“When it comes to moving men, there is no one better than Coach Johnson.” – Michael Irvin
As a two-time Super Bowl and a national championship-winning head coach, Jimmy Johnson was able to get the best out of his players with a relentless pursuit for perfection and a drive to win at all costs.
On Wednesday, November 7 at 8:00 PM ET, the latest installment of the Emmy-nominated NFL Network series A Football Life examines the coach who drove his teams to achieve immense success on the field, and the man who now spends his time with family, fishing in the Florida Keys and on television as a football analyst.
Jimmy Johnson: A Football Life chronicles his playing career as a defensive tackle at Arkansas, and his early coaching career at Wichita State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. As the head coach of the University of Miami from 1984-88, Johnson’s teams played with a swagger rarely seen in college football, and had a sense of bravado that flowed directly from their head coach. In five years as head coach, Johnson led the Hurricanes to a 52-9 record and a national championship in 1987.
In 1989, Johnson replaced the legendary Tom Landry as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, inheriting the worst team in the league. Yet with a keen eye for talent and an unrelenting coaching style, Johnson led the Cowboys to back-to-back Super Bowl titles. But the dynasty the Cowboys were building ended sooner than anyone expected when Johnson and owner Jerry Jones decided they could no longer co-exist.
The one-hour documentary features sitdown interviews with Johnson and Jones, former players such as Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, and Steve Walsh; current NFL head coaches Bill Belichick and Jason Garrett; his wife Rhonda Rookmaaker; and Hall of Fame players and co-workers Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.
Additionally, footage includes Johnson’s audition tape to be on CBS’s Survivor, a candid fishing trip with Belichick in the Florida Keys, an address he gave to the University of Miami football team in April of 2012, and video from various games and press conferences throughout his career.
Jimmy Johnson: A Football Life includes interviews with the following people:
Jerry Jones – Owner of the Dallas Cowboys
Rhonda Rookmaaker – Jimmy’s wife
Troy Aikman – Dallas Cowboys quarterback, 1989-2000
Michael Irvin – Played for Johnson with the Dallas Cowboys and at the University of Miami
Howie Long – Hall of Fame defensive lineman & FOX NFL Sunday analyst
Terry Bradshaw – Hall of Fame quarterback & FOX NFL Sunday analyst
Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys head coach
Bill Belichick – New England Patriots head coach
Larry Lacewell – Dallas Cowboys Director of Scouting, 1992-2004
Jeff Probst – Host of CBS’s Survivor
For the first look at Jimmy Johnson: A Football Life, visit:
Following are select quotes from Jimmy Johnson: A Football Life:
- “People accused me of running up the score [at the University of Miami]. We would substitute players, we would put in our backups but we didn’t allow our guys to let up against anybody that we played.” – Jimmy Johnson
- “It was a culture change for the Cowboys when I first went there.” – Jimmy Johnson
- “To see the juxtaposition between a man who was crazed and maniacal about coaching his team to Jimmy Johnson now, it’s breathtaking. He hates the person that he had to be and that he was back then.” – Dan Le Batard
- “When it comes to moving men, there is no one better than Coach Johnson. He brought the best out of each guy and he always kept the pressure on. He lived in our minds.” – Michael Irvin
- “To build that into the dynasty it was, his eye for talent was a huge difference. It really changed the course of that organization.” – Howie Long
- “I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to really exhaust that relationship and find out how great it could have been.” – Troy Aikman on Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones
- “I can’t think of too many other coaches like that that were successful at all three levels: as a player, as a college coach and as a pro coach. It’s pretty rare.” – Bill Belichick
- “There wasn’t a minute that I was around him in the two years that I played for him, that I and everyone on our football team didn’t know who the head coach was.” – Jason Garrett
Below is the remaining broadcast schedule for A Football Life, airing on Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM ET:
- November 21 – John Riggins
- December 5 – Barry Sanders
- December 12 – Marcus Allen
- December 19 – The Immaculate Reception
Airing throughout the NFL season, A Football Life examines the iconic individuals and subjects that have had an undeniable and profound impact on the history of the National Football League, offering an inside look into their untold stories.
Every episode of A Football Life and all NFL Network programming is streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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