With one head coach entering the Hall of Fame, the Dallas Cowboys have been granted the spotlight game that will serve as another’s debut.
Jimmy Johnson debuted as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the team’s first preseason matchup against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, August 13, 1989. And later this year, he’ll enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Fittingly, Johnson’s enshrinement will mark the debut of the newest head coach of America’s Team.
On Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that the Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off the NFL preseason in their annual Hall of Fame game. The matchup will take place on Thursday, August 6, 2020 in Canton, Ohio.
This will mark the fourth time in the past eleven years which the Cowboys have been chosen to participate in the preseason showcase. In their previous Hall of Fame game, Dallas defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 20-18, on August 3, 2017.
This year’s matchup against the Steelers will be the debut for new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. The former Super Bowl winner was hired in January once the team decided to part ways with longtime head coach Jason Garrett after nearly a decade. McCarthy famously spent last season out of the NFL following a 13-year stint as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
Now, McCarthy’s debut will be tied with the Hall of Fame enshrinement of one of the greatest head coaches in franchise history. Johnson only coached the Cowboys for five seasons (1989-1993), yet he was able to win the Super Bowl twice (1992, 1993). His influence and personnel decisions were also a major factor in the team winning a third title in 1995, the Cowboys’ third Super Bowl win in four seasons, despite no longer being with the franchise.
Along with Jimmy Johnson, former Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris (1970-1979) is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 Centennial Class. A six-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, two-time Super Bowl winner, and member of the NFL’s 1970’s All-Decade Team, Harris will be enshrined alongside the legendary Cowboys’ head coach in August.