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Jerry Jones says firing Tom Landry was doing right thing for greater good of team

Tom Landry

4 Jan 1986: Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry looks on during a playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Rams won the game, 20-0. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport

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While speaking to several hundred youth, middle and high school coaches Wednesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has been accused of not having “the appreciation for how much difference a coach can make.”

“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Jones said.

Jones must have forgotten his relationship with Jimmy Johnson ended when Jones famously proclaimed “any one of 500 coaches could have won those Super Bowls” after the Cowboys’ championships in 1992-93. Barry Switzer won the team’s third title of the 1990s in 1995.

Jones, though, does remember that he has yet to be forgiven by some longtime Cowboys fans for his firing of Tom Landry. Jones’ first act as owner in 1989 was to replace Landry with Jimmy Johnson.

It obviously worked out for the Cowboys, which is how Jones defended an unpopular move.

“I had such respect for coach Tom Landry,” Jones said. “I was motivated to be a part of this organization, the Cowboy organization and the NFL in no small part because of coach Landry. Yet, probably no one has had more criticism . . . than what I got when I basically made the change to coach Landry and asked Jimmy Johnson to come in and be the coach. That is just in my mind an illustration of the hard decisions that sometimes you have to make doing the right thing possibly for the greater good of the team.”