Charles Lewis Haley (born January 6, 1964) is a former American football linebacker and defensive end who played in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers (1986–1991, 1998–1999) and the Dallas Cowboys (1992–1996).
A versatile defensive player, Haley began his career as a specialty outside linebacker, eventually progressing to pass-rusher and finally full-fledged defensive end. He is the first five-time Super Bowl champion and is second only to Tom Brady who has six Super Bowl titles. He won two Super Bowls with the 49ers (XXIII, XXIV) and three with the Cowboys (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX); he was a starter in all five championship games. Haley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
|No. 94, 95|
|Position:||Outside linebacker, defensive end|
|Born:||January 6, 1964|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||255 lb (116 kg)|
|High school:||Naruna (VA) William Campbell|
|NFL Draft:||1986 / Round: 4 / Pick: 96|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Haley was born in Gladys, Virginia. He attended William Campbell High School in Naruna, Virginia where he was a three-year starter for the football team, while playing linebacker and tight end. As a senior, he received defensive player of the year honors, All-Region III and All-Group AA accolades, while helping the team win the Seminole District championship. He also played basketball and was an All-district selection.
Haley was not highly recruited at the start of his senior season, so he accepted a scholarship from James Madison University, which at the time was the only Division I-A or I-AA school to make an offer. He was named a starter at defensive end / linebacker as a freshman, posting 85 tackles (second on the team), 5 sacks, 6 passes defensed and 4 forced fumbles.
The next year, Haley was moved to inside linebacker, making 143 tackles (led the team) and 4 sacks. As a junior, he tallied 147 tackles (led the team), 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. In his final year he was switched to outside linebacker for the last four games, registering 131 tackles (second on the team), 5 quarterback sacks, 3 blocked kicks and one interception.
Haley was a two-time Division I-AA All-American and finished his career with 506 tackles (school record), 17 sacks, and 3 interceptions. Haley is a member of the Xi Delta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at James Madison.
Haley was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft, after dropping because he initially was timed at 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash, although he was later clocked by a 49ers scout at 4.55 seconds. He played outside linebacker in a 3–4 defense, finished second behind Leslie O'Neal for rookies with 12 sacks and was voted to the NFL All-Rookie team by Pro Football Weekly and the United Press International. The following year, he played again in a designated pass rusher role, coming into the game in likely passing situations, while making 25 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
In 1988, Haley was named the starter at left outside linebacker, registering 69 tackles, 11.5 sacks and would hold that spot through the 1991 season. The next year, he tallied 57 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
In 1990, Haley had 58 tackles, 9 passes defensed, was third in the league with 16 sacks, was voted the UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year and was a consensus All-Pro.
In 1991, Haley's relationship with the organization began to deteriorate after safety Ronnie Lott was left unprotected—eligible to sign with any team under Plan B free agency. He still recorded 53 tackles, 6 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 7 sacks, tying for the team lead with Larry Roberts. While with the 49ers from 1986 to 1991, he led the team in sacks every season, and played on the Super Bowl XXIII and Super Bowl XXIV championship teams.
On August 26, 1992, Haley's volatile temperament and clashes with head coach George Seifert prompted the team to trade him to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 1993 second round selection (#56-Vincent Brisby) and a 1994 third round selection (#99-Alai Kalaniuvalu).
In 1992, Haley was moved to right defensive end in the Dallas Cowboys 4–3 defense, made 39 tackles, 6 sacks, and 42 quarterback pressures (led the team), and helped the team improve from 17th in total defense in 1991 to first. Haley received the UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award and was a consensus All-Pro once again. He is often mentioned as the final piece that helped propel the Cowboys into a Super Bowl contender.
In 1993, Haley made headlines after smashing his helmet through a wall in the locker room following a home loss to the Buffalo Bills, showing his displeasure with the team's inability to sign holdout running back Emmitt Smith, which contributed to an 0–2 start and put the season in jeopardy. The Cowboys relented and reached an agreement with Smith the following week, getting them back on track and making them the first team to win a Super Bowl after starting a season 0–2. He registered 41 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 passes defensed, and 3 forced fumbles, but his recurring back problems began to require a series of surgeries.
In 1994, Haley recovered from off-season surgery (lumbar microdiscectomy) to post 68 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 52 quarterback pressures. He immediately announced his retirement after losing 28–38 to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, but decided to return after being offered a new contract.
In 1995, Haley posted 10.5 sacks, 33 quarterback pressures, and 35 tackles in the first 10 games, until suffering a ruptured disk against the Washington Redskins, which derailed his season. He started in Super Bowl XXX six weeks after having back surgery, making one sack, 3 quarterback pressures and 5 tackles. The next year, with the team trying to limit him to 30 plays per game, he appeared in the first three contests, in week 9 and 10, before being deactivated with a back injury. He retired after the season, because of his back injuries and his youngest daughter Brianna having been diagnosed with leukemia.
On January 2, 1999, Haley was signed by the San Francisco 49ers after being out of football for almost two years, to provide depth for an injury depleted defensive line in the playoffs (2 games). He was re-signed for the 1999 season and tallied 3 sacks.
In his 12 NFL seasons, Haley recorded 100.5 quarterback sacks, two interceptions (nine return yards), and eight fumble recoveries, which he returned for nine yards and a touchdown. He was also selected to play in five Pro Bowls (1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995) and was named NFL All-Pro in 1990 and 1994. In his first four seasons in Dallas, he was on three Super Bowl-winning teams: in 1992 (XXVII), 1993 (XXVIII), and 1995 (XXX).
