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FO: Dynasties of Heartbreak

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by JD_KaPow, Jun 15, 2022.

  1. JD_KaPow

    JD_KaPow jimnabby

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    Football Outsiders is running a great series on the "Dynasties of Heartbreak," those teams that have torn out the hearts of their fans the most over a period of years. This isn't bad teams: this is good teams that keep not making it to the top. The methodology is in the first piece:


    Basically, you get points for (1) a good regular-season record, (2) a high DVOA, (3) a deep run into the playoffs, and (4) how close your final loss is. So the biggest-scoring single season is the 2007 Patriots, who went undefeated, had a huge DVOA, made it to the Super Bowl, and lost a close game. But you get penalized for actually winning a Super Bowl in nearby years (hard to have much sympathy for Patriots fans when they were winning SBs before and after 2007).

    The 1978-85 Cowboys check in at #34 on the list, riding a lost SB and three straight lost NFCCGs. They'd be higher except they get penalized for the SB win in 1977. The dynasty ends in '85 because they had back-to-back losing seasons after that (you have to actually be good to be a dynasty). They're written up here:


    The 2003-2021 Cowboys are at #11 and still going. Since the Campo years, Dallas hasn't had two losing seasons in a row, which is why this one goes on so long. You can read about them here, if it's not too painful:


    They haven't released the top 10 yet. Seems pretty obvious to me the '90s Bills will top the list.
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  2. john van brocklin

    john van brocklin Captain Comeback

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    That would be us!
    That Romo team I believe 2007 that had home field for the playoffs and crapped the bed against the wildcard Giants was tough.
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  3. Jake

    Jake Jerry's Yacht Captain Moderator

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    "Every team that has won more games than the Cowboys since realignment (2002) has won a Super Bowl.
    Every other team in the top 20 in wins since realignment has reached the conference championships."

    That seems like an almost impossible combination but the Jones boys have pulled it off, and it's ongoing. :facepalm:
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  4. Ring Leader

    Ring Leader Well-Known Member

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    And Crayton still has nightmares about the drop and pull-up.
  5. john van brocklin

    john van brocklin Captain Comeback

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    Why did he stop on that pass route?
  6. Cowpolk

    Cowpolk Landry Hat

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  7. VaqueroTD

    VaqueroTD Well-Known Member

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    Good read.

    Seems like every month I read a new heartbreaking stat.

    That one about every team that has won as much as us during this same period has won at least one Super Bowl is deep in the heart dagger style.
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  8. Ranching

    Ranching Well-Known Member

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    Sniff, sniff....some of you just love the misery....look forward, not backwards.....
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  9. Ring Leader

    Ring Leader Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure why Crayton stopped his rout. If he stays on track the perfect pass by Romo would have given us a game ending win and sent us to the NFC Championship game against the Packers. His earlier huge drop of a wide open crossing rout may have been the game winning difference as well. Not his day but Romo wore his hat backwards.
  10. plasticman

    plasticman Well-Known Member

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    #1 -The Dallas Cowboys from 1966 to 1970.

    Two straight losses to the Green Bay Packers in 1966 and 1967....on the last play of each game. The winner of those games played in the very first two Super Bowls against the AFL champion. If the Cowboys had won, SB champions over the past decades would have been hoisting the "Landry".

    They finally make it to their first Super Bowl in 1970 against the Baltimore Colts. Again, they lose on the last play of the game when a rookie kicker makes the FG with seconds on the clock.

    The painful part?

    The Colts got the ball after a Morton pass that bounced off of Dan Reeve's hand and was intercepted. They didn't get an inch on two downs.and kicked the field goal on 3rd down.

    Previously, the Colts scored after Morton threw an INT that was returned to the Cowboys 2 yard line. To this day, I have never understood how Landry even considered Morton and Staubach as equal competitors to start the 1971 season.

    Here are a few facts in general about the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl history.

    1. Until the Bills lost to the Giants in Super Bowl 25, the three closest Super Bowls were all three of the Cowboys losses, one by 3 points and two by 4 points.

    2. The Cowboys have participated in 10 NFL championship games when you include the Super Bowls and the two prior to the merger. The Cowboys won 5 and they lost 5. Every loss has been by single digits and every win by double digits.

    The Dallas cowboys have never won a championship by the bounce of a ball or by inches or by luck or by a controversial call. They had to earn it every time by blowing out their opponent. However, in every one of their losses you can point to a single instance for that tiny incremental difference between the thrill of victory.....and the agony of defeat.

