Dallas is a postseason afterthought

This is the anniversary you are not celebrating.

This is the point of the conversation where you quickly change the subject because you think people will go along with it because it is considered rude to address your shortcomings.

This is the embarrassing moment that you ignore in the hopes that everyone else will do the same.

Green Bay will face Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. The Packers were opposed the last time the Cowboys made it this deep into the postseason.

That was 25 years ago.

The Cowboys defeated the Packers on January 14, 1996 38:27. Two weeks later, Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX before relegating into its long blue phase.

Sunday marks the eighth trip from Green Bay to the conference title game since that loss to the Cowboys. Dallas still hasn’t returned. Besides Washington and Detroit, it is the only team at the conference that has not played in the NFC championship game in the past 25 years.

Every other team in the conference was at least twice.

Need more Dallas has a postseason record of 4 to 10 since its last Super Bowl title. There are 10 teams in the conference – 10 – that have won at least twice as many playoff games during that time.

Seattle and Philadelphia have won as many playoffs as the Cowboys have played since that win over the Steelers a long, long time ago. Green Bay has five more postseason wins (19) than games played by the Cowboys.

Chew on it along with your curds as you enjoy the game between the Packers and Bucs.

The cowboys weren’t terrible. Far from it. Look at the regular season record for the past 15 years, and Green Bay, Seattle and New Orleans are the only teams at the conference with more wins.

This team constantly interferes during the regular season to quickly disappear. Which leads to another problem.

Mike McCarthy is the franchise company’s sixth head coach since he was last appointed in late January. He hasn’t been around long enough to get the team into the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. It turns out that only one coach has done this in the past 25 years.

It wasn’t Jason Garrett. It wasn’t Wade Phillips. It wasn’t even revered Bill Parcells.

It was Chan Gailey.

This is a basic problem that has not received enough attention. A big part of the reason the Cowboys couldn’t make it through the division round is because they don’t go to the playoffs year after year. It’s harder to build on or break through when you take every two years off.

Do you remember when the franchise was known as “Next Year’s Champions”?

The cowboys have gotten into the pattern of becoming “Wild Card Team of the next year”.

At least they’ve missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons and three of the last four seasons.

Dallas only played in the playoffs twice in a row during this blue period – ’06-07 and ’98 -99. The cowboys have a 0-4 record.

The other side of the equation is when the team with the best record finishes the conference. The Cowboys were ’07 and ’16 13-3 and only needed one home win to advance to the championship game. Dallas lost both times.

With two different quarterbacks.

Dallas doesn’t strike when the iron is hot. It doesn’t always fit into the postseason equation. This is a short summary of why the last 25 years have been so unfulfilled for the organization and its fans.

Think back to the time five years ago when rookies Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott and others came on stage. A strong, young foundation was in place, ready to strike. The arrow, as owner Jerry Jones likes to say, was pointing up.

This core has achieved a record of 33:31 in the regular season with a playoff win in the last four seasons.

This franchise has left too many chances of success on the table in recent years. It has fallen victim to the tougher schedule that follows winning, the uncertainties of injuries and circumstances that each team must deal with.

Every season is an independent offer. You never get the feeling that the cowboys are working towards something better.

They just wait for the other shoe to fall.

Can we agree that a team is not a real competitor if it only plays playoffs once in a decade in a row? Can we acknowledge the cowboys are a postseason until proven otherwise?

Plus, it only takes a few hours for the Green Bay-Tampa Bay game to begin.

Enjoy.

Experience David Moore and Robert Wilonsky as they jointly organize Intentional Grounding on The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM) every Wednesday evening from 7 a.m. through the Super Bowl.

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NFC Championship Game Drought

The Cowboys are one of only three franchises that haven’t advanced to the NFC championship game in the past 25 years. Every franchise played in the game has done this at least twice.

Dallas, Washington, and Detroit are the only franchises that haven’t advanced to the NFC championship game in the last 25 years.(Michael Hogue / The Dallas Morning News)

Success after the season

The Cowboys have only won four playoff games since their last appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

Since Dallas last appeared in the NFC Championship Game, the Packers have won more than four times as many playoff games as the Cowboys.Since Dallas last appeared in the NFC Championship Game, the Packers have won more than four times as many playoff games as the Cowboys.(Michael Hogue / The Dallas Morning News)

While you were away

Since the last time the Cowboys hoisted the trophy in Super Bowl XXX, 13 franchises have garnered a title.

Thirteen different franchises have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy since the last Cowboys.  Six of these teams made it multiple times.Thirteen different franchises have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy since the last Cowboys. Six of these teams made it multiple times.(Michael Hogue / The Dallas Morning News)

Super Bowl appearances

20 franchises have appeared in the Super Bowl since the Cowboys’ last trip.

NFC teams AFC teams
Green Bay Packers New England Patriots
Atlanta Falcons Denver Broncos
St. Louis / LA Rams Tennessee Titans
NY Giants Baltimore Ravens
Tampa Bay privateers Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders
Carolina Panthers Pittsburgh Steelers
Philadelphia Eagles Indianapolis Colts
Seattle Seahawks Kansas City Chiefs
Chicago Bears
Cardinals of Arizona
New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers

* If Buffalo beats Kansas City on Sunday, that number increases to 21 franchises.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shows fans after an NFL playoff soccer game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, January 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers beat the Rams 32:18 to advance to the NFC championship game.

More cowboys coverage from the Dallas Morning News can be found here.

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