Earlier today, Ryan Van Bibber (of Turf Show Times fame) put together an article for SB Nation NFL breaking down the teams that could enter into the fray of possible dynasties. The last real dynasty in the NFL would have to be the New England Patriots. The team won three Super Bowls in four seasons, and has been to two more Super Bowls since then. They are a winning team, but to me, a dynasty wins championships.
I suppose a team like the Atlanta Braves were an "NL East dynasty", but with only one World Series title to their name, I have a hard time considering them a dynasty over the rest of the league. In a similar way, the Patriots are still a strong franchise, but not quite a dynasty anymore. The league has its share of strong franchises, but it's hard to call anybody a dynasty right now. The Steelers, Giants and Packers all fall somewhere in there as well, depending on how you value their recent championships compared to New England's sustained level of success.
Given the state of the NFL and the parity that has developed over the last 15 years, I can see the league having mini-dynasties here and there. Beyond that, we'll mostly just see sustained levels of success that don't quite reach the dynasty level.
In Ryan's rundown of dynasty candidates, each team has a question mark that could hold them back. For the 49ers, the passing game has been inconsistent at best and needs to show it can take things to the next level. There is a lot of young talent in place, and the front office would appear to be in good shape with extremely competent individuals. I don't know if the 49ers can return to their dynastic days, but they are at least putting themselves into position to become a consistent winner.
When I initially read through the post I was prepared to call BS on Ryan's selection of his St. Louis Rams as a team "on the way up." While I don't know if they're on the way up right now, I do know that the Rams hold two first round picks in each of the next two drafts, which puts them in a strong position to add an impact player high in the first round, or deal down and accumulate more picks for depth. They need to find success with those picks to build things up, but they are in a strong position.