As the Cowboys Waited to Play the Vikings (1971)

Roger Staubach and Tom Landry look over Metropolitan Stadium on the day before the Cowboys faced the Vikings in the 1971 divisional playoffs.

When the 1971 Cowboys prepared to meet the Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs, one big concern was the weather at the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. In the picture above, head coach Tom Landry and quarterback Roger Staubach looked over the field on the day before the game. The picture below is even more unusual, for it appears that Bob Hayes might not have seen snow in his life.

Mel Renfro and Bob Hayes are fascinated with white stuff called snow.

It turns out that the snow had little to do with the Cowboys 20-12 win over the Vikings. From the Sports Illustrated Vault:

Five times on the unseasonably warm afternoon the cold Vikings made a gift of the ball to Dallas, and the Cowboys turned three of these presents—a fumble and two pass interceptions—into two field goals and a touchdown. Late in the third period, on their only prolonged drive, an eight-play, 52-yard march, the Cowboys added another touchdown, their final score in a 20-12 win.

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The 2009 Cowboys have a few things in common with the Cowboys of the early 1970s. As the Cowboys prepared to face the Vikings on Christmas Day in 1971, Bob St. John of the Dallas Morning News wrote an article entitled “No Team Like the Present.” See if this sounds a little bit applicable to the Cowboys of the present:

Since 1966, the Dallas Cowboys have gone into the NFL playoffs in most every way known to man. They have been a young, enthusiastic team… a confident veteran team… a psychologically burdened team… and a team that scrapped for everything it got.

And they have been a team that you could never underrate and a team you could never overrate.

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As for the 1975 Hail Mary game, it is being replayed on NFL Network at 9:30 a.m. (CST) on Thursday. For more about the Hail Mary Game, check out the Web special at the Dallas Morning News site.