Jimmy Johnson Live From Cowboys Stadium: Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl Press Conference
DATELINE: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas—Silverandblueblood.com was invited to join local print and television media for an exclusive event sponsored by Crown Royal. Just five days after Super Bowl XLV was played in Cowboys Stadium, legendary coach and Metroplex icon Jimmy Johnson led two fearless flag football teams onto the turf of the world’s most magnificent football stadium.
Dubbed the Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl, the game was played between two contest winners and their hand-picked group of fortunate friends. The teams received pep talks and tips from the great “Jimmeh” himself.
The game was entertaining, but was not close. The Sand Spurs whipped Team America, 31–12. I am not sure if Jimmy was the winning coach, or if he both won and lost the game, since he was the inspirational leader of both teams.
After the game, I joined the other media in a Jimmy Johnson press conference, where the coach answered questions ranging from whether the Super Bowl should be played in Arlington again to how far the Dallas Cowboys are from the Green Bay Packers’ level in terms of football talent. As always, Jimmy’s answers were crisp and laden with hot sports opinions.
Following are Johnson's thoughts on topics like bringing the Super Bowl back to Dallas, Jason Garrett, the Ring of Honor, Jerry Jones, Rob Ryan, the Cowboys' talent level, and more.
What Did Jimmy Johnson Think About Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium?
Jimmy Johnson: It was a great venue. This is an unbelievable stadium. I thought we had a great game. Probably 150 million people watched the Super Bowl here [162.9 million saw all or part, 111 million on average]. It was a great success. I know there was some controversy on some different things, but to me they were very minor. I know Fox television loved it, loved the ratings and loved the game.
Now, that is good company promotion. See the subtlety?
Should Cowboys Stadium Get Another Super Bowl?
Jimmy Johnson: Without question. I know people are going to say the weather was bad, but the weather was bad throughout the country. From my understanding, it was the worst weather Dallas has had in 15 years. It caused so many problems you really couldn’t control. I know for myself, just being a fan, I’d love to see the Super Bowl come back to Dallas.
What About That Fox Pregame Special With Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones?
Jimmy Johnson: It went very well. Obviously I’ve been with Jerry before the stadium opened at the George Strait concert and the [Manny] Pacquiao fight. Jerry and I spent some time at his owner’s meeting party Thursday night. Jerry was great. He’s always been great to me. Dallas should be proud of him. If it weren’t for Jerry Jones, you’d never have the Super Bowl here.
Jimmy knows where the bread needs buttering. One of his most impressive abilities is his knack for knowing what to say and when to say it. The next topic is just one good reason it makes sense for Jimmy to love Jerry right now.
What About Jimmy Johnson in the Cowboys Ring of Honor?
Jimmy Johnson: Anybody that knows me, I’m not much for individual awards, especially in the ultimate team game. Obviously, I’d be honored, but it’s not a big thing to me. More than anything else, I’m happy for the players and happy for the team.
I almost believe Jimmy here. He is not without his ego and his pride. If he was, the Jerry–Jimmy clash would never have happened. That whole flap was the result of two massive egos, two alpha males, vying for supremacy.
Jimmy likely did not coach long enough in the NFL to warrant a Hall of Fame bid. He does deserve inclusion in the Ring of Honor, which is absolutely essential if he is ever to get any Hall of Fame consideration. He did, after all, win two Super Bowls and he built one of the great dynasties in NFL history in a very short period of time.
How Did You Feel About Charles Haley Not Making the Hall of Fame in 2011?
Jimmy Johnson: I was really, really disappointed. Charles Haley deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Charles Haley was instrumental in us winning three Super Bowls. That’s why I felt he was deserving.
Charles Haley is the only player in the history of the world (so far) to have five Super Bowl rings. I, too, was really, really disappointed.
What About the Unfortunate 400 That Paid for Super Bowl Seats That Did Not Exist
Jimmy Johnson: That’s part of the Super Bowl. More than anything else, I thought they were trying to accommodate as many people as wanted to be here. Both Green Bay and Pittsburgh are national teams…. A lot of people wanted to see this game.
The questioned was worded: "What did you think about trying to over-stuff the stadium?" Jimmy gave the NFL and Jerry Jones the benefit of the doubt. They were trying to do something good and it didn't work out.
Some would argue that greed knows no bounds. Some, but not Jimmy.
What Does Jimmy Think About Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett?
Jimmy Johnson: Jason is a very passionate coach, very intelligent. He’s prepared himself well for this opportunity. He came down to the [Florida] Keys a couple of years ago and spent some time with me, just getting ready for the time he was to become a head coach. He’s prepared himself well. I see where he’s hiring Mike Woicik, my strength coach, who has six Super Bowl rings. Jason’s doing it the right way. I think they’ll be a drastically improved team over what they were a year ago.
What About Rob Ryan, Jimmy?
Jimmy Johnson: I like him. I told Jerry I thought it was a great move. I’ve been impressed with what he’s done with defensive teams with both the Raiders and Cleveland. He’s got a lot of passion for the game. I think he’s a good mix for Jason Garrett. I think Ryan’s going to do an outstanding job with the defense.
Should Jason Garrett Hire an Offensive Coordinator?
Jimmy Johnson: I’ve said this many times, and Jason knows it: Myself, I like the head coach to have his hand in all three phases. He can have his hand in all three phases and still be involved with one phase, but I still think if you’re actually doing the gameplan, the play-calling, etc., I think it takes away from the other two phases. I prefer the head coach to be a delegater. But, of course, I like it that way because that’s the way I did it.
Some are so good; for instance, Norv Turner is such a great play caller, it would be a shame to take him away from calling plays for that offense. But if you are going to be successful that way, you have got to be really good with your assistant coaches, as far as the special teams coach and the other phase, the offense or defense.
I am with Jimmy on this. I like a head coach to be able to keep the big picture always in mind, during weekly preparation and on game day.
Does Jimmy Think the Cowboys Are as Talented as the Green Bay Packers?
The Question: How big is the gap between the current Cowboys roster and that of Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers?
Jimmy Johnson: Talentwise, I think the consensus is that the Cowboys were talented last year. I thought they were a sloppy team. They had too many penalties. They had too many crucial turnovers. That’s why they lost some of their close games. Obviously, you always need more talent. You try to improve your team every year, but I don’t question the talent on this football team.
I love the way football people take shots at Wade Phillips’ coaching without taking shots at Wade Phillips’ coaching. Name no names. But the finger is clearly pointed at Wade.
Jimmy Johnson Caught on Tape: Audio Version of This Press Conference
You can listen to the audio of this interview by clicking HERE. Be warned: The first couple of minutes sound like we are doing the interview in Kabul. Something that looked like a riding lawnmower was going in the background.
My three questions begin at around the 5:45 mark.