NFC East Report: Smash-Mouth Style A Thing Of The Past

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IOctober 24, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 18: Sheldon Brown #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after missing an interception against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 18, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

In years past, this would have been a big deal, but the once mighty NFC East is not what it used to be. The Cowboys are in neutral, the Redskins are in disarray and the Eagles just lost to the Raiders  The Giants are the best of an extremely beatable bunch.

The division has had at least one wild-card entry since 2005, but the perception that the NFC East is the conference’s toughest division is pure myth.

Yes, it was true once. The NFC East was the league’s flagship division. From 1975-95, the NFC East sent 13 teams to the Super Bowl, winning eight.

Those days are long gone.

Since the great Dallas dynasty’s last Super Bowl victory (SB XXX) fourteen years ago, the NFC East has had only three teams make it to the Super Bowl: The Giants in 2000 and 2007, and the Eagles in 2004.

Since SB XXX, the Dallas Cowboys have played seven playoff games, losing six.  Their lone victory was a wild-card win over Minnesota in 1996. That’s right: America’s team has not won a playoff game in 13 years.

The Washington Redskins last won the Super Bowl after the 1991 season (SB XXIV).  They have only qualified for the postseason four times since, never advancing further than the divisional round.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been to the playoffs seven times in the new millennium. After the 2004 season, they bested the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game, but went on to lose to the New England Patriots, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX.

In addition to that, the Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship on four other occasions, losing to a different club each time.

The New York Giants have been to the postseason six times since 2000. They ascended to the Super Bowl twice during that period. They lost Super Bowl XXV to the Baltimore Ravens and defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

In their other four playoff appearances this decade, the Giants have been eliminated without winning a single game.

The real facts are as follows: Since 1996, the NFC has been represented in the Super Bowl by the West four times and the other three divisions (West, North and South) three times each.

Oddly enough, none of the four teams that had represented the NFC the most times in the Super Bowl before 1996 (Dallas, San Francisco, Minnesota and Washington) are among those teams.