More Trivialities About Super Bowl V


This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.

The Cowboys most certainly looked like a cursed team when Dallas lost Super Bowl V. Five consecutive years in the playoffs, with five consecutive years of heartbreaking losses.

Cowboys fans can watch the thrill of the team’s five Super Bowl wins and relive the agony of two of the losses. However, as far as I know, the entire replay of the broadcast of Super Bowl V is not available anywhere. I know that the second quarter is available in bootleg copies, but the rest is apparently lost. The clip that appeared in yesterday’s post is the only other part of the game I’ve ever seen or heard about.

The lack of a game tape is rather surprising, given the number of best game cameras that were positioned in the Orange Bowl. According to an article posted a week before the Super Bowl, producer Lou Kusserow positioned 11 cameras for the game, which was far more than an ordinary game at the time. Cameras were isolated on running backs, receivers, quarterbacks, and certain defensive players.

Apparently, NBC did not bother to record any of these camera shots to tape, meaning that we are left with the NFL Films’ version of Jim O’Brien leaping like a goon towards the Colts’ sideline.

NBC touted the Super Bowl as the “most thoroughly covered football game” up to that time. There were a number of specials about the game, featuring interviews with Tom Landry, Baltimore coach Don McCafferty, and many of the key players. A local show hosted by former radio announcer Verne Lundquist was entitled “Eleven Years to Super Sunday.” It was a 30-minute show that featured a series of interviews.

TV repair shops in Dallas reported a huge surge in business during the week before the Super Bowl, but owners were not sure they would be able to repair all of the sets before the game. That meant, according to a Dallas Morning News, that owners would be forced to listen to the game on the radio, since no ordinary household had two television sets in 1971.

[I wasn’t alive just yet, but I know we didn’t have two television sets until about 1978. Not sure what the TV-per-household ratio in Dallas was then, though.]

As it turns out, the game set a record with a 39.9 Nielson rating, breaking the record set durign the fourth game of the 1963 World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Coverage After the Loss

A survey of headlines after Dallas lost Super Bowl V tell a big part of the story:

Blooper Bowl a Lesson in Futility

Landry: “We Beat Ourselves”

No Cowboy Moon Over Miami

Howley Answered Critics

Regarding Howley, he remains the only player in Super Bowl history to win an MVP as the member of the losing team. He received a car given by Sport Magazine. Howley earned the award by intercepting two passes and helping to force a fumble.

The Referees’ Biggest Blown Call

Dallas led Baltimore 13-6 at the half.  Dallas kicked off to Baltimore to open the second half, but Baltimore’s Jim Duncan fumbled the ball. Richmond Flowers recovered for Dallas, setting up a drive. The Cowboys moved into position to score, but on a first-and-goal play from the 1, Duane Thomas fumbled.

The replays clearly show that Dallas center Dave Manders picked up the ball, but Balitmore’s Billy Ray Smith was screaming to referees that the Colts had recovered. The referees gave Baltimore the ball on a call that had a huge impact on the game.

Balitmore defensive tackle Bubba Smith (later of Police Academy fame) told a reporter in Beaumont several weeks later that the referees had blown the call. No kidding.

Smith retired after the game and moved to Plano. He would not admit that the referees had blown the call, but he acknowledged that he may have helped make up the referees minds. He summed up Super Bowl V with:


You can cut it 500 different ways, but when you look at it 10 years from now it will still say Baltimore 16, Dallas 13.

And the same is still true 38 years after the game. Dammit.

  • Its hard for me to believe that NFL Films doesn’t have their own copy of game footage stored away in their vaults somewhere . . .

  • Tim Truemper

    I agree with Fred. Sometimes I wonder about NFL Films and their “hold” on all of the film and video they have. Would be nice to see more.

    On the game-it was hard to watch–especially the second half.

    Dave Manders recovered that fumble–no doubt. Dallas scores that TD, they win the game. But do they repeat next year with Staubach. Plus, Morton’s playoff #’s were not good, especially interesting since he threw 5 TD’s against Houston going in. But his shoulder really bothered him. In one Life magazine article before the SB, he talked of seeing a hypnotherapist to help his passing performance.

  • You know, I just did a search for “America’s Game Super Bowl V” and its available on DVD!

    As much as I hate watching us lose, I plan to order copies of this and SBs X and XIII.

