OXNARD, Calif. – The annual State of the Cowboys Address at the start of every training camp in Oxnard, California is usually reserved for setting the stage for the upcoming NFL season.
But this year’s address featured a rare moment: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones getting emotional.
The subject of his remorse was an old wound - former head coach Jimmy Johnson’s departure from the franchise in 1994. Johnson was great friends with Jones, and the two won a pair of Super Bowls in ’93 and ’94 before their much-publicized break up later that season. Today, with a crackly voice, Jones took the blame for their divorce.
“I’ve never been able to know why I f---ed it up,” admitted Jones, seemingly on the verge of tears. “He’s a great coach. I’m proud to have him as a friend and proud to have had the times we had. We had a great experience.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gets emotional more that once when talking about returning to training camp and how he messed up (paraphrased ) his relationship with Jimmy Johnson. pic.twitter.com/EYJw4H7s5U— Greg Simmons (@GregSimmonsKSAT) July 21, 2021
Jones even revealed that Barry Switzer tried to sit both Jones and Johnson down on the couch to talk out their issues before Switzer was officially hired as the Cowboys head coach in 1995.
Maybe the emotions got the better of Jones because he’s now 78 years old, nearly 25 years removed from the team’s last Super Bowl victory. Johnson is also now a member of the Class of 2020, which is set to be formally inducted next month into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It could also be the fact that Hard Knocks is on site to document the Cowboys’ return to Oxnard. Perhaps it’s a combination of all three.