Originally Posted by J-Spot
Plenty of other coaches could have done the same had they been in that situation, so there is nothing inherently special about Jimmy, but he happened to, again, be in the right place at the right time and he was competent enough to make it happen.
You don't luck into building a team that wins 3 SBs in five(?) years. Hitting on Aikman was fortuitous, but selecting Emmitt Smith in the mid first when many talent evaluators thought he lacked the tools to dominate in the NFL was brilliance on Jimmy Johnson's part.
JJ built that team piece by piece, switching college LBs to safety, mining lower level college football conferences for elite talent, putting together the best coaching staff in the game,etc.
The Walker trade was a pure poker move, many in Dallas at the time were upset that Jimmy was willing to trade their BEST player and leave the franchise lacking a top RB.
I don't like Dallas but you have to get the history right.
Jimmy brought a philosophy from college that was innovative at the time in the NFL; always choose athleticism and speed over just size when building a defense. Jimmy Johnson had LBs and Dlineman many NFL experts thought were too small to be effective in the pros. They were wrong.
Plenty of other coaches would NOT have been successful in the situation handed to JJ, because what JJ did was unique to the experience and talent he himself had as a coach and talent evaluator.