Post-Dynasty Droughts

Okay, not that Dynasty.

Okay, not that Dynasty.

For the 20th consecutive year, Cowboys fans are forced to watch conference championship games that do not feature the Dallas Cowboys. Instead, Cowboys fans get to ponder news about Tony Romo having a plate inserted in his collarbone.

This is not the longest drought that teams have faced after forming dynasties in the past. In fact, it will take eight more years before the Cowboys match the drought of the Green Bay Packers.

Here’s a look at some dynasties of the past:

Cleveland Browns

The Dynasty: Including the four years of the AFFC, Cleveland won eight championships in 20 years.

Aftermath: The Browns won their last NFL title in 1964. They continued to be a force for the rest of the 1960s but never made it to a Super Bowl.

Post-dynasty Drought: 17 years. After reaching the NFL Championship Game in 1969, the Browns would not return to a conference title game until 1986.

Green Bay Packers

The Dynasty: Green Bay won five titles between 1961 and 1967, including the first two Super Bowl titles.

Aftermath: The Packers were a mediocre franchise for a long time and reached the playoffs only twice between 1968 and 1993.

Post-dynasty Drought: 28 years. The Packers lost in the divisional round of the playoffs in 1993 and 1994 before reaching the NFC Championship Game in 1995. They lost to the Cowboys that year but won the Super Bowl the following year.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Dynasty: Four Super Bowl titles in six years.

Aftermath: Pittsburgh stumbled in the early 1980s thanks to injuries and age. The Steelers made the AFC Championship Game in 1984 after recording only a 9-7 record.

Post-dynasty Drought: 10 years. The Steelers made the playoffs three times between 1985 and 1993 but did not return to the AFC Championship Game until 1994. They reached the Super Bowl in 1995, losing to Dallas.

San Francisco 49ers

The Dynasty: Five Super Bowl titles in 14 years.

Aftermath: San Francisco remained competitive for the rest of the 1990s, but the bottom fell out in 1999.

Post-dynasty Drought: 14 years. The 49ers made the NFC Championship Game in 1997 but would not return until 2011. San Francisco reached the Super Bowl in 2012.

Washington Redskins

The Dynasty: Three Super Bowl titles in 10 years.

Aftermath: Washington has struggled to become a winning team since its last Super Bowl title in 1991.

Post-dynasty Drought: 24 years. The Redskins have made the playoffs only six times since its last title.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dynasty: Three Super Bowl titles in four years.

Aftermath: The Cowboys were the first dynasty to suffer from the salary cap. Opponents signed several key players, and Dallas was unable to get back to the top in the latter half of the 1990s.

Post-dynasty Drought: 20 years. The Cowboys have reached the playoffs eight times since their last Super Bowl win but have won only two playoff games.

Turnover Margin Did Not Quite Make History

The 2015 Cowboys were in the mood to give gifts in 2015. That is, 11 fumbles, 22 interceptions.

The 2015 Cowboys were in the mood to give gifts. That is, 11 fumbles, 22 interceptions.

As we all know, the 2015 Dallas Cowboys will go down in history as one of the worst teams in franchise history.

And, of course, the team might be best known for its lack of turnovers. The team forced only 11 turnovers in 16 games.

In the history of the NFL, the team’s turnover differential of -22 ranks as the 27th worst in a season. Among teams playing 16-game seasons since 1978, only 14 teams have had a turnover differential worse than -22.

The 14 teams with turnover differentials worse than -22 since 1978 have won an average of 3.78 games.

It is only fitting that Dallas went 4-12.

This was not the worst season in NFL history or in team history, however. Below are a few points about turnover differential in league history.

Worst of all time: 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers

The worst turnover differential in league history, or at least dating back to 1940, was -30 by the 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 1965 Steelers were a miserable 2-12. Pittsburgh turned the ball over six times in a game against the Cowboys and seven times in a game against the Redskins.

What gave those Steelers the worst turnover differential was Pittsburgh’s miserable performance against the Cardinals on December 12, 1965.

Quarterback Tommy Wade threw seven interceptions, while Bill Nelson threw two more. Moreover, the team lost three fumbles, giving Pittsburgh a total of 12 turnovers in one game. It tied a league mark for most turnovers in a single game.

