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Troy Aikman sees a little ’91 Cowboys in the ’11 Lions

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In Troy Aikman’s first season the Dallas Cowboys went 1-15 and were the worst team in the league. By his third season, 1991, the Cowboys began a run of six straight years in the playoffs, with three Super Bowl titles.

Twenty years later, there’s a current team that reminds Aikman of his Cowboys: The Detroit Lions.

Aikman discussed the Lions at SportingNews.com and said he sees a lot of similarities between what his Cowboys teams did and the way the Lions have gone from the worst team in the league to a team that’s currently 3-0.

“I really do,” Aikman said. “They’re not quite as young as we were, as far as the skill players are concerned — Calvin Johnson’s been there a little bit — but Matthew Stafford, now in his third year, even though he’s been injured, we’ve certainly seen his development.”

Aikman said the way the Lions finished last season gave a clue to what kind of team they’re becoming.

“They ended last season on a four-game winning streak and one of those wins was against the Green Bay Packers,” Aikman said. “They went into the offseason with some real momentum and confidence, feeling pretty good about their club, now they’ve come back with a big win last week at Minnesota. I think a young team that is talented like them is a dangerous team.”

It’s obviously extremely premature to compare these Lions to the Cowboys of the 90s. But Aikman is dead on with one thing he said: “This is not the same old Detroit Lions.”

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75 Responses to “Troy Aikman sees a little ’91 Cowboys in the ’11 Lions”
  1. anonimocontraditorio says: Sep 29, 2011 3:31 PM

    “This is not the same old Detroit Lions.”

    Indeed.

    “Twenty years later, there’s a current team that reminds Aikman of his Cowboys: The Detroit Lions”

    Slow down… let them play 3 4 seasons..

  2. seanx40 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:33 PM

    Dammit Troy, don’t say things like that. Do you know how hard it is going to be for people here in Detroit when the Lions turn back into the “old Lions”? Don’t hype them anymore. It is going to be painful enough.

  3. scoops1 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:34 PM

    Post-concussion syndrome is setting in again for Troy

  4. macatawami says: Sep 29, 2011 3:34 PM

    Calvin Johnson is 26 years old and in his fifth year. Matt Stafford is 23 years old and in his third year. Jahvid Best is 22 years old and in his second year.

    In 1991, Michael Irvin was 25 years old and in his fourth year. Troy Aikman was 25 years old and in his third year. Emmitt Smith was 22 years old and in his second year.

    Any age-related difference is just splitting hairs. Of course, I stopped expecting Aikman to know what he’s talking about a long time ago.

  5. dldove77 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:35 PM

    Aikman is obviously still experiencing some post-concussion fallout from his playing days.

  6. cfmaguire9 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:36 PM

    That’s a stretch, but they are a vastly improved team, like the Cowboys were. I think they were 1-15 one season before their SB runs.

    So does that mean Suh, described by some as “crazy” on the field, supposed to be akin to Charles Haley?

  7. jimbobobjr says: Sep 29, 2011 3:37 PM

    I don’t think the Lions are coke fiends.

  8. dallas001 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:37 PM

    ………….one too many concusses on this one Mr. Aikman……….

  9. chatttty says: Sep 29, 2011 3:38 PM

    he means the way they have progressed not the way they are right now…just to clarify for the lions haters out there

  10. your6ringsaremeaninglessnow says: Sep 29, 2011 3:40 PM

    What’s so cool is that the Lions have been this successful in spite of losing Leshoure for the year and having Fairley on the PUP list. If Fairley pans out, we will be the most dominant D-Line in the league. Four Horsemen? With the likes of Lawrence Jackson, Willie Young, and Sammie Lee Hill rotating in, it’s more like the Nine Horsemen.

  11. comeonnowguys says: Sep 29, 2011 3:44 PM

    Still counting chickens before they’ve hatched.

  12. warvette says: Sep 29, 2011 3:44 PM

    yeah cuz they both play every thanksgiving, and wear the same colors. that’s about it.

  13. egetto says: Sep 29, 2011 3:44 PM

    Not a homer, but if you don’t think these lions are for real you haven’t watched them yet

  14. fartography says: Sep 29, 2011 3:45 PM

    I’m surprised Troy can remember 1991.

  15. aceboogie57 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:46 PM

    Progress is the main thing here. They should make the playoffs, but if they don’t, at least they’re moving in the right direction.

  16. rexismybff says: Sep 29, 2011 3:50 PM

    How many times have we heard this about teams over the years? “The new triplets”. Get over yourself Troy – you had a good run during the free-spending era. But remember – when Emmitt went downhill, you had almost nothing, Troy.

