Defense Wins Championships…Sometimes

The age old debate resurfaced again this Super Bowl season. Is it offense or defense that wins championships in the NFL? With the leagues #1 Offense facing the #1 Defense in the championship game, what better test could we ask for? The lopsided results of such test, unequivocally answered the debate. Defense Wins Championships.  

Just the other day, Sport DFW staff writer Ryan Ratty touched on it in here. He even broke down the Seattle roster to show the extreme difference Seattle has to our beloved Dallas Cowboys. So again, it must be settled, right? Defense wins championships?

Not so fast…

Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (27) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) during the first quarter in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Look back at the last few Super Bowls and you’ll see a top ranked defense wasn’t always competing. The 49ers last year were fantastic on Defense, but they were somehow beaten by the strikingly mediocre Ravens. The Saints a few years before were pretty darn one dimensional, relying primarily on offense. Same as the Packers before them.  In the past few years there are numerous examples of good offenses beating good defenses.

With the rules shifting (almost annually) to assist NFL offenses by crippling NFL defenses, finding great defenses (like Seattle and San Francisco) become rarer and rarer. Defenses may still win championships but they are no longer guaranteed a seat at the table and are fast becoming endangered species in the NFL.

Even if you have a great defense, victory is far from a sure thing. Once again, look at the 49ers last season. They were great, and they still found a way to lose to a team with an average offense and an average defense. To definitively state, Defense Wins Championships is a little extreme. Because sometimes they lose championships. And sometimes they don’t even go to the championship.

I would still rather have a great defense like Seattle, than have a great offense, but a defense alone doesn’t guarantee victory over offense.  Because of this, building the best TEAM should always be the goal. The reality is offenses AND defenses win championships.

So what’s the better building plan? Should teams focus on building an offense or building a defense?

Let’s talk about that tomorrow afternoon…

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Topics: Dallas Cowboys

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