1994 Review: The Unthinkable Becomes Reality as Switzer Replaces Johnson

Jimmy Johnson compiled a 44-36 record in Dallas, including a 7-1 record in the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and 1993 became only the fifth franchise to win consecutive Super Bowls. Their coach, Jimmy Johnson, had in five years won as many championships as Tom Landry did in twenty nine.

Most fans had set their sights on an unprecedented third title.

On Tuesday, March 22, 1994, Jerry Jones opened his mouth at the league meeting on Orlando, Florida and suggested that he could hire any one of 500 coaches to lead the Cowboys to a title.

The next day, Randy Galloway wrote:

What we really have here is a frustrated coach, or better yet, a frustrated general manager. And while Jones is proudest of the general manager title he’s given himself, it wounds him deeply when the media refers to Johnson as “his own general manager.”

Anyway, this frustration has been building for Jones since after the first world championship. And it must have boiled over early Tuesday morning in a hotel bar in Orlando.

He’s going to do what? Fire Jimmy Johnson ? Hire Barry Switzer?

Somebody better call 9-1-1 and ask for the psycho ward.

One week after Jerry’s comment, Jimmy was out as the Cowboys’ coach. Sure, Jimmy later said that he planned to leave after five years anyway, but at the time the feud was a non-stop soap opera.

One day after Jimmy announced his departure, the Cowboys hired the third coach in team history when Switzer came on board.

Here’s a clip that shows part of the press conference and discusses Switzer’s arrival in Dallas:

Things didn’t get bad in Dallas for a few more years, but the euphoria that surrounded the 1992 and 1993 seasons was gone.  Also gone was the string of remarkable drafts, which we will address in the next post.

Bad Blood (Sports Illustrated, April 11, 1994)

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