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Bengals-Rams Super Bowl Should Give Cowboys Hope for Future

The and punched their for with yesterday's victories. This unlikely matchup should give hope to many franchises, including the , that the NFL's championship game is never too far out of reach.

For the Bengals, this appearance ends one of the league's longest droughts. Cincinnati has never won the big game and only appeared twice, with the last time coming in 1988.

While the Rams were in the Super Bowl just three years, was still a Detroit Lion at the time. Before this year, Stafford had a woeful 0-3 record in his rare playoff appearances since being the first overall pick of the 2009 Draft. He was a go-to reference for respected quarterbacks with a poor postseason resume.

The Cowboys are currently saddled with both of these narratives. Dallas hasn't appeared in a Super Bowl in 26 years; already one of the NFL's longer futility streaks now made even worse by the Bengals leaving the club. They also have a QB in with only a 1-3 record so far in his career playoff games.

For the last 15 years, Dallas has flirted with the Championship Game but never been able to seal the deal. With both Prescott and at the helm before him, the Cowboys have built contending teams that have all experienced seemingly untimely playoff exits.

This most recent failure in 2021 didn't feel like the catch controversy in 2014, nor a case of a great team simply meeting a greater one like in 2016. Instead, Dallas appears to have been exposed a postseason pretender that made the tournament thanks to the weak and some other soft spots in the schedule.

But still, the Bengals and Rams weren't exactly lighting the world on fire last year. Cincy has been a mess for years now and have seemingly turned it around thanks to and other rebuilding efforts. They hadn't even made the since 2015 before this season.

The Rams were 10-6 last year and lost in the , getting blown out 32-18 by the . They went 9-7 before that and didn't make the tournament.

Dumping for Matthew Stafford, plus a few other upgrades, appears have given Los Angeles what it needed to get over the hump. But based on his 11 seasons in Detroit, Stafford had been written off by many as a championship-level .

The key takeaway here is that doesn't really matter. The Bengals have made a dramatic turnaround from the NFL's basement to playing in February. The Rams hitched their wagon to a 33-year-old quarterback with an 0-3 playoff record and will now be hosting the Super Bowl in two weeks.

If these franchises can do it, so can your Dallas Cowboys. We're all disappointed with how 2021 ended and all that's transpired since the glory days of the 90s. But longstanding futility and previous playoff results by your starting QB are only historical data; each year is another opportunity to either change the narrative or write the next chapter.

Hopefully, like the Bengals and Matthew Stafford just did, the Cowboys and Dak Prescott will change their stories in 2022.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Jeff Tuggle

Except for one thing…Jerry is still the puppetmaster.

James Vargas

The Bengals do have a franchise QB in Burrow (who should win the MVP this year), while the Rams went all for it with key acquisitions over the last couple of years (Ramsey, OBJ, Stafford, Von Miller, etc). Unfortunately, the ✭ have done neither.

James Altice

I have been a Cowboys fan since 70s and after this year of having my hopes crushed by JJs fakes. Especially Dak Prescott I can name at least 10QBs better than him. And a offensive line that’s pathetic, CD lamb operated and stinking offensive coordinator. Wake up Cowboys Nation as long as JJ is owner and general manager Cowboys will not be in Super Bowl!!!!!!!

Ben H

Jess, I understand you have to be a bit of a homer since you’re a Cowboys blogger. Jerry won 3 SBs in his first 7-8 years thanks to Jimmy Johnson’s brilliance in coaching and personnel decisions. The Cowboys have done nothing in the past 26 seasons with Jones solely in charge…hiring Dave Campo, Chan Gailey, etc. were all his decisions. To not even reach an NFC Championship game, let alone a Super Bowl, since 1995 is truly pathetic.


Folks don’t believe that Jess … they attirbute those to Johnson alone … as if he ponied up all the cash for Sanders, Haley, etc. And in their defense, until they win w/o Johnson, their argument has merit.

As mush as I credit Jimmy for those titles, if you look at his career without his Jones association, he wouldn’t have a gold jacket in his closet … period. Johnson’s 2nd best talent is knowing how to leave a legacy somewhere by not overstaying … anywhere. Jones didn’t chase him out as much as his haters would have you believe.

Cowboy Fan Ed

Well let’s look on the bright side we were about one or two (stupid bonehead penalties) away from getting to the NFC Championship game! In my option that falls on coaching!! But with that said at least we smoked the good sports up north Eagles and also the WFT! Now I realize that doesn’t compare to advancing deep into the playoffs but at this point I’m just trying to look on the bright side!

James Altice

Yeah, when Jimmy Johnson was Calling the shots, and players had accountability oh and big difference Dak is not in same league as Troy Aikman


Dallas has its own Curse of the Big Bambino Leaving. In this case Jimmy Johnson is the Big Bambino (and the Big Hair). I know the girls won the SB in ’96 but that was just residual skill left from Jimmy. Don’t believe girls curse will end until Jerry Jones is gone.


Tried to stay positive, but the writing is in the wall. DP just does not have what it takes. With the talent on this team for his six year tenure, and having just one first round playoff win, should convince most rational people of that most likely conclusion.

Burrow, in his second year, took a 4 win team last year, to the SB this year.

Even with the huge advantage of playing in the weakest division in the NFL and what should be basically an automatic playoff berth, DP can’t sniff a championship. Jones got hoodwinked and screwed himself on this particular transaction. Fans too.

Right Jesse, “pretender”.

James Altice

I agree Jesse


Do what LA did. Swap Dak for a championship level QB. Not a regular season only stat warrior.

Chuck S

Dams nothing but a regular season stat junkie. They need to follow The Rams example and try and find someone with the nerve to succeed in the playoffs.

Big Cowboy

Just a side note, but did anyone else see all the uncalled holds that allowed big run and pass plays to stand in playoff games the last couple weeks? I think with 100% certainty that these uncalled penalties would have been called on the Cowboys. I’m really not trying to make excuses because our ‘boys did plenty to seal their own fate, but we’ve all seen refs routinely change outcomes of our games and always for the worse. I don’t know if we’re being held to a different standard or what, but it is very frustrating to witness how these playoff games have been called compared to ours. Just saying.

Chuck Wright

#1 issue is to get Kellen Moore out of here, dude is a Jason Garrett clone. Great against weak teams but horrid vs good Ds. #2 Get our best RB at least as many carries as over paid Zeke who is on the downside of his career. #3 Fix the OL

Now that Quinn is back, the pieces are in place

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