John Elway is as a part of the Denver Broncos as the horse that serves as their mascot. Through his total tenure with the team he’s taken them to the top of the mountain three different times, but his resume includes so much more than that. Among many other things, John Elway’s mantle has the following decorations:
- Super Bowl XXXII Winner
- Super Bowl XXXIII Winner (after which he famously retired)
- Super Bowl XXXIII Most Valuable Player
- His #7 Jersey is retired by the Denver Broncos
- Member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame (Class of 1999)
- Member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 1999)
- Member of the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2000)
- Pro Football Hall of Famer (Class of 2004)
- After some experience with the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush (of which Elway was a co-owner) he decided to pursue the business side of football and was named General Manager of the Denver Broncos in 2011
- Super Bowl 50 Winning General Manager
Now I know that you’re a smart cookie… so I know that you knew most of, if not all, of that before I took my time typing it out for you (I didn’t even hear a thank you, but whatever).
What you might not have realized by now is that everything on that list up there… has all been accomplished since the Dallas Cowboys last won, or even appeared in for that matter, a Super Bowl/NFC Championship Game.
Think about that.
And I mean really think about it.
How sad did you just get?
Since the Dallas Cowboys last sniffed even the game before the big game John Elway has won two Super Bowls (as a quarterback), a Super Bowl MVP (as a quarterback), retired, been given tons of accolades, been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, decided to get into football operations, climbed the ladder in that avenue of his life to the point of the General Manager of an NFL team, and won a Super Bowl in that capacity.
I know this hurts, but it’s important. We can’t run from the truth.
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Football League, but they haven’t been for the last 20 seasons (which is 40% of such history).
If the Elway statistics aren’t enough for you let me emphasize just how embarrassingly long it’s been since some Cowboys glory.
Marvin Harrison was just elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Well you know what? Marvin was drafted in 1996 – the first Draft after the last bit of serious Cowboys success.
So that means that Harrison was drafted, played his whole career, won a Super Bowl of his own, retired, waited more than the five-year minimum, was elected to the Hall of Fame, and will be enshrined in Canton all since the days of the Dallas Dynasty.
When the Cowboys were last at the top of the mountain John Elway had zero Super Bowl rings (not to mention was still an NFL quarterback) and nobody had ever even heard of Marvin Harrison. These are facts.
There wasn’t a whole big deal made about how the Broncos appearance in Super Bowl 50 tied the record for the most big game appearances in NFL History. Denver joined the likes of Dallas, Pittsburgh, and New England with the big ocho.
The Cowboys last appeared in a Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXX against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the culmination of the 1995 season. That game marked Dallas’ 8th and Pittsburgh’s 5th while the Broncos had 4 and the Patriots 1, respectively.
So those three teams that are now tied with the Cowboys in appearances? Since Super Bowl XXX all four have:
- Dallas – 0
- Pittsburgh – 3 (XL, XLIII, & XLV)
- Denver – 4 (XXXII, XXXIII, XLVIII, & 50)
- New England – 7 (XXXI, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI, XLIX)
A lot of those (8/14) can be directly attributed to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. But you know what? The last time Lombardi took a trip to D-Town nobody had ever heard of either of them. Now? They’re considered “old” and “about to retire.”
What is particularly astonishing about the other franchise’s appearances is that there have been 20 seasons since the Cowboys were last in the Super Bowl and these appearances from the other three add up to 14.
They all play in the AFC which means that they have taken out each other on their way to the Super Bowl, meaning that it’s not like they even took out the Cowboys.
These three teams have fought tooth and nail against one another to accomplish what they have while the Cowboys have had a road free from all of them and still have that big goose egg next to their name. I don’t even think that “pathetic” is a strong enough word to describe that.
Cowboys haters like to say that we live in the past. I’m not saying that they’re right, I’m saying that they have a point. Sure there are some recent days in Dallas that have been good, but we have to be honest with ourselves regarding the last 20 years.
If you want to take one positive out of all of this… it is a testament to the utter dominance of the Dallas Cowboys through the first 30 years of the Super Bowl era that they are still at the top of the list even considering everything that you just read. Teams have just caught up.
The 2016 Dallas Cowboys will hopefully be a good football team, but we desperately need some Super Bowl success. We had an absurdly large lead on the field and it’s time to get it back.