The former NFL coaches were each told of the exciting honor on live television over the weekend

By Eric Todisco
January 13, 2020 11:43 AM

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Two legendary NFL coaches quickly became emotional over the weekend after learning on live television that they will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson were each told the exciting news by Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker while they were on-air at their respective networks. Cowher, 62, is a sports analyst for CBS, while Johnson, 76, holds the same role at Fox.

Baker surprised Cowher with news of the honor on Saturday prior to the matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans. After being welcomed into the 2020 Hall of Fame class, Cowher was embraced by his wife, daughter and coworkers before delivering an emotional speech.

“I’ve been so blessed. Eight candidates, every one of you deserve to be there,” he said. “Football is a total team sport. I’ve had some great players, some great coaches, the best organization in football.”

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“I’ve lived a blessed life, I’ve come to the best network on TV,” Cowher continued. “It’s a family here like it was a family we had there. To give back to the game of football that’s been a part of my life. The virtues that it teaches you, the morals that you have the obligations to move on, the platforms that we have. I am a blessed man, and I have been very blessed to be surrounded by some very special people.”

Cowher served as head coach of the Steelers for 15 seasons, during which the team won eight division titles and made 10 playoff appearances. He led the team to the Super Bowl twice, winning once in 2006.

Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson
AP/Shutterstock; Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty

On Sunday, Johnson received a visit from Baker during Fox’s broadcast of the Seattle Seahawks game against the Green Bay Packers. Baker revealed to Johnson on-air that he had become the 328th Hall of Famer.

After a tearful Johnson was embraced by his coworkers, including Michael Strahan and Terry Bradshaw, he shared an emotional speech to those gathered.

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“The only thing I can think of is all the assistant coaches that worked for me, all the great players that have played for me, they’re the reason I’m here,” Johnson said. “This is so special to me because when you’ve put in the work that we put in, it’s nice to know people appreciate it.”

Troy Aikman, who played for Johnson on the Cowboys in the 1990s, watched him deliver the speech with tears in his eyes.

Johnson served as head coach of the Cowboys from 1989 to 1993, during which he led the team to two Super Bowl victories. Afterward, he served as head coach for the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 1999.

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