With Jimmy-Jerry Spat Again in the Headlines, NFL Films Looks Back at the Origins of the Feud

The always-simmering debate over whether Jerry Jones has too much control over the Cowboys' football operations was brought to a boil last week after former coach Jimmy Johnson traced the team's "country club" atmosphere back to Jones. That sparked something of a back-and-forth about who was in charge in the glory days of the early '90s that exhausted itself once the Morning News consulted it's archives to determine it was, in fact, Jimmy.

It's fitting, then, that NFL Films would choose the moment to debut its hour-long documentary on Johnson, complete with the segment above, which examines Jimmy and Jerry's epic battle of egos. The anecdote Johnson uses to illustrate the feud -- Jerry taking credit for signing Tony Casillas -- is minor, but it underlines a point that was always clear: that Jerry's insistence on meddling in the team's football operations prematurely ended Johnson's productive tenure in Dallas.

Cue the speculation of what might have been.

"It was devastating. Devastating," former receiver Michael Irvin tells the camera. "As blessed and as fortunate as we've been, when I'm with Troy, to this day we still talk about we should have at least five rings."

Cut to Troy Aikman, who says essentially the same thing.

"Yeah, I'm disappointed that we didn't have a chance to exhaust that relationship and figure out how good it could have been."

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson