It is hard to not be happy for Lions fans as they have been through quite the ringer over the course of their franchise’s history. This season has brought them all kinds of joy as they won the NFC North for literally the first time ever (last time they won the division it was the NFC Central) and have now won two postseason games on top of that.
These two playoff wins were the first for Detroit since they defeated the Dallas Cowboys at the end of the 1991 season. That would be the last playoff game that Dallas would lose for quite some time as their dynasty was born shortly after, but Detroit came nowhere near any kind of success between then and now.
As time has gone on the Lions have been one of two teams with a longer return to playoff prominence than the Cowboys. Detroit was tied for the longest NFC Championship Game appearance drought in the conference which is now completely over. Washington now sits in last place alone. But you know what that means.
The Dallas Cowboys now have the second-longest NFC Championship Game appearance drought in the entire conference.
We noted on Saturday that the Baltimore Ravens made it to their fifth conference championship game in their franchise history. That is the Baltimore Ravens franchise that literally did not exist the last time that Dallas was in a title game themselves.
The Lions have only made the title game one time since Dallas last did, obviously in our present moment, but what is amazing of all other teams that are not the Cowboys or Commanders is that they have all made it multiple times.
To be clear we are talking about the 13 teams in the NFC that are not Dallas, Washington or Detroit. Literally each and every single one has made it back to the penultimate game of the season at least two different times. That list includes the Carolina Panthers who began play in the season that Dallas last made it, by the way.
Unfortunately there is no shortage of ways to describe how painful the Dallas Cowboys drought is. But we are at a point where the longest droughts belong to them and Washington by a very wide margin.
Last NFC Championship Game appearance
- Washington Commanders, 1991
- Dallas Cowboys, 1995
- Chicago Bears, 2010
- New York Giants, 2011
- Seattle Seahawks, 2014
- Carolina Panthers, 2015
- Arizona Cardinals, 2015
- Atlanta Falcons, 2016
- Minnesota Vikings, 2017
- New Orleans Saints, 2018
- Green Bay Packers, 2020
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2020
- Los Angeles Rams, 2021
- Philadelphia Eagles, 2022
- San Francisco 49ers, 2023
- Detroit Lions, 2023
When will it ever end?