Did you know that the NFC East is the only division in the NFL where every team has won at least one Super Bowl?
Not only have all four teams won Super Bowls, but their victories in the year’s biggest game have been pretty epic to say the least.
Helmet catches, trick plays, making history at the position of quarterback and a ’90’s dynasty highlight the division’s Super Bowls, but are these each team’s most iconic moments?
Take a look below to see what we consider to be each team’s most iconic moment, and be sure to get caught up on the divisions we’ve already covered in the next paragraph.
New York Giants
Moment: David Tyree’s Helmet Catch
Not only did defeating the New England Patriots make the Giants champions of Super Bowl 42, but it also ensured that the Patriots wouldn’t become just the second team in NFL history to finish both the regular and postseason undefeated.
Let’s start with how improbable this win truly was. The Patriots entered the game as 12-point favorites after completing the first perfect 16-0 regular season in NFL history (the ‘72 Dolphins went 14-0). They were an offensive juggernaut setting NFL records for most points scored (589 points, 36.8 ppg), total touchdowns scored (75) and a largest point differential (+315) after being led by NFL MVP, Tom Brady, who threw for a then record 50 touchdown passes. Not to mention Randy Moss, who had one of the best statistical seasons for a wide receiver with 1,493 yards and an NFL record 23 receiving touchdowns.
Speaking of improbable… The Helmet Catch.
David Tyree’s incredible 32-yard catch – using one hand and his helmet while being draped in coverage by Rodney Harrison – setup the Giants for the eventual game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress with just 35 seconds remaining, leading the Giants to the 17-14 victory.
The win was the Giants’ third Super Bowl victory and their first since the 1990 NFL season.
Moment: Joe Theismann & Alex Smith Broken Leg Coincidences
November 18th is not a good date for Redskins fans, Joe Theismann or Alex Smith. Not only were both players’ injuries coincidental because they involved the same leg, but they also were caused by three-time defensive players of the year, they occurred while pro-bowl left tackles were out of the game due to injury, and they both happened at the 40-yard line.
Theismann broke his right tibia and fibula on Nov. 18, 1985 in a game in Washington that ended 23-21. The only three-time Defensive Player of the Year (at the time), Lawrence Taylor, was involved in the injury, which occurred around the 40-yard line. Theismann’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Joe Jacoby, wasn’t on the field due to injury.
Smith broke his right tibia and fibula on Nov. 18, 2018 in a game in Washington that ended 23-21. The only other three-time Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, was involved in the injury, which occurred around the 40-yard line. Smith’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, wasn’t on the field due to injury.
The coincidences between the two injures makes the hairs on my arm stand up.
Teams have had their fair share of injuries, but when you get two players on the same team with the exact same scenario 33 years apart, it’s simply mind blowing.
Moment: Philly Special
The Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is iconic for several reasons when it comes to Philadelphia sports, but there’s one specific play that’s so iconic that it was given its own nickname… the Philly Special.
On 4th & goal from the Patriots’ one-yard line with under a minute remaining in the second quarter, the Eagles opted to go for it rather than kicking the chip-shot field goal and the decision paid off handsomely.
“Going for it” is putting it lightly as head coach Doug Pederson went to the bag of tricks and pulled out what will forever be referred to as the Philly Special.
We all know the play so you don’t need me to paint the picture for you, but scoring the touchdown gave the Eagles a 22-12 halftime lead in a game they went onto win, 41-33. The Super Bowl was the Eagles’ third appearance in the big game and the first time they went home as champions.
Moment: Herschel Walker Trade & the 1990’s Dynasty
The largest trade in NFL history revolved around the Cowboys sending Herschel Walker to the Vikings on October 12, 1989.
At the time the Dallas Cowboys were one of the worst teams, finishing the 1989 season with a 1-15 record. Fans had just witnessed the team win one game while trading one of their best players. Little did they know, this trade would lay the foundation for what turned into a dynasty.
The trade involved the Dallas Cowboys trading Walker and 1990 third- and 10th- round picks for linebackers Jesse Solomon and David Howard, cornerback Issiac Holt and defensive end Alex Stewart. In addition the Cowboys also received Minnesota’s first-, second- and sixth-round picks in 1990; first- and second-round picks in 1991; AND a first-, second- and third-round pick in 1992. Dallas also received running back Darrin Nelson from Minnesota who they instantly traded to the San Diego Chargers for a fifth-round pick in the 1990 draft. The final deal involved 18 players in total (players plus draft picks), which was just total insanity.
The trade sent the Cowboys, as stated in the beginning, to a 1-15 season while the Vikings believed they were acquiring one of the game’s best RB’s. However, Walker’s career with the Vikings ended after just two seasons as the team failed to make the playoffs either season.
So how does this lead to the Cowboys’ dynasty?
To start, the Cowboys were able to pair up Michael Irvin with 1989 first-overall pick, Troy Aikman. Dallas used Minnesota’s picks over the years to make trades with other teams throughout the league and drafted players such as Emmitt Smith (#17 pick in 1990), Darren Woodson (#37 pick in 1992), Russell Maryland (#1 pick in 1990) along with Kevin Smith (#17 pick in 1992) and Clayton Holmes (#58 overall in 1992). Wheeling and dealing over the first three years of drafting following the Walker trade is what made all of this possible, thanks to the Minnesota Vikings.
The rest was history from here as the Dallas Cowboys were the team of the 1990’s that went onto win three Super Bowls with two of them being back to back in 1992 and 1993. After not making it to the Super Bowl in 1994 (San Francisco represented the NFC), owner Jerry Jones signed Deion Sanders to a five-year, $30 million contract to help lead the Cowboys to what would be their third and final Super Bowl championship and appearance of the 90’s.
Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as we discuss which players should be your league mates headache rather than yours this upcoming fantasy football season in an episode called, Fantasy Dad Bod!