Steeler/Cowboys... Dynasties Revisited
by Deb ( Superbowl X)
and Ray ( Superbowl XXX)
First out of the gun........
Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
January 18, 1976; Attendance: 80,187
MVP ..Lynn Swann, Wide Receiver
Favorite ..... Steelers by 6
National anthem.....Tom Sullivan
Coin toss..... Norm Schachter
Referee ...... Norm Schachter
Halftime show .. Up with People presents "200 Years and Just a Baby: Tribute to America's Bicentennial"
Network ... CBS
Announcers....Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier
Market share .... 78
Cost of 30-second commercial ....US$110,000
This was an interesting project to take on...interesting because I have always been a diehard cowboys fan. It's the only team I ever followed. But I was born into a family of Steeler fans...we never had much growing up but my mom and dad loved the steelers. Maybe it was that hard-working middle class identity the steelers seemed to have...but they gave my family a reason to go to work the other six days. And when the Cowboys would play the Steelers.....look out LOL But I learned to be a fan from my parents.....learned how the game was played from my Mom actually....so doing this was fun for me.
And now....the game.....
The Cowboys were a wild card team going into Superbowl X. The Steelers were the defending champs..... trying to become the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles. It was a classic underdog match up.......The Cowboys with nothing to lose and the Steelers hungry to repeat.
A TALE OF TWO TEAMS
The Steelers finished the regular season at 12-2 and the Steel Curtain was wreaking havoc over opposing offenses. Franco was ranked second in the league....he had piled up 1,246 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and behind him Rocky Bleier also had 528 yards. Bradshaw had a phenomenal year.....Lynn Swann and John Stallworth contributed more more than the previous year and Bradshaw's numbers soared.
Then there was the Steel Curtain.....
"I'll be glad to leave here. I feel like eating palm trees. I don't like this place. It's for people with arthritis. They come here to play golf and to die." - Steelers defensive tackle Ernie Holmes, before Super Bowl X, which was played in Miami
"They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."(Joe Greene)
"You can't take that ring away, and that's what it's all about. Money goes. You can go to the bank and borrow money, but you can't go to the bank and borrow a Super Bowl ring. That ring is like a crown and, not to boast, we're gonna get it."(Joe Greene)
"When you watch Jack(Ham) on film, you feel like standing up and applauding."(Andy Russell)
This was the cowboys third superbowl appearance in their franchise history and Tom Landry's flex defense was getting a lot of attention. Staubach had passed for 2,666 yds with 17 TDS. Wide receiver Drew Pearson led the team with 46 receptions for 822 yards and 8 touchdowns. Wide receiver Golden Richards and tight end Jean Fugett were also reliable targets in the Cowboys' passing game, combining for 59 receptions and 939 receiving yards. And like the Steelers, the Cowboys could run the ball and Newhouse was their leading rusher with 938 yds. The most talented player in the backfield was running back Preston Pearson (no relation to receiver Drew Pearson), who signed on the team as a free agent after being cut by the Steelers in the pre-season. Preston rushed for 509 yards, caught 27 passes for 351 yards, and added another 391 yards returning kickoffs.
Landry's Flex vs. The Dreaded Steel Curtain
The flex~~The flex defense is basiclly a motion defense. You are using your Dline and Linebackers to line up in one defensive set and prior to the snap shift the Dline inside and move the Sam Linebacker up on the LOS over the TE. The idea is to do two things. 1) Take away the A and B gaps and force the offense to run outside. This allows the LBs and Secondary to make tackles close to the LOS for minimal gains by forcing the back to run est and west rather than north and south. 2) Get your defensive players in situations up front where they can get lined up in places that give them an advantage to beat their opponent based on their alignment.
The Steel Curtain! With it's Flagship members [Joe Green and LC Greenwood drafted in the 1969] over the course of 5 years the foundation of this defensive unit was layed. Green/69, Greenwood/69 Blout/70, Ham/71, Holmes/71, White/71 and Lambert/74 which shored up the middle of that defense that would land them into Super Bowl IX where the Steelers beat the Vikings. Putting on a Defensive show that even had the TV announcer's mentioning the preformance at least every 2 minutes it seemed
On the opening kickoff, the Cowboys ran a reverse where rookie linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson took a handoff from Preston Pearson and returned the ball a Super Bowl record 48 yards before kicker Roy Gerela forced him out of bounds at the Steelers 44-yard line. But on the first play of the game, Steelers defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood sacked Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, forcing him to fumble. Staubach threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson, taking a 7-0 lead. Instead of trying to tie the game, the steelers ran on their next four plays. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw completed a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Lynn Swann to reach the Cowboys 16-yard line. Then on third down and one, the Steelers managed to fool the Cowboys. Pittsburgh brought in two tight ends, which usually signals a running play. After the snap, tight end Randy Grossman faked a block to the inside as if it was a running play, but then ran a pass route into the endzone, and Bradshaw threw the ball to him for a touchdown, tying the game, 7-7.