  17. swagjag says: Sep 29, 2011 3:53 PM

    The ’91 Cowboys had one of the most dominating O-Lines in the history of the game which allowed Emmitt to eclipse 1500 yds on the ground.

    They’re not the ’91 Cowboys. They’re the ’11 Lions. Thanks Troy, but let them write their own history.

  18. CJ says: Sep 29, 2011 3:53 PM

    Next up, Aikman will be commenting on the similarities between the 2011 Cowboys and the 1991 Lions.

    I hope he doesn’t though becuase the 2011 Cowboys don’t deserve such praise, the Lions were actually good back then thanks to Barry.

  19. nabz034 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:55 PM

    Calvin is in his 4rth year, drafted in 2007.

  20. angrycorgi says: Sep 29, 2011 3:58 PM

    Starting the seasong against 3 teams who are a combined (2-7) will do that for ya…

  21. momar3000 says: Sep 29, 2011 3:59 PM

    @ your6ringsaremeaninglessnow

    Love your screen name, but I think the Ravens will have something to say about Best D-Line.

    I do love Suh but Haolti Ngata is still the best D-lineman in the game. Suh can rush the passer, stop the run, and is a mean SOB, please call me when he can do all this and pick off passes and return them for TD’s and cover TE’s and some RB’s.

    Terrence Cody is not a world beater, but he is better than a rookie coming off PUP.

    I wish the Lions the best of luck but the best D-Line in the NFL will reside in Bmore for at least 5 years.

  22. ottomanismydog says: Sep 29, 2011 4:00 PM

    Lions are definitely solid. They have attitude, Suh. Skill, Johnson. And a franchise QB, Stafford. However, there is still a lot of football to be played this season.

  23. jakek2 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:00 PM

    I’m already sick of hearing about how great the Lions are.

  24. nmonaco22 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:00 PM

    Hey Troy,

    One of those wins was against the Packers because if I remember straight, Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with a concussion and the Lions still only managed to win by one score.

    I agree with you the lions look good this year but please stop making nonsense points.

  25. ajknox88 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:01 PM

    aceboogie57 says:
    Sep 29, 2011 3:46 PM
    Progress is the main thing here. They should make the playoffs, but if they don’t, at least they’re moving in the right direction.
    ___________

    I think it would be a huge dissapointment if they didn’t make the playoffs as 75% of teams in the past 10 years or something like that make the playoffs after starting 3-0.

  26. typicaleaglesfan says: Sep 29, 2011 4:01 PM

    The lions are definitely on their way. Two more years and they stay healthy they wi be champs

  27. stellarperformance says: Sep 29, 2011 4:02 PM

    It must be fun for the Lions fans to be busting their buttons at the moment, but they had better temper their enthusiasm with reality. It’s a long season and their toughest games still lie ahead. Ask the Viking fans what it feels like to boast to the world that their Favre-led effort two years ago was a thing of destiny. Turns out….it was.

  28. semperfi24 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:02 PM

    So, Stafford is going to have to defend himself as not being gay for the next 15 years, Calvin Johnson is going to become a coke head, and half of the offensive line is going to get busting for distributing pot?

  29. mook1987 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:09 PM

    So they played teams that are 2-7 huh? I CANT STAND these types of comments. it’s so early in the season for 1 and also… one HUGE reason they are 2-7 combined is because the LIONS BEAT THEM YOU MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they would be 5-4 if the Lions did not. GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZUS STOP WITH THESE TYPES OF POSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. radrntn says: Sep 29, 2011 4:10 PM

    ok then whose emmit smith?

  31. thegreatwhitemidget says: Sep 29, 2011 4:10 PM

    Well I don’t think the 91 cowboys were as overrated then the lions

  32. cup0pizza says: Sep 29, 2011 4:11 PM

    He’s right.

  33. jdandcoke says: Sep 29, 2011 4:11 PM

    thank God…..for the first time in YEARS i’ll be able to enjoy TWO thanksgiving day games.

  34. boswivel says: Sep 29, 2011 4:17 PM

    The NFL is just throwing Detroit a bone and writing winning scripts for the Lions because of the Economic Katrina suffered there.

    Relax, just kidding! No tin foil hats for me.

  35. iamthorny says: Sep 29, 2011 4:19 PM

    I’m not so sure that beating the Chiefs, Vikings and Bucs is reason to anoint, but I thought the NFCN would come down to Green Bay and Detroit before the season started.

    Also, don’t forget the win over the Packers last year was after Rodgers was concussed and Greg Jennings dropped a TD pass.

    Green Bay and Detroit on Thanksgiving should be a HUGE game.

