Checked out the aforementioned Jeff Pearlman book "Boys Will Be Boys" from the library (you know, that big building with all the books in it) last night. Only 100 pages in, but has provided plenty of highlights:
How did Jerry Jones end up buying the Cowboys? He was the only owner willing to meet the previous owner's main concession: Fire Tom Landry.
Jimmy Johnson was pretty much the only person in the country who liked the Hersheal Walker trade. Everybody thought it was crazy - he was the only good player they had. The 5 players they got in return were all assigned a draft pick. If the Cowboys kept any of these 5 players (all quality/decent veterans), the assigned draft pick went back to Minnesota. JJ said "F it" and cut every one. The clueless Vikings GM shit his pants.
Talk about trading down - Johnson then turned these picks into 19 more! This was back when the NFL had like 12 rounds, but still.
JJ was both a good and bad talent evaluator. He drafted numerous very good players from tiny collegiate outposts: Leon Lett (Emporia St), Larry Allen (Sonoma St), Erik Williams (Central St), Tony Tolbert (UTEP), among other. At the same time...
....Jimmy Johnson liked Steve Walsh better than Troy Aikman. How weird is this: After drafting Aikman #1 overall, a few months later JJ drafted Walsh in the supplemental draft - burning next years first rounder. He thought Troy was robotic, couldn't move or improvise - supposedly the opposite of Walsh, his college QB while coaching Miami. Johnson was totally on an island with his love of Walsh. Also, many (including Jimmy) wanted to trade Michael Irvin. His rookie year was pedestrian, tore his ACL in year two, and many thought he was too slow to be a, well, playmaker. The Cowboys dangled Irvin to every team in the league.
Irvin stabbed a teammate in the neck with a scissors. Good times.
Ah, yes - Boys Will Be Boys. It's a great read...and I haven't gotten to the parts about sex, drugs, booze and Charles Haley's dong.