Long gone are the days of the Dallas Cowboys “Doomsday Defense” that helped lead them to championships in Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII. Two decades removed “The Triplets” and the “Great Wall” and the three Super Bowls in four years the Cowboys won in the 90’s. Two and a half decades of mediocrity, a once proud franchise reduced to defending the moniker of America’s Team as fans either love or hate them. One thing that cant be denied however, is the financial impact of the Cowboys on the NFL and overall value verses sports franchises throughout the world.
However Dallas Cowboys fans and supporters can rest on one thing we all know to be true, history ALWAYS repeats itself. Using history, trends, a little superstition and statistics I will tell you why the Dallas Cowboys WILL win a Super Bowl title with Dak Prescott.
The history of the Cowboys can be split into two factions, “The Champions That Were” and “The Champions of Next Year”
The Champions That Were:
The Five Super Bowl Champions had one thing, balance, a solid running game, solid quarterback play and a superior defense. From Iconic players in the calling the plays in Aikman and Stabauch, throwing the ball down the field to great wide receivers in Pearson and Irvin. The running game was iconic with names like Dorsett and Smith, and the original 22, Bob Hayes was the multi-sport athlete paving the way for one Deion Sanders.
The Cowboys Championship Teams were lead by coaches who are now Iconic, but had their struggles prior to becoming the icons they have become. Both Coaches were champions prior to becoming a part of the Cowboys, one in the NFL the other in College. Tom Landry struggled through an 0-11-1 first season, 20 total wins in the next four seasons bringing his total coaching record to 18-46-4 in five seasons with the Cowboys who elected to keep him and gave a 10 year contract. The results and 29 total years later would say that paid off well. Jimmy Johnson went 1-15 in his first season, but with big trades* was able to make the Cowboys a three time Super Bowl Champion.
Quarterback Play has been and always will be the pivotal role in the NFL, despite there being some QB’s who were quite frankly just not that good. Roger Stabauch the Legend in the Cowboys Ring of Honor was statistically average. From his Super Bowl winning season (because he split time with Craig Morton prior to that) to his retirement, the Master of the Hail Mary, threw for an average of 19.2 touchdowns and 13.2 interceptions a season. Yet that Doomsday Defense helped lead the way for the Cowboys, Bob Lilly, Randy White on the line beside Too Tall Jones, Hollywood Henderson and Lee Roy Jordan in the Line Backing Corps and Mel Renfroe and Cliff Harris in the Secondary.
Troy Aikman wasn’t the most talented QB, in Cowboys history, but he was the model of consistency. The 90’s Cowboys were lead by three Hall of Famers in Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman. The QB though was not a transcending player at the position, outside his amazing accuracy, but never in his career did he top 3,500 yards in a season, having a career high of 23 touchdowns in a season and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns for a quarter of his career, isn’t anything to brag about. However, Aikman solidified himself as the leader of the ‘Boys as they dominated the 90’s, becoming the winning-est QB of the decade. The Cowboys were such a solid team wining 3 Super Bowls, the offensive line and the defense were lined with ring of honor members and hall of famers, Mirroring the Doomsday Defense was Tony Tolbert and Charles Haley on the Line, Ken Norton in the linebackers spot and Darren Woodson and Deion Sanders in the secondary. This lineup along with the most dominate offensive line in NFL History, made the Cowboys of the 90’s one of the greatest teams in NFL history.
This modern Cowboys rendition mirrors having an embattled coach who was thought he could never win, an average but solid QB, a Dominating running game and a defense that can shut down anyone.
The Champions of Next Year:
The history of the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t be complete without those teams/ players who got so close to the brass ring. Players like Danny White, Don Meredith and Tony Romo who led the Cowboys to tons of victories, but never got to hoist up the trophy at the end of the season. Players like Terrence Newman, Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen, the hard-hitting Roy Williams, who made long careers in Dallas yet were never even really an option as a champion. Players like DeMarcus Ware who left to win championships elsewhere, reminding Cowboys fans for the last few decades, the terrible 80’s teams and the team that could “Never Win The Big One” how it felt to be knocked off that pedestal and back in to the reality that is the intense microscope of the NFL.
The Champions of next year can be summed up into something as simple as “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” or could there be something a little more? In the time of Don Meredith, the Cowboys Defense was fantastic, but only Bob Hayes made it to the Pro-Bowl (3x) on the offensive side of the ball. The Cowboys offense cracked the top tier of the NFL’s offenses six times from 1960-1973 (The year Dallas won Super Bowl VI), showing their inept ability to score consistently. However despite that obstacle, not having a winning season for the first three years, Meredith was able to post up 50 wins and 43 losses in his time with Dallas, never winning the big game.
Danny White; The Successor of the Cowboys Legend, Roger Stabauch, had an equally as difficult time. With a similar team to that of Stabauch, the same Coach, Running Back, most of the same defensive players, it seemed White was destined for nothing more than to be a footnote in Cowboys history. Making it to three consecutive NFC Championship games, one in a strike shortened season, Danny White posted a 60-32 record and had his only losing season in 1987 at the age of 35 going 3-9 for a very bad Cowboys team. When he retired White’s 155 TD Passes were the most in Cowboys history, passing Roger Stabauch’s 153 in 163 games, in only 96 as the Cowboys starting QB (three of his TD Passes came as a punter).
Tony Romo; The most polarizing figure in Dallas Cowboys history, never made an NFC Championship Game, never had a running game like Meredith and White did (Hayes and Dorsett), Never had a solid enough defense around him and yet is at the top of the list for every QB category in Cowboys history. His 249 TD passes in 127 games a starter is incredible, his 29 game winning drives are impeccable, the mere fact he is on the Cowboys all time interceptions list BEHIND Aikman (141) and White (132) at 117 for his career. Roger Stabauch (109) Don Meredith (111) are the only long term Cowboys QB’s behind Romo in interceptions. Both of those in the infancy of the Forward Pass.
So now the question comes; “Why do you believe this version of the Cowboys WILL win a Super Bowl with Dak Prescott?”
The history of the Cowboys has shown us one thing in this little journey, the Second guy comes in and cleans up the mess. Just as in a fight on the field the second guy gets caught, the second guy wins in Cowboys History. The odd Numbered Long-Term QB has NEVER won in Cowboys history, the first QB, Meredith (17) the third QB, White (11) The fifth QB, Romo (9). They’ve been close, NFC Championship games, NFL Championship Games, a pass taken away in a huge playoff game, all with heartbreak at the end. Then comes in the even numbered QB, the “Second Guy” literally the second QB, Stabauch (12) and the fourth QB, Aikman (8). The team/ Coaches have gone through peril, made big trades (Morton to Denver giving Stabauch the starting job, Herschel Walker) they’ve drafted well and ultimately the team is much better for it.
The 2018 Cowboys have followed this mold. Here comes long term QB #6 Dak Prescott, the team has a balance of run and pass with Ezekiel Elliott, the Offensive line is stacked with Pro-Bowl talent, the defense showing their abilities are other wordly at times. Mirroring the Doomsday and the 90’s Cowboys are this years team. Tank Lawrence and Randy Gregory, two of the best outside pass rushers, Tyrone Crawford one of the best interior linemen, Leighton Vander-Esch and Jaylon Smith in the Line Backer spots, Byron Jones at CB shutting down opposing wide-outs. An embattled coach who has yet to prove he can win…
All these factors for this version of the Dallas Cowboys have to have those who believe history repeats itself and Dallas Cowboys fans salivating at the notion, this team, yes this team could win it all and turn this team from The Champions of Next Year, to The Champions that Are.