The Steelers turned the ball over five times in their season finale, giving the team 57 turnovers in one year.

Modern futility: 2000 San Diego Chargers

Since the league expanded to 16-game seasons in 1978, the worst team in terms of turnover differential has been the 2000 San Diego Chargers.

Led by the infamous Ryan Leaf and the 37-year-old Jim Harbaugh, the Chargers went 1-15 that season. They turned the ball over at least twice in every game that year and suffered five turnovers in three consecutive games.

By season’s end, the Chargers had 50 turnovers. The defense only managed 22, giving the team a turnover ratio of -28.

Worst in Cowboys’ history: 1989 and 1960

The worst seasons in team history remain the 1960 and 1989 seasons. The 2015 season was not far behind, though.

In 12 games during the franchise’s inaugural season of 1960, Dallas turned the ball over 50 times while forcing only 26 turnovers, giving the team a differential of -24.

That mark stood for 29 years until the 1989 Cowboys had a turnover differential of -25.

The 2015 Cowboys will take their place among those horrible teams with the third-worst season.

1989 Cowboys (1-15): -25
1960 Cowboys (0-11-1): -24
2015 Cowboys (4-12): -22
1988 Cowboys (3-13): -21
2004 Cowboys (6-10): -15

The Best of All Time: 1983 Washington Redskins

Not surprisingly, teams with the highest positive turnover differential have performed well.

The team with the highest differential were the 1983 Redskins, who finished with a 14-2 record. Washington forced an incredible 61 turnovers while committing only 18, for a differential of 43.

The next highest number on the list was +30 by the 1958 Baltimore Colts.

The Best of Dallas Teams: 1981

The Cowboys have had some great defenses, but in terms of regular-season statistics, no team has had an especially impressive turnover ratio.

The best season for the franchise in this context was the 1981 Cowboys. Thanks largely to rookie Everson Walls’ 11 interceptions, Dallas forced 53 turnovers and finished the season with a ratio of +18.

Here is the list of the top five:

1981 Cowboys (12-4): +18
1971 Cowboys (11-3): +16
1973 Cowboys (10-4): +13
1970 Cowboys (10-4): +11
1998 Cowboys (10-6): +11

Washington 34, Dallas 23: “Playing” for “Pride”

At about 1 p.m. central standard time, the Dallas Cowboys showed up to play a football game. As head coach Jason Garrett likes to state, the team scratched and clawed and showed heart and… Unfortunately, the game against the Washington Redskins started at noon. By the time the Cowboys appeared to realize they were playing […]

Full Story »

Buffalo 16, Dallas 6: Processing Yet Another Loss

Jason Garrett took over a 1-7 Dallas Cowboys team in 2010 and turned things around a bit. Garrett was much more articulate than predecessor Wade Phillips. As a Princeton graduate, Garrett must be much smarter than Phillips. Garrett preached process, and the immediate results (5-3 during the second half of the 2010 season) were promising. […]

Full Story »

N.Y. Jets 19, Dallas 16: Something Unprecedented

In 55 years as a franchise, the Dallas Cowboys have had many years of ups and a few years of downs. The past 20 years have seen the Cowboys find all sorts of ways to remain mediocre. Given this history, it is difficult for the Cowboys to do something truly unprecedented. This 2015 Dallas team […]

Full Story »

Green Bay 28, Dallas 7: Now Our Failure Is Complete

The Dallas Cowboys suffered their ninth loss of the season to the Green Bay Packers, ensuring the Cowboys of their first losing record since 2010.

Full Story »

Dallas 19, Washington 16: Somehow Still in the Hunt

The Dallas Cowboys are somehow still in the hunt for the NFC East after beating the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

Full Story »

At Least I Didn’t Start Romo in My Fantasy League

Tony Romo would have hurt you in a fantasy league on Thanksgiving as he finished with negative fantasy points.

Full Story »

Carolina 33, Dallas 14: Thanks for the Myths

Tony Romo did not lead the Cowboys to seven straight wins, a playoff run, and a Super Bowl title after all.

Full Story »

Touchdown Connections in Dallas Cowboys History

Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have connected on 50 touchdown passes, setting a club mark for a QB-receiver combo.

Full Story »
Page 2 of 202«123456»102030...Last »

Connect

Categories

newsletter software
Get Adobe Flash player