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#pounditThursday, September 17, 2020

Tony Dungy feels 1950s Browns had better dynasty than Patriots

The New England Patriots are one victory away from winning their sixth Super Bowl with the same head coach and quarterback — an impressive feat, no doubt, but Tony Dungy has seen better.

Earlier this week, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy was asked if he believes the Patriots are the greatest dynasty in the history of pro football. Dungy admits that the run Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have led the team on is “amazing,” but he feels the 1950s Cleveland Browns have them beat.

“Well, you’d have to look at the longevity,” Dungy said, via Kevin Duffy of “In the 50s it was Otto Graham and the Browns and they did it for a decade, and the Packers did it for a decade, and then Dallas, and the 49ers were close in terms of doing it with two different groups — coach (Bill) Walsh passed it along to George Seifert. But to stay from 2001 to 2017, to maintain the excellence for 17 years, it’s pretty amazing. Would you say it’s better than the Browns in the 50s? Probably not, but to do it for that long period of time, it’s pretty incredible.”

The Patriots have been to eight Super Bowls in the last 18 years and reached the AFC Championship Game in seven straight seasons. The Browns that Dungy is referring to won three titles in six years after the AAFC merged with the NFL. They reached the NFL title game six straight years, and there were no playoffs in five of those seasons. That Cleveland team also played in an era where there was no draft and no salary cap.

We often hear that you can’t compare teams from different eras, but it would be tough to argue that winning three championships in six years in a league with 14 teams is a tougher task than winning five — and possibly a sixth on Sunday — in a 32-team league that is supposed to be designed to maintain parity. If you want to count the four straight championships the Browns won in the AAFC in the late 1940s before the merger, you’d still have a tough time giving them the nod over Belichick’s Patriots.

Of course, this is the same Tony Dungy who recently said there have been five NFL quarterbacks better than Brady since 1978. Brady and Belichick routinely beat Dungy and his Peyton Manning-led Colts in New England’s early days of NFL domination. You don’t suppose that has anything to do with Dungy’s takes, do you?

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