"Remember, in 1989, when I bought this team, the same kind of things were said," Jones says in reply. "The system is still in place, and Barry Switzer, believe me, knows a football player when he sees one."
Perhaps, but Jones has clearly taken a risk in hiring Switzer. "People can say I've positioned myself for a fall, that if we don't go to the Super Bowl, I'm going to get the blame," says Jones. "Fine. What we have is a challenge we didn't have before. Maybe that challenge is just the thing we need for a third straight Super Bowl victory."
So Johnson rides off into the Florida Keys sunset, certain to return as someone's coach in 1995. And Jones has his chance to be the football brains of the Cowboys—he waived tight end Alfredo Roberts last Thursday without telling Switzer—but he'll be severely tested in this new era of free agency. For Jones the moral of this story is: It's your team, and you can do what you want. But if the Cowboys don't win big, the dunce cap will be yours too.