    I expect Detroit to pummel Dallas and their poor OL. It’ll be another win on the road, but it’ll be against a very banged up Cowboys team.

    Will be interesting to see how healthy Detroit manages to stay….their Big 3 are pretty brittle.

  36. grilledjesus says: Sep 29, 2011 4:21 PM

    How about we wait until Stafford stays healthy for half a season?

    Don’t get me wrong, this is the beauty of the NFL, you can go from horrible to good in a year ot two. Let’s just not start crowning kings this early.

  37. freewayjim says: Sep 29, 2011 4:21 PM

    With the depressed economy in Detroit the Lions players could find a sweet deal on a “White House”.

  38. marcsasharc says: Sep 29, 2011 4:23 PM

    lol @ the posters who are talking crap about Aikman’s comments. what is wrong with you people?

    oh ya, thats right, its that IQ of <80 thing again. :)

  39. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 29, 2011 4:30 PM

    Do you have a little cowboy in you? would you like one?

  40. glac1 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:34 PM

    Should we hand them the Lombardi trophy today…. or go ahead and play out the rest of the schedule? There’s a lot of football left to be played and it’s hard to sort out the best after only three weeks.

  41. ajknox88 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:36 PM

    nmonaco22 says:
    Sep 29, 2011 4:00 PM
    Hey Troy,

    One of those wins was against the Packers because if I remember straight, Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with a concussion and the Lions still only managed to win by one score.

    I agree with you the lions look good this year but please stop making nonsense points.
    _____________

    Yeah the Lions knocked him out of the game. Also the Lions were playing with their 3rd string quarterback. Don’t down play the Lions outplayed the Packers that game, because it’s true… The Lions won that game, no excuses.

  42. jdandcoke says: Sep 29, 2011 4:38 PM

    glac1 says:Sep 29, 2011 4:34 PM

    Should we hand them the Lombardi trophy today…. or go ahead and play out the rest of the schedule? There’s a lot of football left to be played and it’s hard to sort out the best after only three weeks.

    exactly…..lets wait until novemeber until we start sorting these teams out for real.

    with that being said though….the lions are definately a team on the rise.

  43. cassiusclaymatthews says: Sep 29, 2011 4:38 PM

    Also the Lions Packers game last year was Drew Stanton vs. Matt Flynn and was probably the worst football game of the year. Not because the Pack lost mind you, it was a brutally boring game.

    The first game of the season last year was much better when the Lions almost won, and Pack needed a TAINT by Charles to seal it.

    Bottom line is both games were close and will most likely be again this year, but if you want to crown they asses, then crown them!

  44. tfbuckfutter says: Sep 29, 2011 4:39 PM

    marcsasharc says: Sep 29, 2011 4:23 PM

    lol @ the posters who are talking crap about Aikman’s comments. what is wrong with you people?

    oh ya, thats right, its that IQ of <80 thing again. :)

    ————————————–

    Which is pretty damn close to Aikman's career QB Rating.

    Of course, he did have that one season where he threw for more than 20 TDs.

  45. mjs2012 says: Sep 29, 2011 4:45 PM

    Unfortunately what’s in the way is a Packers team that is scary good and will be for many years.

  46. snixxx says: Sep 29, 2011 4:47 PM

    @iamthorny:

    You Said:

    I’m not so sure that beating the Chiefs, Vikings and Bucs is reason to anoint, but I thought the NFCN would come down to Green Bay and Detroit before the season started.

    Also, don’t forget the win over the Packers last year was after Rodgers was concussed and Greg Jennings dropped a TD pass.

    Green Bay and Detroit on Thanksgiving should be a HUGE game.

    I expect Detroit to pummel Dallas and their poor OL. It’ll be another win on the road, but it’ll be against a very banged up Cowboys team.

    Will be interesting to see how healthy Detroit manages to stay….their Big 3 are pretty brittle.
    ___________________________________

    Yes… You are correct that the Pack was playing without Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd half, but the Lions also were playing with their “3rd” string QB
    Stanton… I’m not saying we’re better than the Pack, they are a great team and a class organization, but injuries are part of the game. Just ask Indy fans…

  47. blueintown says: Sep 29, 2011 4:48 PM

    @jimbobobjr says:

    I don’t think the Lions are coke fiends.

    _______________________________________

    I do.

  48. gorilladunk says: Sep 29, 2011 4:51 PM

    If the Lions had Herschel Walker and could find a bunch of saps to give away the franchise for him they might accelerate their development like the Cowboys did in the early 90’s. Sadly, Mike Lynn and Jerry Burns are no longer in football.

  49. boover3 says: Sep 29, 2011 5:03 PM

    As a Packers fan….i am glad that Detroit no longer the doormat of the league, but thats where it ends. This will be the rivalry of the next decade.

