Between 1996-99 Jimmy Johnson was the head coach of the Dolphins. During that time, mediocracy was starting to set, with a few positive seasons to mention. In 1996, the Phins decided to hire Jimmy Johnson after having the great Don Shula for 25 years. Nothing changed for the organization, one could say the organization definitely fell through the cracks as Dan Marino and Johnson had a rough relationship.
Dolphins did possess the best quarterback and one of the top defenses. In 1996 they drafted Karim Abdul-Jabar, who led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 1997, but the running back position wasn’t set in stone.
As many had rumored in 1999, the last year Johnson had coached, Barry Sanders was the target of a trade to send him to Miami.
Unfortunately, no one confirmed, nor denied the speculation and everyone brushed it off as a rumor.
Jimmy Johnson tweeted this out:
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) March 23, 2019
Johnson confirmed an attempt to snag the Lions running back in his prime, shying Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record before announcing his retirement.
All Dolphins have now is a “What if?” question to ask.
A team that lost Marino and Johnson in 1999 after losing to Jacksonville in the Divisional Playoff Round 62-7.
It could have played out different though if Sanders was on the team.