    The Cowboys won too few championships in their history when you recognize the opportunities that were there. Even during the pinnacle of their dynastic years.....I can assure you there was always heartbreak.
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  11. nalam

    nalam The realist

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    No point rueing about spilled milk , but those 2 plays are etched in memory, what could have been if we had proceeded, still would have to handle Brady and Pats in the SB , I think we lost in the regular season .

    But still ……
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  12. Vtwin

    Vtwin Power and Performance

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  13. Jay777

    Jay777 Member

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    The Minnesota Vikings have to be way up there. Four Super Bowl losses and the 98 loss to the Falcons in overtime after their kicker missed his only field goal of the season. They should’ve been in the Super Bowl against the Broncos.

    The Browns also have to be pretty high on the list. Three out of four years John Elway ripped out their hearts in the AFC Championship. Art Modell was actually dumb enough to fire Belechik. His losses were due to Modell deciding in the middle of the season to move the team to Baltimore the next year.
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  14. mrmojo

    mrmojo Well-Known Member

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    Schottenheimers Chargers also, always had great regular season records but somehow failed in the playoffs.....
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  15. JD_KaPow

    JD_KaPow jimnabby

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    They've posted teams 6-10: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/ramblings/2022/dynasties-heartbreak-6-10-raiders-lost-titles

    No Cowboys teams left to see, but the Cowboys play a part in the Steelers late-80s-through-mid-90s misery.

    No. 9: 1987-1997 Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Steelers history page on Wikipedia is hilarious at this point, because its next entries are all "Year: Upset By Team." Three seasons in a row. In 1992 it was at the hands of the Bills, who forced three consecutive turnovers from a banged-up O'Donnell in a 24-3 upset. In 1993, Joe Montana and the Chiefs tied the Steelers on a fourth-and-game play with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, then proceeded to win in overtime. And in 1994, the Steelers pushed all the way to the AFC Championship Game before being shockingly upset by the Chargers. Pittsburgh dominated the first half, outgaining San Diego 229-46, but Stan Humphries hit multiple big plays in the second half to take the lead before O'Donnell's potential game-winning touchdown pass was knocked away by Dennis Gibson as time expired.

    O'Donnell was not interception-prone in his career. When he retired, he actually had the lowest interception rate in NFL history at just 2.1%. But he was developing a reputation for coming up small in huge moments. Fortunately, the Steelers looked good enough to overcome those mistakes in 1995. They managed to overcome O'Donnell's two interceptions against the Bills in the divisional round, with Blitzburgh forcing four turnovers in a 40-21 win. They managed to overcome an interception on the very first play against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, with Jim Harbaugh's Hail Mary falling incomplete at the final gun. The Steelers were going back to the Super Bowl, and there was nothing O'Donnell could do to stop them!

    Unless, of course, he decided to throw three second-half interceptions in Super Bowl XXX, two of them going to Larry Brown and setting up short Dallas touchdowns. The Brown interceptions were both particularly terrible, too—thrown to avoid a heavy Cowboys blitz, fired out at areas of the field with no Steelers receiver in sight, to a cornerback who had a reputation for having stone hands. After the game O'Donnell claimed he was throwing the ball to where he thought his receivers should have been. Whether someone should have been there or not, he couldn't have thrown the ball better to Brown if he had tried. It's one thing to lose to an all-time legend making a great play. We have seen plenty of examples of John Elway or Joe Montana or the Steel Curtain proving to be unbeatable obstacles. But to lose because of domination by an average player like Brown? That adds a little bit of extra sting to things. In a game where the Steelers only lost by 10, O'Donnell cuing up the Cowboys for 14 points all by himself was a killer.
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  16. Jay777

    Jay777 Member

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    I feel *SO* *SORRY* for the Steelers! I’ll cry myself to sleep tonight!
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  17. TexasBoys2288

    TexasBoys2288 Well-Known Member

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    The agony of defeat has been way too long for us Cowboys fans, way too long I tell ya. Like a recurring nightmare.

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  18. JD_KaPow

    JD_KaPow jimnabby

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    The '86-2000 Vikings just showed up at #10. The '68-'80s teams have got to be in the top 5.

    The '83-'89 Browns are at #23 in the list.
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  19. JD_KaPow

    JD_KaPow jimnabby

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  20. VaqueroTD

    VaqueroTD Well-Known Member

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    Going by their logic it looks like if you win a Super Bowl you’re almost excluded, even if there’s a lot of hurtful playoff losses around it… Bigger losses rank you higher… They don’t count teams that were pieces of crap the whole time…..

    So Last 5, my guesses:

    90’s Bills
    70’s Vikings
    10’s Packers
    70’s and 80’s Rams
    80’s Broncos
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