  50. capslockkey says: Sep 29, 2011 5:03 PM

    I don’t see it. The 91 Cowboys had a world class offensive line, meanwhile the Lions have a barely mediocre line. Plus Stafford is twice the QB Aikman was. Most overrated QB not named Joe Namath.

  51. geniusesq says: Sep 29, 2011 5:07 PM

    He sees 91 Cowboys in the 11 Lions??? Man, that Lavar Arrington hit really did some damage to Aikman’s vision.

  52. vaporiizz3r says: Sep 29, 2011 5:08 PM

    nmonaco22 says:
    Sep 29, 2011 4:00 PM
    Hey Troy,

    One of those wins was against the Packers because if I remember straight, Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with a concussion and the Lions still only managed to win by one score.

    I agree with you the lions look good this year but please stop making nonsense points.

    ____________________________

    Where was Stafford? (this coming from a Packers fan)

  53. ksunquest says: Sep 29, 2011 5:08 PM

    First, Troy was not annointing the Lions. He made a slight comparison – even the title of the article states that “Troy Aikman sees a LITTLE ’91 Cowboys in the ’11 Lions.” He is making the point that this is not the ‘same old Lions. and anyone who is still ripping on them obviously does not watch the games.

    In reference to us beating GB last year: It doesn’t matter if you win by one score or one point. A win is a win. Do you know how many games the Lions lost last year by one score?

    I am not saying that we are a better team than the Packers, we aren’t. The Pack is a good football team, but stop treating this Lions team like ‘the same old Lions.’

  54. RomosRibs says: Sep 29, 2011 5:14 PM

    Aikman’s ‘shroomin again.

  55. chobes68 says: Sep 29, 2011 5:15 PM

    “chatttty says:
    Sep 29, 2011 3:38 PM
    he means the way they have progressed not the way they are right now…just to clarify for the lions haters out there”

    ==========

    Talk about getting ahead of yourself.

    The Lions haven’t done anything yet, so hate is not the word. You’ve had to have accomplished something worthwhile to be ‘hated’.

    Pity has been the word for the most part. Right now, people are probably more happy for the fans than hating on them. You’ve got a season or two of success before it becomes hate. Enjoy the love while you can.

    One last thing, Jahvid Best, eh, they need that kid from Illinois back healthy, or another between the tackles rb, before they really get serious up there. Best is more Darren Sproles than everydown back.

  56. chobes68 says: Sep 29, 2011 5:17 PM

    “Unfortunately what’s in the way is a Packers team that is scary good and will be for many years.”

    =====

    Scary good, I disagree. Best team in the NFL, absolutely. But injuries change everything in a hurry.

  57. kingokra says: Sep 29, 2011 5:27 PM

    Yeah, I see some similarities too. They both have an “O” and an “S” in their names, they both wear silver and blue and both have artificial turf home fields.

    Who have they played this year that’s worth a crap? The answer is “Nobody”. I’m usually one to throw caution to the wind, but , let’s not get carried away just yet. It’s a long season. Speaking of which, has Stafford ever made it through an entire season? I think not.

    If the Lions make the playoffs, I’ll give them all the credit they deserve and more.

  58. marcsasharc says: Sep 29, 2011 5:32 PM

    tfbuckfutter says:
    Sep 29, 2011 4:39 PM
    marcsasharc says: Sep 29, 2011 4:23 PM

    lol @ the posters who are talking crap about Aikman’s comments. what is wrong with you people?

    oh ya, thats right, its that IQ of <80 thing again.

    ————————————–

    Which is pretty damn close to Aikman's career QB Rating.

    Of course, he did have that one season where he threw for more than 20 TDs.

    ———————————–

    which has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

  59. jdandcoke says: Sep 29, 2011 5:37 PM

    chobes68 says:Sep 29, 2011 5:17 PM

    “Unfortunately what’s in the way is a Packers team that is scary good and will be for many years.”

    i said the same thing about my giants during the the 08 season…..it looked like they were well on their way to a second title. its amazing how quickly things change in this league.

  60. nmonaco22 says: Sep 29, 2011 5:37 PM

    yes Stafford didn’t play either last game vs the Pack but look at Gbs total injuries compared to the lions in that game. I have never seen a team succeed with so many injuries like the Pack did last year. But you are right, a win is a win, but Detroit shouldn’t get too excited.

    as mentioned, that scary good packer team will be in the way for years to come.

  61. bearsblow says: Sep 29, 2011 5:57 PM

    I think Troy has taken to many shots to the head.