Dallas added three more points on a Toni Fritsch 36 yd field goal and the score remained untouched until the fourth quarter with both teams defenses dominating in the third quarter.
And then.....Captain Comeback....a nickname he previously earned and now the superbowl was on the line. After a game of ups and down...at this time...the Steelers began to play like the champions they were...and Cowboys like the underdogs they were.
The cowboys were self-destructing...Steelers fullback Reggie Harrison blocked a Mitch Hoopes punt, swinging the momentum into Pittsburghs favor. The ball bounced off Harrison's facemask and rolled through the end zone for a safety, cutting the Cowboys lead to 10-9. With three minutes left, Gerala had a 36 yd field goal...and the Steelers hand their first lead of the game12-10.
After another field goal and a Lynn Swann 64 yd. touchdown the Steelers were up 21-10 but Bradshaw was hit hard and taken out of the game and replaced by Hanratty.
Enter Captain Comeback...Was there enough time? Would the cowboys have it takes?
Catching fire, the Cowboys offense quickly moved downfield. Staubach capped off the drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Percy Howard.... the only catch of his NFL career ... bringing the Cowboys back into the game late in the fourth quarter, now trailing just 21-17.
With Bradshaw out of the game and passing really no longer an option, the Steelers ran the ball four straight times on their next possession, including on fourth down. The Cowboys defense held, giving the offense the ball on the Dallas 39-yard line.
With no timeouts and just 1:22 left in the game, the Cowboys were in a bind. But the situation was not unfamiliar to them, Staubach having made a career out of bringing his Cowboys from behind late in games.
This time, however, there would be no comeback.
Advancing to the Pittsburgh 38-yard line after an 11-yard run from Staubach and a pass completion to Preston Pearson, the Cowboys still had 22 seconds remaining. That's when Staubach launched a pass into the end zone, and the ball was picked off by Edwards. Staubach's third interception of the game put an end to the Cowboy� comeback.
The loss dropped the Cowboys to 1-2 in Super Bowls and allowed the Steelers to join Green Bay and Miami as back-to-back Super Bowl winners, those three teams accounting for six of the first 10 Super Bowl titles
POST GAME STATS AND THOUGHTS
This article has been tagged since June 2007.
* The Steelers became the first official #1 seed to reach the Super Bowl. Playoff seedings were instituted in 1975.
* Percy Howard's touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was the only catch of his NFL career.
* Officials did not call a single penalty on the Steelers during the game, while the Cowboys were called for only 2 penalties for 20 yards.
* This was the first Super Bowl since Super Bowl III in which a quarterback threw for more than 200 yards, a feat that both Bradshaw and Staubach surpassed (only Super Bowls II and I had accomplished that).
* The only non-quarterback to be dressed for the game but not play, was Dallas Cowboys backup lineman Bruce Walton, the brother of Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton.
* Scenes for the 1977 suspense film Black Sunday were filmed during the game.
* This was the last game played on AstroTurf at the Orange Bowl. The artificial surface was installed in 1970, but after this game, the turf was ripped up and grass was replanted for the 1976 season. Also, this was the last non-domed stadium Super Bowl to be played on artificial turf. Every outdoor Super Bowl since has been played on grass.
* To this day, the Dallas Cowboys are the only NFC wild card team to reach the Super Bowl.
