After watching the young Detroit Lions open up the 2011 season with a 3-0 record, Fox analyst and NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman was reminded of another team from another era: The early-nineties Dallas Cowboys teams he quarterbacked to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons.
Like these teams, the Lions have a dynamic young quarterback (Matt Stafford), running back (Jahvid Best) and wide receiver (Calvin Johnson), and an imposing defense. Also like the Cowboys of the early-nineties, these Lions have taken their lumps on their way to becoming, this season at least, one of the more feared teams in the league.
“He’s actually had a little more success as far as just numbers go and then year three, it all the sudden clicks,” Aikman said of Stafford recently, per ESPN Dallas. “I think there’s a lot of similarities both in our circumstances and our styles of play. I hope he stays healthy.”
After years of being worse than mediocre, Aikman believes that Detroit may be ready to take the next step as a team, and become a legitimate and perennial contender.
“I think it’s all about gaining some confidence,” Aikman said. “Those young teams that have a lot of ability, you have to have some success before you really start believing. You start stacking some of those successes on top of each other and you start saying, ‘Hey, we’re pretty good.’ That’s what [the early ‘90s Cowboys] did.
“I think this team is for real. I really do. I think they’re going to be around for a while.”
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