DALLAS — From Jerry Jones' lips to the ink in the newspaper.
The Dallas Cowboys owner, president, and general manager made headlines on June 16 — not so much for AT&T Stadium being chosen as a host venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup — but for his explanation for how enshrinement into the Cowboys Ring of Honor works.
Jones fielded questions from reporters and said, "nothing determined out there at all" relative to upcoming candidates. In fact, Jones stated the review process is more expeditious than ordering an air fryer off the television.
"That’s something that I’ve never really decided upon almost until a week or two before I do it," Jones said.
"Do it" here relates to the announcement of enshrinement, not the actual induction at halftime of a Cowboys home game. That would make for a logistical nightmare to let someone who may live two time zones away know that they need to be at the next Cowboys home game to watch their name get etched into the Ring of Honor.
Nevertheless, Jones revealed how the process works.
Said Jones: "It’s never been something that’s had a long tail to its thought process. Obviously, the people who are qualified are career qualified. So, that is a career process. But as far as the timing of any individual that will ultimately be in that [Ring of Honor], I don’t have that.”
What immediately came to mind was the candidacy of former coach Jimmy Johnson, who Jones said would be going into the Ring of Honor during Johnson's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2021.
“I understand that," said Jones. "I really understand that would be a part of the question, but the answer is I don’t have a timeline.”
Jones ought to consider a timeline and a rather shortened one at that. As a billionaire, Jones should know time is the one resource that can never be earned back. As a survivor of the COVID-19 pandemic — like the other seven billion or more of us — Jones should readily be aware that postponement and cancellation are more probable these days than actually pulling off an event.
After all, Johnson's induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where Jones made that declaration, was part of a double-up year. Johnson should have gone into the Hall of Fame in August 2020, but, alas, COVID.
There is speculation that Jones is waiting for the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl and induct Johnson into the Ring of Honor the following year during the title defense. After all, Jones did that with Tom Landry in 1993 after the Cowboys rebounded from firing the legendary coach.
After Dallas won Super Bowl XXVII, Landry went into the Ring of Honor the following year — albeit Landry was a Hall-of-Famer long before then, much like Johnson.
Time is growing too short for the Cowboys to keep putting off the honor for a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach. Jones must reconsider and announce Johnson's impending 2022 induction — you know, in the next week or two.
Do you think Jerry Jones will finally put Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson on the Ring of Honor? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.