* DAL - Drew Pearson 29 pass from Roger Staubach (Toni Fritsch kick) 7-0 DAL
* PIT - Randy Grossman 7 pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick) 7-7 tie
* DAL - FG Toni Fritsch 36 10-7 DAL
* PIT - Safety, Reggie Harrison blocked punt through end zone 10-9 DAL
* PIT - FG Roy Gerela 36 12-10 PIT
* PIT - FG Roy Gerela 18 15-10 PIT
* PIT - Lynn Swann 64 pass from Terry Bradshaw (kick failed) 21-10 PIT
* DAL - Percy Howard 34 pass from Roger Staubach (Toni Fritsch kick) 21-17 PIT
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Super Bowl XXX was a game for the ages full of all kinds of twists and turns and jaw dropping, heart pounding excitment. Cowboys Pride is proud to presnt this tribute to that great game in our proud history.
The Cowboys solidified their status as one of the most prolific dynasties in NFL history by becoming the first of now only two teams to win three Super Bowls in four seasons, knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17, in Super Bowl XXX thanks in large part to a very unlikely hero.
Cornerback Larry Brown's two interceptions led to 14 second-half points and helped lift the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl victory in the last four seasons and their record-tying fifth title overall. Brown's interceptions foiled the comeback efforts of the Steelers, and earned him the Pete Rozelle Trophy as the game's most valuable player. it doesn't happen often that a cornerback is listed as a game in MVP, but this guy deserved it.
By winning Super Bowl XXX, the Cowboys won their fifth Super Bowl, tying San Francisco for the most in NFL history. It was also the Cowboys' eighth Super Bowl appearance, another record.
The Cowboys became the league's latest dynasty with the victory, joining Pittsburgh from the 1970s and San Francisco from 1980s to have won three or more Super Bowls.
Familiar foes, the Cowboys and Steelers had battled in two previous Super Bowls prior to facing off in Super Bowl XXX. Barely winning both meetings, eclipsing the Cowboys by a combined eight points in the two games, Super Bowl XXX was the first Super Bowl Pittsburgh had lost in team history.
It also served as a sweet dish of revenge for two heart-breaking Super Bowl losses the Cowboys suffered at the hands of the Steelers in the '70s.
alot of the action in this game took place in the 4th quater. It was one of those hold your breath kinda things
The Cowboys got off to a quick start, mounting a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and extending that lead to 13-0 midway through the second quarter. There seemed no stopping this offensive juggernaut.
But the Cowboys were unable to slam the door shut on the Steelers, their offense sputtering the remainder of the game, leaving the door open for the Steelers to make a comeback.
A Chris Boniol 42-yard field goal on their opening drive gave the Cowboys an early 3-0 lead that grew the following series. The Cowboys positioned themselves for a scoring opportunity after quarterback Troy Aikman completed a 47-yard pass to Sanders, who was lined up on offense to enhance the passing game. Aikman hooked up with tight end Jay Novacek on a three-yard touchdown pass several plays later, pushing the Cowboys' lead to 10-0.
With a somewhat comfortable lead after just one quarter, it looked as if the Cowboys could be on their way to another Super Bowl blowout. Their offense was moving the ball with ease and the defense was not allowing the Steelers to do much.
But their dominance slowed in the second quarter, only producing a 35-yard Boniol field goal. And worse, Pittsburgh pulled itself within six points just before halftime on O'Donnell's six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Yancey Thigpen, slicing the lead to a precarious13-7.
Still, while the star-studded offense was struggling, the Cowboys defense made sure this Super Bowl title did not elude them. Brown intercepted his first pass of the game in the third quarter, returning the errant throw 44 yards to give the Cowboys' offense terrific field position at the Steelers 18.
From there, it was a chip-shot touchdown for the Cowboys, Smith scoring his first of two touchdowns from just one yard out to give the Cowboys a 20-7 lead.
The Cowboys took this lead into the fourth quarter, seemingly poised for a runaway victory. But the Steelers offense caught fire, scoring 10 quick points. Kicker Norm Johnson connected from 46 yards away and after stunning the Cowboys by recovering an onside kick, running back Bam Morris would score on a one-yard run to bring the Steelers back within three, 20-17.
And when the Steelers stopped the Cowboys on their next possession, and for the first time all game the Cowboys were in jeopardy of losing. There still was 4:15 left in the fourth quarter, and here came the Steelers, moving in position to score the go-ahead touchdown.
But O'Donnell made another costly error. On second down, the Pittsburgh quarterback threw right into the flat. Problem was, there was no receiver in the vicinity, only Brown, who intercepted the pass at the Steelers 39 and returned 33 yards to the six-yard line, where Smith took over from there, scoring the winning touchdown with just more than three minutes remaining.