The following is an excerpt from our eBook, The Dallas Cowboys 2012 Season Preview. It's available for purchase for only 99 cents. You can get it on iTunes, Amazon or Barnes&Noble. If you don't have a reader you can use this Kindle app to read it on a regualr computer. We'd like to invite all the BTB community, and those just finding us, to drop a buck on a book and help support the cause. Besides, it's got a ton great information in it and interesting articles like the one that the following excerpt came from. Were the early 90s Cowboys the greatest team of all time? A very compelling case can be made. Here's part of that case.
From the Dallas Cowboys 2012 Season Preview eBook:
For well over a decade now, I’ve maintained that the 90s Cowboys were the most talented, deepest and most dominant team the NFL has ever seen. Before I enumerate all that team’s many virtues, allow me to explain more globally how I initially arrived at, and why I continue to hold onto, this proposition.
First, I believe that the NFL game continues to get better year-by-year. On one level, this is because of the players, who, thanks to more advanced training techniques (and the fact that they now train year-round, and receive better training in high school than professional players did in 1970), are bigger, faster, stronger, and quicker than their counterparts thirty years ago. If you doubt this, slip in a tape of a game from 2011 and one from, say, 1975. There is simply no comparison; the players from the 70s look small, slow and stiff next to today’s strong, fluid, smooth athletes.
More important, however, is the degree to which the game has become more schematically sophisticated. With the advent of significantly more complex passing games have come radical advances in defensive schemes and alignments. The amount of information an NFL player has to process in 2011 is exponentially greater than that a similar player had to synthesize in 1975. Old-schoolers may bemoan the decline in quarterback play; what they aren’t acknowledging is that it’s much, much more difficult to play the position now than it ever has been in the past.
As a result of these and many other advances, I contend that each era’s great team or teams exceed those from the previous era. The 70s Steelers were light years better than the 60s Packers, but were eclipsed by the 80s 49ers, Redskins and Giants. And none of those teams could have held up against the 90s Cowboys’ size, strength and speed. Certainly, some of these teams might have been more dominant in their era, when they were playing similarly limited squads. But conversations about how the 70s Steelers would fare against recent Super Bowl champions are ridiculous; I’d bet the 70s Steelers would struggle to win four games in today’s SEC. They would be overwhelmed, schematically as well as athletically.
So, you are probably saying, doesn’t this thesis make the Belichick Patriots the greatest team of all time? It would, save for one key historical shift: the advent of free agency and the salary cap. When the NFL owners introduced the salary cap in 1993, they ensured the prolonged integrity and profitability of the game, and introduced a previously unheard-of level of competitive balance. With that, they made sure that the game’s best teams couldn’t possibly have the kind of talented depth that Bill Walsh’s 49ers and Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys enjoyed.
Were 97-98 Broncos and the Patriots of the mid-2000s great teams? Unequivocally yes, but they won in a different, less-competitive NFL landscape, one marked by parity rather than greatness, by change rather than continuity, and by a necessary focus on acquiring youth rather than hardened veterans.
With that, I give you the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, the best team the league has ever seen…
You can read the whole argument by purchasing the eBook for only 99 cents. What do you think, were the early 90s Cowboys the greatest team ever assembled?
SB Nation/Blogging The Boys present the Dallas Cowboys 2012 Season Preview as an eBook. It’s available now for purchase through iTunes or on Amazon for the Kindle. (There’s even an app from Kindle for reading it on a regular computer if you don’t have a tablet). Created by the front-page writers here at BTB, this eBook will get you primed for the Cowboys 2012 season. The best news, it’s only 99 cents! Over 250 pages of Cowboys knowledge, plus photos. Go here for iTunes, or here for Amazon. Help the cause here at BTB by dropping a buck for a knowledgeable and entertaining Cowboys Season Preview!