QB/Head Coach combinations

Take a look at the dynasty teams of the NFL. What is it that they all have in common?

1950’s Cleveland Browns: Otto Graham / Paul Brown

1960’s Green Bay Packers: Bart Starr / Vince Lombardi

1970’s Miami Dolphins: Bob Griese / Don Shula

1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers: Terry Bradshaw / Chuck Knoll

1970’s Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach / Tom Landry

1970’s Minnesota Vikings: Fran Tarkenton / Bud Grant

1980’s San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana / Bill Walsh

1980’s Denver Broncos: John Elway / Dan Reeves

1980’s Washington: multiple QB’s / Joe Gibbs

1990’s Buffalo Bills: Jim Kelly / Marc Levy

1990’s Dallas Cowboys: Troy Aikman / Jimmy Johnson

1990’s Denver Broncos: John Elway / Mike Shanahan

2000’s New England Patriots: Tom Brady / Bill Belichick

2000’s Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger / Multiple Head Coaches

2010’s New England Patriots: Tom Brady / Bill Belichick

2020’s Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes / Andy Reid

There are very few dynastic teams that didn’t rely on a unique pairing of QB and Head Coach. Defense first teams occasionally win a Super Bowl, but none became dynasties without a head coach / QB combination on the other side of the ball. Even losing dynasties like the Cowboys and Vikings, who combined for 9 of the 10 Super Bowls in the 1970’s, the 1980 Broncos and 1990’s Bills relied on QB / Head Coach combinations to get to 3 or more Super Bowls in a decade.

There are not many coaches like Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs who’ve won with different QB’s. And there are very few QB’s, such as Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady who’ve won with multiple hard coaches.

The relationship between the QB and Head Coach is the key relationship that leads to championships; and in almost every case, the Head Coach got to choose his dynastic QB.

The Cowboys current Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn’t get to choose his QB. Nevertheless, if the current edition of the Cowboys is to ever win a Super Bowl, then the relationship between Dak and McCarthy will be why. That is one reason that Cowboys fans should be gratified that McCarthy is going to be calling the plays. If Dak cannot win with McCarthy, it is unlikely that he’ll ever become a winner. But at least he has a chance now that Garrett and Moore are gone. And Dak is the last chance McCarthy will get to become a great Head Coach.

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