FRISCO, Texas -- Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Larry Allen, Darren Woodson and Charles Haley. What do all those names have in common? They were were the star-studded core of the Dallas Cowboys' 1990s dynasty teams that won three Super Bowls in a four-season span whose contributions to that run resulted in being inducted into the team's Ring of Honor. 

However, one name has been missing from that Ring of Honor group for a long time: Hall of Fame head coach Jimmy Johnson. At halftime on Saturday night against the NFC North champion Detroit Lions, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones will welcome his 1990s co-architect into the team's Ring of Honor three years after he was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. 

The first coach to win a college national title and a Super Bowl, Johnson is the person many point to as more responsible for the Cowboys' 1990s dynasty than Jones, a distinction that broke the two apart for decades. Johnson oversaw the fastest turnaround in NFL history, as the Cowboys went from being a 1-15 outfit in 1989 to back-to-back Super Bowl champions just three years later in the 1992 season. An extremely innovative coach, Johnson used trades, a whopping 51 total at the time, and an ahead of the curve draft value chart to engineer the quickest turnaround in NFL history. He famously traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for a bounty of picks that helped build the Cowboys' Super Bowl rosters. 

Johnson's Cowboys repeated as champions in 1993 before shockingly stepping away just months later with there being controversy over whether he resigned or if Jones fired him. Dallas won its third and most recent Super Bowl two years later in 1995 with a roster that was mostly comprised of Johnson's players, but Barry Switzer was the head coach. The Cowboys haven't reached as far as the NFC Championship Game since.   

"I think those are big picture moments," Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday when asked about Johnson's Ring of Honor induction and if he incorporates moments from the team's history into his weekly team messaging. "The history and tradition of the Dallas Cowboys is impeccable. So yeah, definitely. We have a tremendous video department. Roxanne does an incredible job with our messaging and videos there. There's always a tribute to the past. I think that's important. I think that those are the guys that laid the foundation for the success of the Cowboys. I think it's great when Jerry acknowledges those guys when you see them around here. It's part of the spirit and blessing of being a Dallas Cowboy."

McCarthy connected with Johnson in the offseason, and learned some pearls of wisdom while drinking some of Aikman's "Eight" beer, named after the jersey number he wore while playing for the Cowboys and Johnson. 

I've had the unique opportunity to spend some time with Jimmy, just in the last year," McCarthy said. "I was in Florida last year at spring break. Spent some time with him on his boat. I have a great appreciation for him and all that he's done. I'm a big fan."

When asked about specifics of what he learned from Johnson, McCarthy dodged revealing anything specific. 

"Sure did, sure did," McCarthy said when asked if he learned anything worthwhile from Johnson. "All good, absolutely. We were drinking Troy's beer that day. He's promoting Troy's beer, so …"

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, whose 30 passing touchdowns lead the NFL with two games to go, can make some team history of his own this season. If he holds on to sole possession of the league lead for scoring strikes, Prescott will be the first player in Dallas history to lead the NFL outright in passing touchdowns. He grew up a Cowboys fan in Louisiana, and even though much of his fandom occurred during the Tony Romo era in the 2000's and 2010's, Prescott is thrilled to witness Johnson's name being etched into AT&T Stadium for the rest of time.

"Yeah, awesome, honestly well overdue," Prescott said Wednesday. "Just in that sense growing up watching them. Grew up a Cowboys fan, but I didn't watch Jimmy Johnson's days. But understanding... I was young....But obviously growing up a Cowboys fan, knowing the history, knowing everything that he accomplished honestly in a short time, yeah, it's overdue. Just glad that it's happening. It'll be a great night honestly for the game. I know halftime will be special for those that get to watch and everybody that will be there, really all of Cowboys nation."

Johnson was known as a hard-nosed coach and one who would take away the team's sandwiches on the plane ride back from road games if they lost. While that approach may not resonate with many players today, Prescott thinks being able to channel coaching like that at specific times is critical to team success. 

"Enjoyed it, yeah, I'm all for tough coaching," Prescott said. "I think it's necessary at times, depending on who you're coaching. I think it's first and foremost you've got to know your players. As we all kind of can look back into that history, I think they needed that. So it's what got it done and yeah I would've enjoyed it."

Now, Prescott and the rest of Cowboys nation can finally exhale as the team rightfully welcomes Johnson into his proper home in Dallas' Ring of Honor Saturday night.