  • Matt Cordon

    Even those who are near my age grew up watching more highlights from NFL Films than clips from the actual games. The only highlight shows were the halftime clips during Monday Night Football and the highlights in Inside the NFL later in the week.

    The NFL Films highlights of these early games are actually really good, especially because the games were played outdoors during the afternoon. What is missing is the feeling that you are watching the game the same way that it was shown originally.

    Anyway, I’ve seen the America’s Game episode for the Colts. It has a very clear shot of Manders coming up with the ball. I would be curious how the NBC announcers (Curt Gowdy and Kyle Rote) handled it.

  • Mike Little

    Imagine taking instant replay review back in time for this game.I agree with you Matt about getting the ‘feel’for a game when watching it as it was called.Announcers back then were a little more by the book,and reserved with their opinions.I’m curious why the NFL Network doesn’t show games like this or the Cowboys-Packers 1966&1967 Championship games.It not only would be a walk down memory lane,it would give a current fan a real appreciation of the championship tradition of the Cowboys.

  • Mike, I have NFLN and I can tell you, its crap.

    Its geared toward the young fan of today, with graphics and sound effects, which is why you don’t see NFL classic games like the ones you mentioned. Those are for the history books as far as today’s fan is concerned.

    Plus, I understand that NFL Films (in particular, Steve Sabol) and NFLN don’t get along. So I doubt we’ll ever see the NFLF vault of games on the NFLN.

    Sad . . .

  • Please, don’t remind me of this game. 🙂

  • Tim Truemper

    I agree with Fred that most of what NFLN provides is not so great though at time some of the vintage film/video is good. Mike Little does have a point. Not sure why Steve Sabol, NFL Films and NFL Network are not better integrated. I think young fans could benefit from seeing the stars of the past and seeing how remarkable some could be. Perhaps we could do a poll (Matt-not trying to add to your work) of what games from the past we wish we could see. Even though they lost, I would luv to see the 1966 championship game. Just musing here on a slow day.

  • Tim Truemper

    This may be late to mention, but I did not recall in the season recap the situation with Lance Rentzel. Sometime during the Cowboys push in the second half of the season, he was arrested for indecent exposure and was replaced by Reggie Rucker. This led to the off-season trade that led to getting Lance Alworth from SD and Billy Truax from the Rams. Just mentioning because it was a major issue the latter half of the season.

  • Matt Cordon

    Tim, I should have already included a post about Rentzel. I have read most of his book (When All the Laughter Died in Sorrow), which is equal parts interesting and disturbing.

  • I thought I read someplace that writing the book was part of Rentzel’s therapy?

  • Scott Mattson

    I was 11 years old when I watched SB V, and it broke my heart. BUT, I’ve always believed that game was a blessing in disguise. Unless Morton’s shoulder was really messed up, I can’t see Landry giving Staubach a fair chance at starting. This would’ve led to Staubach being traded, Morton stays (which erases the trade that leads to Randy White (or was it Too Tall?). Either way, tough as it was, there was a silver lining to the cloud that was SB V.
    For what it’s worth…

  • Colts fan

    I’m a Colts fan and miss this game. My mom had bought me a film reel from the NFL that showed most of the game. Unfortunately, the film became old and brittle and wouldn’t run in a film projector without falling apart. Nothing I have found matches the film I had. The game was a mess of mistakes on both sides. I was eleven also when that game was played. I understand the fans not liking the outcome. But, I too felt that way when I saw the Jets beat us in our first Super Bowl. They held our defense badly and got away with it. I don’t care who won this game because both teams were full of talent. The Cowboys had REAL cowboys on their team and were establishing themselves as “AMERICA’s TEAM” I can’t say that today with the likes of Owens. The Cowboys back then had more class than all the teams combined in the NFL.
    I wish those players were back. I miss my Baltimore Colts as well. It sucks to get old. I had to wait 36 years to see my team win another super bowl. Thank God for Peyton Manning! His brother Eli the following year brought balance to the universe by beating the evil Patriots in the Super Bowl. Now, it’s Tony’s turn to bring greatness back to the Cowboys!!! Go ROMO! How I miss those days when players played hurt and bled llike hell. 🙂

  • Sam

    Watch the “Top 10 Foul-ups” on NFL Network when they talk about SBV and see the take on the Manders recovery from no less of a source than Steve Sabol. Quite interesting.