Flat out, who deserves the most credit?

Pro Football Hall of Fame: Jerry Jones vs. Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson transformed the Dallas Cowboys from 1-15 laughingstock into back-to-back Super Bowl champs. Jerry Jones hired Johnson.

So which one is more deserving of immortality in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Both are on the HOF’s preliminary list of 2009 inductee candidates released yesterday. Other nominees with Cowboys ties: Gil Brandt, Charles Haley, Too Tall Jones, Dan Reeves, Herschel Walker, Darren Woodson and Bob Hayes.

The list of 110 players, seven coaches and 16 contributors will be whittled to 25 next month, then to 17 heading into Super Bowl week. Hayes, nominated by the Seniors Committee and my childhood hero, is guaranteed a spot among the final 17.

Since they’re both still active – Jerry as a domineering owner and Jimmy as a network blowhard – the chance of either getting in at this stage is unlikely. But it won’t stop us from commencing the debate.

Jerry has three Super Bowl rings, is on the verge of opening Earth's biggest football stadium, and elevated the NFL to new heights of popularity with his marketing innovations and bold idea to shove the league on a fledgling network called Fox. He, um, also fired Johnson -- not to mention, Tom Landry -- has overseen the biggest playoff drought in Cowboys’ history and lied to us about Pacman Jones' shenanigans.

Jimmy won two Super Bowls, built one of the NFL’s premier dynasties in the early ‘90s and coined one of the most poignant quips in league history, "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?!" He, um, was also a conniving ass who flopped as coach of the Miami Dolphins, losing his last NFL game, 62-7.

They’ll both end up in Canton at some point. I guess the real question is:

Who deserves to go in first? – Richie Whitt

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