doesn’t mean that a Cowboys selection wouldn’t be great, though.
Let me be clear that this is simply an option for Jimmy Johnson, but I totally get it if you don’t think this should be Jimmy Johnson’s choice. While a lot has happened since they went their separate ways there is no denying that Jerry Jones is a big part of Jimmy Johnson’s career. We can say that objectively.
Now all of that being said, it would be kind of nice if Johnson chose Jones to present him into the Hall of Fame. The two go all the way back to their time at Arkansas together so this would be the great crystallization of the path that they set out on together back in 1989, but again; there is obviously a lot more to it than “it would be nice.”
There is awkwardness between Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson for a lot of reasons so this feels like a longshot, but anything can happen.
When former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Gene Hickerson was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 he was unfortunately very ill. As a result he was in a wheelchair and had to be pushed onto the stage, but the way it unfolded was very powerful.
Mr. Hickerson blocked for Hall of Fame running backs Jim Brown, Bobby Kelly, and Leroy Kelly. The three of them, together, pushed his wheelchair so that he could “lead them in” one last time, into football’s most illustrious fraternity. Jump to about the 18-minute mark to watch for yourself.
“The Triplets” are a term known by any sports fan to be synonymous with the Dallas Cowboys. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith were the core pieces of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys teams and Jimmy Johnson was their leader. It would be incredible to see some sort of packaging with all three of them presenting him into the home that he will share with them forever.
Of course, the circumstances surrounding Jimmy Johnson’s induction and Mr. Hickerson’s are not at all the same, so it’s unknown if the Hall would make a similar sort of exception; however, it is obviously a possibility. If it had to be one of the three it might make the most sense for it to be Aikman as Johnson tried to recruit him twice in college and ultimately made him his first draft pick with the Cowboys in 1989.