  62. darocnessmonsta says: Sep 29, 2011 6:01 PM

    anyone that knows that theres history with Stafford and aikman would understand why he’s backing this loins… troy has mentored Stafford since high school so there you have it!!!

  63. pc1976 says: Sep 29, 2011 6:35 PM

    Pause. Enjoy 2011. Then let’s see if Schwarz can remodel the o-line. Then we get LeShoure back…

  64. td40 says: Sep 29, 2011 6:55 PM

    The Lions have certainly improved. There’s no doubt that they have it much better at QB, WR, and a defensive position or two than they have in quite a while.

    That said, I really think people are going overboard in anointing them as some kind of tunaround juggernaut, ranking them in the top 5, thinking that they are world beaters, etc. I think this for one reason and one reason only: They haven’t played a good team yet- PERIOD. They’ve beaten the 0-3 Chiefs, the 0-3 Vikings and the 2-1 Bucs (whose 2 wins came against 0-3 Vikings and 1-2 Falcons.)

    I’ve always admired the Lions, I love rooting for the underdog, and would like to see them finally turn it around… but it seems like people are going nuts, thinking these guys are about to be the next dynasty when they haven’t beaten ANYBODY. Can we wait until they beat a few elite teams before we start the coronation?

  65. yeahyeahyeahbono14 says: Sep 29, 2011 6:56 PM

    I must protest Troy Aikman’s claims… Matthew Stafford is not sporting a mullet under his helmet.

  66. staffordsyear says: Sep 29, 2011 7:10 PM

    The cowboys are gonna have to play a helluva lot better than did against the redskins last week if their gonna hang with the lions. Lions 4-0.

  67. steelerhypocrite says: Sep 29, 2011 7:32 PM

    For one, all you idiots do not have to take each player and compare them on a one on one basis…those Cowboys teams were dominant (3 Super Bowls in 4 years).

    The Lions can be a very good team, if not this year but in a few years with all the right moves they are making. Haley was a DE, so you can’t compare him to Suh…both great, but different.

    However, if you want to rip on Aikman’s hair, please look at Stafford’s…the guy looks like Chunk from the Goonies.

  68. steviaquinn says: Sep 29, 2011 7:43 PM

    The lion Hype is getting annoying. They beat the Rams, Chiefs, and Vikings.

    Lets see then beat a team in the Top 25 before we crown em. Because, just maybe, they are who we thought they are.

  69. tfbuckfutter says: Sep 29, 2011 8:17 PM

    marcsasharc says: Sep 29, 2011 5:32 PM
    Which is pretty damn close to Aikman’s career QB Rating.

    Of course, he did have that one season where he threw for more than 20 TDs.

    ———————————–

    which has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

    ————————————

    Actually it does….for his career, Aikman was 6% better than the average QB.

    A number Matt Stafford will most likely eclipse barring injury. Aikman WISHES he had Stafford’s talent as a QB when he was at that stage….The guy was efficient, but he was not an extraordinary QB.

    So that alone is a pretty big difference between the Cowboys of yesteryear and the Lions of today…..that and the lack of the Lions having a franchise back…..

    Of course, I doubt Suh will pull two of the most boneheaded plays in NFL history. Another point of contrast.

  70. toiletking says: Sep 29, 2011 9:14 PM

    So he’s calling them a bunch of cocaine addicts?

  71. staffordsyear says: Sep 29, 2011 10:21 PM

    @steviaquinn

    Actually it was Tampa not the rams and as I recall they just beat the falcons you know the team that made it to the nfc championship last year? But I suppose theres an excuse for that to? What a tool.

  72. #nastyswaggedout says: Sep 29, 2011 10:43 PM

    steviaquinn says:
    Sep 29, 2011 7:43 PM
    The lion Hype is getting annoying. They beat the Rams, Chiefs, and Vikings.

    Lets see then beat a team in the Top 25 before we crown em. Because, just maybe, they are who we thought they are.

    Bucs = Rams. K.

  73. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 29, 2011 11:05 PM

    They’re more like the ’91 Lions that BEAT those ’91 Cowboys in the playoffs.

    That Skins team was unbeatable that year, or else the Lions would have had an excellent chance to beat the Bills at their own game.

  74. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 29, 2011 11:05 PM

    They’re more like the ’91 Lions that BEAT those ’91 Cowboys in the playoffs, and the ’11 Lions that are going to beat the ’11 Cowboys on SUNDAY.

    That Skins team was unbeatable that year, or else the Lions would have had an excellent chance to beat the Bills at their own game.

  75. childressrulz says: Sep 30, 2011 1:18 AM

    C’mon Aikman the 2011 Lions are not as over rated as the 91 Cowboys were.

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