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NFL Franchise Rankings 2015: Steelers top Cowboys in Super Bowl era

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A playoff appearance for the Steelers in 2014 keeps them ahead of Dallas for the top franchise in the NFL according to a Dallas Morning News measurement.

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The Steelers may be trailing the Patriots in terms of post-1995 league success, but a division championship in 2014 helped keep the Steelers at the top of a running Dallas Morning News franchise rankings statistic in the Super Bowl era.

Bob Sturm, a contributor to the Dallas Morning News, compiles relatively simple data from the past 48 years, and breaks it into two eras. The first being 1966 through 1995, and the last 1996 to the present.

His methodology, which is sure to be picked apart by stat-heads:

We give 1 point for each season a franchise makes the playoffs, 2 additional points when they make the league semi-finals (NFC/AFC Championship Games), 2 additional points for making a Super Bowl, and a massive 6 points for winning a Super Bowl.

Since 1996, the Steelers and Cowboys are tied at the top with 109 points, the Steelers getting the edge due to their six championships in that time compared to five for Dallas.

The Patriots, and their four championships, lead the post-1995 era with 73 points. Green Bay is second with 42 and the Steelers are third with 41.

Dallas's 101 points leads the 1966-1995 era, followed by San Francisco (78) and Pittsburgh and Oakland in third (tied with 68).

The Steelers and Cowboys both won their respective divisions, but with a deep playoff run-heavy system, they each only gained a point despite the Cowboys having won (controversially) a playoff game. A tough loss to Green Bay, a surging team in terms of this measurement, kept them a half-point behind the Steelers.