The Champion of Championships: Where Does the Mavs' Title Rank?
When Dirk Nowitzki accessorized his lefty layup in the final minute with private tears of joy and accomplishment last Sunday night in Miami, the Dallas Mavericks symbolically threw Don Carter's 10-gallon hat in the ring.
After years of sheepishly having Brad Davis' No. 15, A.C. Green's Iron Man streak and a couple of old Midwest Division banners hanging from the rafters at American Airlines Center, suddenly they're included in the argument. And their point is a pretty strong one.
Of the seven major professional sports championships won in the Metroplex, where does the Mavericks' NBA Finals upset of the Heat rank?
The Cowboys have five to choose from, the Stars one and now the Mavs are boasting their fresh entry.
Follow me to fight about it...
7. Super Bowl XII, 1978 -- A dominating Doomsday Defense by the Cowboys forces eight turnovers by the overmatched Denver Broncos and prompts the MVP to shared by lineman Randy White and Harvey Martin in a sloppy 27-10 victory.
6. Super Bowl XXVIII, 1994 -- Even though the Cowboys trail the Bills at halftime their back-to-back championships are never seriously threatened as MVP Emmitt Smith rushes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-13 romp over a clearly inferior opponent.
5. Super Bowl XXX, 1996 -- The Cowboys' most recent trip to the title might have been their most meaningful. MVP cornerback Larry Brown picks off two passes in a 27-17 win that helps Dallas get revenge for two Super Bowl losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the '70s.
4. Super Bowl VI, 1972 -- Cowboys finally shake the label of "Next Year's Champions" as Roger Staubach is named MVP of a 24-3 win despite throwing for only 119 yards. Dallas' championship cherry is popped.
3. Stanley Cup, 1999 -- Though Dallas wins the NHL's President's Cup as the best regular-season team, there was certainly drama en route to a trophy. Joe Nieuwendyk nabs the Conn Smythe Award as playoff MVP, but it's Brett Hull's goal in triple-overtime of Game 6 in Buffalo that allows the Stars to finally subdue the Sabres for their first and only title.
2. NBA Finals, 2011 -- The most unexpected of all seven titles, the Mavericks and NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki start the playoffs as an afterthought No. 3 seed behind the Spurs and Lakers in the West but go 16-5 and ultimately avenge a 2006 Finals loss to the despised Miami Heat. Along the way to their virginal victory, the Mavs knock off Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
1. Super Bowl XXVII, 1993 -- Troy Aikman throws four touchdowns as the MVP in the Cowboys' colossal, 52-17, blowout of the Bills. It not only ends a 15-year title drought for America's Team, but is also the 'Boys-Are-Back catalyst for their '90s three-ring dynasty.