Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Team of the 1990s Earned Their Star

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Team of the 1990s Earned Their Star

Article excerpt

Such is the nature of the 1999 NFL season: Flashback to preseason.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, not yet juggling quarterbacks and not yet with a teetering genius tag, was talking about goals, and history. The question was asked:

Can the Broncos be The Team of the 1990s?

Shanahan knew a Super Bowl victory was necessary. The Cowboys, after all, won Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Denver was next with its two the past two seasons.

"I just want to be part of the argument," Shanahan said. "That's my goal -- to give everyone something to argue about."

And so, another residue of an NFL season in which the traditional power teams have gone poof -- as it turns out, the Team of the 1990s Argument won't be an argument at all.

Here's the list:

1940s, Bears.

1950s, Browns.

1960s, Packers.

1970s, Steelers.

1980s, 49ers.

As for the 1990s, give it to the Cowboys and move on, but not before giving them credit. They'll limp to the finish, but they didn't fade easily, either. Not like their challengers, anyway.

Consider:

Since the Cowboys won their last Super Bowl in 1995, no fewer than three teams had a chance to be the decade's dominant team. The Redskins and Giants won Super Bowls in 1990 and 1991, but those titles were the residue of great runs in the '80s, and they have been mediocre since.

The first challenger, the 49ers, won a Super Bowl in 1994. They were one of the NFC's best teams until this season, but they never made another Super Bowl, and their dynasty ended unceremoniously this season in the wake of a likely career-ending concussion to Steve Young.

Remember the Packers? They took the Cowboys' title in 1996. Considering quarterback Brett Favre was the NFL's best player, and was still in his 20s, two or three more seemed possible. …

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