Vikings Land on Unsavory List

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Because the Green Bay Packers disemboweled the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings’ recent and sinful playoff history was exposed.

Vikings Land on Unsavory List

StatMuse used the Cowboys’ postseason woes from the last 23 years to headline a sad tweet, inadvertently lassoing the Vikings into Dallas’ misery.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

The account tweeted this after the Packers spanked Dallas:

Worst playoff record since 2000 (min 10 GP):

4-10 — Cowboys
5-9 — Bengals
5-9 — Titans
5-9 — Vikings

Stat Muse

Here’s the full tweet with some fancy Cowboys cartoons:

Of course, the tweet is a little bit skewed, but that doesn’t make the Vikings a playoff success story or anything of the sort. StatMuse established a 10-game minimum for its criteria, and several NFL teams haven’t even played 10 games in the postseason since 2000.

Naturally, such teams would be considered less productive than the Vikings, on the whole, because they couldn’t manage to play postseason games in general. These teams have played less than 10 playoff games since 200:

  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Chicago Bears
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Washington Commanders
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Detroit Lions
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

That list notwithstanding, Minnesota still has not been gangbusters in the postseason since 2000 — or since the late-1970s, for that matter. Since the disintegration of the Purple People Eaters 45+ years ago, Vikings football has followed a familiar and flawed formula: Play quite well in the regular season, convince the fanbase that a particular year could be memorable, and lose before the Super Bowl begins.

Ironically, since the death of their dynasty, that’s what the Dallas Cowboys, mentioned in the tweet, do, too. Since the Cowboys’ dynasty ended — so the start of the 1996 season — so-called America’s Team is 5-13 (.278) in the playoffs.

The Vikings are 8-13 (.381) in the postseason since 1996.

Consistently, Dallas performs respectably well in the regular season but can’t get it done in the playoffs. It’s an accurate narrative used to describe the Vikings, and for 27 years, the theory directly applies to the Cowboys. Like clockwork, especially during the Tony Romo and Dak Prescott eras, Dallas persuades its fanbase to buy in for January football, only to encounter the flop — the thud — when it matters the most.

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones attends the Big 12 football between Texas Tech and Texas, Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. © Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The regular season parallels are there, too. Eerie, in fact. These are the Vikings’ and Cowboys’ regular season win percentages since the end of 1995 (Dallas’ dynastic punctuation mark):

Win Percentage,
Since 1996:

Cowboys = .541
Vikings = .541

The other teams live on the StatMuse list for different reasons. The Bengals, under quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Joe Burrow since 2000, haven’t reached the Promised Land, although Burrow guided Cincinnati to a runner-up finish two years ago. Before Dalton + Burrow, the Bengals were akin to the current-day New York Jets, a punchline.

For the Titans, well, after Steve McNair left in 2006, they never really nailed down the QB1 spot, relying on Ryan Tannehill, for example, who helped the club remain sturdy but never an almighty playoff combatant.

Land on Unsavory
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

We shall see if the Vikings escape the StatMuse naughty list in 2024.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by