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Super Bowl XXVII : There’s Good Reason the NFC East Is Back

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is the third consecutive Super Bowl for an NFC East team and Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson thinks he knows why.

“It’s a very difficult division and we play each other twice a year,” Johnson said. “Understand, these are big tough physical games. I think it’s good preparation for the players when they reach the playoffs.

“They are used to big games and they know the level of play you have to reach to win them.”

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Three NFC East teams, the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and the Cowboys made the playoffs. Dallas knocked off Philadelphia and San Francisco to advance to the Super Bowl while Washington, last year’s Super Bowl champs, lost to the 49ers.

In 1991, the New York Giants of the NFC East won the Super Bowl.

“Everyone kept saying before we played the Eagles in the first round that we didn’t have any playoff experience,” Johnson said. “We did play in two playoff games last year. But I kept pointing out that we had big game experience. The Super Bowl is just another big game.”

The Cowboys, with an average age of 26, are the youngest team in the league.

“I think we’ve grown up by now,” Johnson said. “Rookies aren’t rookies anymore.”

Johnson also said he doesn’t think the Cowboys should be automatic seven-point favorites because the NFC has won eight consecutive Super Bowls.

“I don’t buy into the notion the AFC doesn’t have quality,” Johnson said. “The Bills would do well in the NFC.”

On Monday, the Cowboys worked out at UCLA, the former home of quarterback Troy Aikman.

“It’s going to be fun practicing all week on the field where I played in college,” Aikman said. “It will help get me relaxed.”

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