Former Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

‘This is so special to me,’ 76-year-old says during announcement at halftime of playoff game

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson has been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Michael S. Green, AP Photo)

CANTON, Ohio – South Florida favorite Jimmy Johnson has been elected to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.

The former Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes head coach was informed of the news during halftime of the Seahawks-Packers playoff game. Johnson, 76, was working as a commentator for Fox when told of his election.

“The only thing I can think of is all the assistant coaches who worked for me, all the great players who played for me are the reason,” said a teary-eyed Johnson. “I can’t talk.

“This is so special to me because when you put in the work that we put in, it is nice for those people to appreciate it.”

One of his best players, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, could be seen tearing up as he heard the announcement from Green Bay, where he was announcing the Seahawks-Packers playoff game.

Of course, Johnson achieved the honor due to his two Super Bowl wins with the Dallas Cowboys, which came after he won a national championship at the University of Miami.

After leaving Dallas, Johnson returned to the sidelines with the Dolphins in 1996, yet failed to find the same success he achieved with the Cowboys. He went 36-28 in his four seasons in Miami.

In his nine pro seasons, he went 89-68. Johnson led the Cowboys to three playoff appearances and the two Super Bowl victories and took the Dolphins to three postseason appearances.

Johnson joins former Steelers coach Bill Cowher as the two members of this year’s class who were announced early. Former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas is among those hoping to hear his name called when the rest of the class is announced Wednesday.