For the second time in seven seasons, the Dallas Cowboys are going to the playoffs.
At 11-1, the Cowboys are the first team to clinch a playoff spot thanks to a win Thursday over the Minnesota Vikings and a loss by the Washington Redskins.
It’s no secret the reasons for the Cowboys’ success is quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Dez Bryant.
With all three players under 30 years old, they could form a dynasty much like the triplets of the ‘90s, which consisted of quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin.
In their first season together in 1990, the triplets went 7-9 and missed the playoffs, while this year’s team currently has the best record in the NFL.
I’m not saying this team will rattle off three Super Bowls in four years, but the numbers don’t lie. This group has achieved much more than the 1990s team, and this is only the beginning.
Elliott has had the most profound impact in his rookie season with an NFL-leading 1,285 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns with just four games left in the regular season. For context, Smith finished his rookie season with 937 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
Prescott has 2,974 passing yards and 19 touchdown passes compared to Aikman’s 1,749 passing yards and nine touchdown passes in his rookie season.
He is ranked just 16th in passing yards, but Prescott leads the league in quarterback rating at 85.2, just over three points higher than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Bryant has only played in 18 games over the past two seasons, but from watching him over the past few games, he appears to be back in the form he was between 2012-14 when he recorded over 1,000 receiving yards each season. Irvin had seven seasons where he had over 1,000 receiving yards and it remains to be seen if Bryant can eclipse that. But if he can stay healthy, it’s certainly a possibility.
No matter what happens this season, this year could be the beginning of something special. It took four seasons for Aikman, Irvin and Smith to win a Super Bowl together, and this group appears to be further along than they were.
Everything that’s happened this season is unheard of, especially from two rookies. Barring injury, this team is equipped to win a Super Bowl this year and for many years to come.