In 1992, the NFL’s youngest team was also its best team as the Dallas Cowboys, three years removed from a one-win season, returned to glory under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Jimmy Johnson. The Super Bowl champion Cowboys handed the Buffalo Bills their third straight championship game loss in a rout of what had been a highly-anticipated match-up. The flashy Cowboys owned the overall top-ranked defense in the league without a single player on that side of the ball named to the Pro Bowl while on offense, the emergence of The Triplet’s--Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin-- would become the backbone of Dallas’ dynasty through the decade.
Despite not winning their division, Buffalo was once again the cream of the crop in a competitive AFC, where four teams won eleven games. The Bills were armed with some serious firepower with Jim Kelly at the helm, dual-threat Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed. Their path to the Super Bowl was highlighted by the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history after Frank Reich engineered a miraculous rally from a 35-3 second half deficit to Houston. The Bills and 49ers also engaged in a high-octane, regular season shootout that featured no punts. Also in the AFC, Miami’s Dan Marino threw for over 4,000 yards and 24 touchdowns to lead the Dolphins to the AFC East crown and a spot in the AFC championship game while Pittsburgh’s Bill Cowher replaced the legendary Chuck Noll by directing the Steelers to the AFC Central crown in his first year as head coach thanks to nearly 1,700 yards on the ground from Barry Foster.
In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers won a league-high fourteen games behind the league’s most dynamic offense captained by NFL MVP Steve Young and star receiver Jerry Rice before falling short in the NFC Championship Game. The twelve-win New Orleans Saints finished two games behind the 49ers in the NFC West but thanks to four Pro-Bowl linebackers and a ferocious pass rush, led all of football in scoring defense and sacks. In Philadelphia, Reggie White was still the minister of defense of a ball-hawking crew that punished teams all year en-route to another playoff berth despite the pre-season untimely passing of star Jerome Brown. The NFC East housed not only Dallas and Philly, but a third playoff team, the defending Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins. In the NFC Central, Barry Sanders ran roughshod on the league again but it was the arrival of future legend Brett Favre in Green Bay that had Packers fans looking towards the future. Relive this historic season all over again with Sideline Football and the 1992 set!