Until you win three Super Bowls in four years, you can't consider yourself a dynasty, at least not on par with the standard setting Dallas Cowboys in the 1990's. That's what the New England Patriots faced as they prepared for Super Bowl XXXIX. After their 24-21 win over Philadelphia, the "D" word is now flying. Patriots fans have reason to celebrate. In the modern "salary cap" era, the thought of back-to-back Super Bowls, much less three in four years, seemed improbable. That's where New England now sits. But, are they really ready to compare themselves to Dallas? Let's take a look inside the numbers.
Between 2001 and 2004, New England won three Super Bowls. Between 1992 and 1995, Dallas won three Super Bowls. Over that time span, New England posted a 9-0 playoff record. Dallas posted a 10-1 record. Why does New England have a better record? They didn't make the playoffs in 2002. In fact, the Patriots current playoff streak is only two years. The Cowboys made the playoffs 6 straight years in the 90's. All three of New England's Super Bowl wins came by a margin of three points. Adam Vinatieri's leg was the difference all three games. The Cowboys, on the other hand, left little doubt who the winner was in their three Super Bowl wins. They scored a total of 109 points in those games, with an average margin of victory of 21 points! The one area where the Cowboys don't match up with the Patriots is in consecutive wins. New England set the NFL record this year with 21. The closest Dallas can get is 9!
You put Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin's Cowboys on the same field as Tom Brady, Corey Dillon and Deion Branch's Patriots, who do you think is going to win? While that answer may be debatable, so is the Patriots ability to put themselves in the same category as the Cowboys. But, with the Patriots set to return a majority of their team next year, a third straight Super Bowl may be the answer.
Kevin Berns reporting.
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