SB XIII: Cowboys Fall to Steelers in a Classic
This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.
During a decade in which the Cowboys won two Super Bowls and five NFC titles, the most famous game in which they played during the 1970s was Super Bowl XIII.
This game was the first rematch in Super Bowl history, and it was a game where momentum shifted significantly. The Steelers jumped out early, but Dallas was able to capture the lead on a long touchdown pass from Roger Staubach to Tony Hill, followed by a Mike Hegman fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Three plays after Hegman’s touchdown, though, Pittsburgh tied the game when Dallas cornerback Aaron Kyle could not bring down John Stallworth, who scored on a 75-yard touchdown. When Rocky Bleier leaped to grab a Terry Bradshaw pass on the side of the end zone, the Steelers grabbed a 21-14 halftime lead.
Most of us remember the second half for three plays: (1) Jackie Smith dropping a sure touchdown pass in the third quarter on a play that would have tied the game at 21; (2) field judge Fred Swearingen calling pass intereference, giving the Steelers the ball on the Dallas 23; and (3) Randy White fumbling a kickoff after Pittsburgh had taken a 28-17 lead, followed one play later by a touchdown pass from Bradshaw to Lynn Swann.
The Cowboys did not give up, much to their credit. Staubach threw two touchdown passes in the final seven minutes, cutting the Steeler lead to 35-31. However, when Bleier recovered an onside kick attempt by Rafael Septien, the game was over.
Here is a clip of the last few seconds of the game: