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.
Is it Too Late For Dallas to Fire OC Scott Linehan?
Grab your pitchforks and your torches, it's time to run the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan out of town. His playcalling has been absolutely atrocious season and it's time for him to hit the road, even if there are only two regular-season games left on the schedule.
It's completely unorthodox for an NFL team to fire an offensive coordinator this late in the season, but just last week we saw the Minnesota Vikings do just that when they parted ways with John DeFilippo. It was definitely a bold move to make considering the Vikings are still in playoff contention, but it was something they believed was in the best interest of their team.
I believe if the Dallas Cowboys want to do what's best for their team right now and not later, then they should go ahead and cut ties with Scott Linehan. His predictability and un-creativeness as a play caller is holding back a talented offense, which is hurting the overall team as a result. He's been given every opportunity to turn things around, but enough is enough.
I'd personally be on board with Jason Garrett taking over the playcalling duties. He has the experience and held the position with the Cowboys from 2007 until Linehan was hired. I'd even consider giving Kellen Moore a shot as the OC. He knows the system and has worked closely with Quarterback Dak Prescott. Regardless, the Cowboys need to find some way to increase their offensive productivity.
Right now the Cowboys offense is the 26th scoring offense in the NFL and are averaging just 19.7 points per game. To make matters worse they are the 31st ranked Red Zone offense in the league. I don't know about you, but I think that is completely unacceptable with the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.
Firing Linehan has been a long time coming. The Cowboys flirted with the idea earlier this season during the bye week and should've pulled the trigger then, but for some reason or another decided to let him stick around. They are definitely still paying for that mistake now.
The Cowboys mistake not to replace Linehan could mean yet another early exit in the playoffs, something we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Scoring just 19 points a game isn't going to get them very far, which is truly unfortunate considering the talent they've acquired this season.
Unfortunately, as much as we would love to see Scott Linehan tarred and feathered and run out of town, I just don't see the Cowboys doing that before their season is officially over. But, in no way should he be allowed to retain his position beyond this season. He clearly isn't the answer any longer.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should fire Scott Linehan?
Despite Embarrassing Showing, Health Remains Biggest Cowboys Concern
What is it about the AFC South with these Dallas Cowboys?
Dallas' five game winning streak came to a close on Sunday, as they got straight-up embarrassed by the now 8-6 Indianapolis Colts on the road. The loss was the first since the Cowboys were embarrassed by a different AFC South competitor, the Tennessee Titans, on Monday night football earlier this season.
Though the final was 23-0, and not a single phase (or really even a single player) showed much fight or promise, the biggest concern I have for the Cowboys moving forward didn't change because of the putrid performance. It didn't change because the defense was gashed play after play or the offense failed to finish a single drive. And it didn't even change because both the Redskins and Eagles secured season-saving victories on the same day Dallas was dismantled.
The biggest concern is still their health, particularly across the offensive line.
That was not a playoff caliber interior offensive line the Cowboys put out their on Sunday. Not even close.
With their backup center in Joe Looney, backup guard in Connor Williams, and the very last interior offensive linemen on their roster in Adam Redmond playing for basically the entire game, this offense never had a chance. Dak Prescott wasn't any more inaccurate or indecisive than normal, but all those who like to scream "step up in the pocket" whenever he is sacked did not seem to have an argument this week.
There often was no pocket to step into, as those interior three, specifically Looney and Redmond, failed to provide much protection or confidence for Prescott at all. Joe Looney has actually been rather solid this season, but Sunday felt like one of his worst games of the entire year.
The Cowboys absolutely need Zack Martin to get healthy if they are to make any noise whatsoever in the postseason. At the very least, the need Xavier Su'a-Filo to come back and replace Redmond, and regain the form he displayed during his debut against the Eagles back in November.
Prescott already has issues with his pocket presence and footwork when pressured, so throwing three backup-level linemen right in front of him is not a recipe for success for the Cowboys.
I'm not jumping out of the window over this loss, and I don't think any of you should be either. Dallas had won three straight incredibly emotional and important home games to extend, save, and solidify their season respectively before this loss. They had also just about clinched the NFC East a week ago with their win over Philadelphia, and they played like a team that was due a flat performance
A letdown loss on the road, against a good team I might add, is not the end of the world. The bigger issue here is their health, because if Martin can return to anchor this offensive line, the offense should look a whole lot better than they did against Indianapolis.
It's time to move on from Sunday, go beat Tampa Bay, officially clinch the division, and get ready for Wild Card Weekend.
Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?
Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.
It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.
Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.
Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.
This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.
Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.
Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."
Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.
It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.
Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.
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