At age 81, Jerry Jones' billionaire business brain - just like ours, minus the “billions” - slips from time to time.

In announcing his decision last weekend to finally induct Jimmy Johnson into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, he revealed the selected date as Dec. 30, "1923." And Tuesday morning when giddily talking about Thursday's halftime show during the Thanksgiving game against the Washington Commanders at AT&T Stadium, Jones made a country music faux pas by identifying Dolly Parton as "Reba McEntire."

But when it comes to self-awareness and public perception, Jones is as sharp as ever. He admits that the reason for Johnson's seemingly rushed induction - making it two separate induction ceremonies in the same year for the first time in franchise history - is because of the backlash from fans and media.

The owner inducted Demarcus Ware on Oct. 29. 

"I saw a little bit of the edge that was there when I put DeMarcus in instead (of Johnson)," Jones said during his weekly radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan. "I didn't intend that, so that motivated me. ... I made the decision about Jimmy during the time I put DeMarcus in."

The Dec. 30 date will be the Cowboys' game against the Detroit Lions. It's a Saturday night contest, broadcast by ESPN and Johnson's former quarterback, Troy Aikman.

"There's nothing magic about the timing with the Ring of Honor," Jones said. "This just felt right with Troy being here also."

Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman will be at Jimmy Johnson's Ring of Honor induction Dec. 30.


Jones maintains that he and Johnson - who won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys in the 1990s and laid the foundation for a third - have and always have had a smooth relationship. He said the much publicized visit between the two on the field in SoFi Stadium before Dallas' game against the Chargers in October didn't necessarily play a factor in his accelerated decision.

"It was a good visit, but we've never had a bad visit," Jones contends. "We've been on the same page all the way through. Never had a contentious meeting. Ever."

Jones said he'll be proud to induct both Johnson (2023) and Tom Landry (1993) as the only coaches in the Ring of Honor.

"Jimmy only coached here five years, which makes it that much more exceptional," he said. "Tex Schramm told me to make the Ring of Honor about people who impacted the direction of the franchise. Jimmy fits that bill in my mind."

And about some fans being relieved that some "Cowboys Curse" has been lifted with the Jerry-Jimmy relationship publicly mended?

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"I will believe in anything that helps us win," Jones said. "I'm a superstitious guy."

The owner, who has helped the Salvation Army raise approximately $1 billion through the years as the centerpiece of the Cowboys' annual Thanksgiving game, stumbled when glowingly previewing Thursday's Dolly Parton halftime show.

Said Jones, "Of all the people that we could've joined with this year to kick off the red kettle campaign, Reba McEntire is one of the very greatest in the spirit of what we're trying to say with our support of the Salvation Army."