Haley was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015 after several years of eligibility. Haley felt that his election may have been delayed by his image and behavior: "I thought that what you do on the field would govern whether you get in the Hall". On August 8, 2015, Haley was inducted at the Enshrinement Ceremony where his bust, sculpted by Scott Myers, was unveiled. He was also inducted into the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame in 2015.
Prior to that, Haley was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He was enshrined into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor on November 6, 2011.
After football, Haley was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began to undergo therapy and to take medication. Haley was an assistant defensive coach for the Detroit Lions from 2001 to 2002. He is a special advisor mentoring rookies for both the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. He also has dedicated his life to help fund several local initiatives with organizations such as Jubilee Centre and The Salvation Army.
The 1986 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 29–30, 1986, at the Marriot Marquis in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.
The first overall selection, Bo Jackson, had told the Buccaneers prior to the draft that he would refuse to sign with the team. Disputes with team owner Hugh Culverhouse intensified after Jackson was ruled ineligible to play college baseball due to a trip he took with Culverhouse. This angered Jackson, as Culverhouse had assured him that the visit wouldn't cause any NCAA violations. It was said that Jackson, who was having what he called his best year playing baseball in school, made the Buccaneers nervous and that by getting him somehow ruled ineligible to play baseball, he would be forced to focus on football. Prior to the 1987 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers forfeited their rights to Jackson.1987 San Francisco 49ers season
The 1987 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 38th year with the National Football League. The 49ers won the division for the second consecutive season, and ended the season as the top seed in the NFC playoffs. The season ended with an upset loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs.1990 San Francisco 49ers season
The 1990 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 41st season in the National Football League and their 45th overall. the team entered the 1990 season heavily favoured to win their third consecutive Super Bowl. The season was highlighted by their defeat of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 13. Throughout the season, the 49ers and the Giants were the two best teams in the NFL. The two teams would meet again in the NFC Championship Game.
This was the season the 49ers debut the stitched up authentic name and numbers on jerseys.
Between 1988 and 1990, the 49ers set a league record with 18 consecutive road victories. Jerry Rice had a career year by becoming the fourth receiver in the history of American football to have at least 100 receptions in one season. The 49ers won their fifth consecutive NFC West Division Title. Dating back to 1989, the 49ers completed a fifteen-game unbeaten streak in the regular season (5 victories in the last 5 games of 1989 and 10 victories in the first ten games of 1990).
The 49ers were the closest team in NFL history to "three peat" in the Super Bowl, losing in the final seconds on a field goal by the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The season ended on quite a haunting note, because the Giants' Leonard Marshall made a devastating hit on 49er quarterback Joe Montana, knocking him out of the game. Subsequent to this, Giant nose tackle Erik Howard fought through a double-team block by 49er center Jesse Sapolu and 49er guard Guy McIntyre to force 49er running back Roger Craig to fumble by getting his helmet on the football with only a few minutes left while the 49ers were driving to run out the game clock. Erik Howard dropped to one knee and managed to turn his shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage in an effort to neutralize the double-team block. 49er guard Guy McIntyre released from the double-team block on Erik Howard in order to attempt a block on onrushing Giant inside linebacker Pepper Johnson allowing Erik Howard to knife through the protection and lay a hit on 49er running back Roger Craig. The ball was recovered by Giant outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor after he beat a block at the line of scrimmage by 49er tight end Brent Jones and a subsequent block by 49er fullback Tom Rathman to position himself just behind where Roger Craig was located along the line of scrimmage to catch the football after Giant nose tackle Erik Howard's hit forced it out of Craig's grasp. The Giants took over possession and began driving to kick the game-winning field goal. They ended up winning 15–13. The words of announcer Pat Summerall, "There will be no three-peat!" still haunt 49ers fans.
Following the 1990 season, the 49ers left team stalwarts Roger Craig and Ronnie Lott unprotected and let them go to the Los Angeles Raiders via Plan B free agency. Joe Montana would remain on the 49ers' roster for the next two seasons, but would never start another game for the 49ers.1992 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1992 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 33rd season in the National Football League and was the fourth year of the franchise under head coach Jimmy Johnson which the Cowboys made one of three Super Bowl appearances between 1992-95.
Headed by a powerful offense and the NFL's number one ranked defense, Dallas fielded at the time, the youngest team in the NFL and posted a franchise-best 13–3 record throughout the regular season. In the playoffs, the Cowboys disposed of the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by a memorable victory against the San Francisco 49ers en route to a Super Bowl XXVII win over the Buffalo Bills.1994 All-Pro Team
The 1994 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1994. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1994 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.1994 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1994 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League and was the first year under head coach Barry Switzer. Following their second consecutive Super Bowl title, the Cowboys would see a multitude of changes. In March, months of setbacks finally reached its climax as team owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson held a press conference and announced Johnson's resignation.
After a continuous run of dominance in the regular season and finishing with a record of 12–4, the Cowboys fell short of a record third straight Super Bowl title with a loss to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. The 1994 Cowboys draft yielded only one notable addition to the team, offensive guard Larry Allen and veteran linebacker Ken Norton Jr. left the team to sign with San Francisco.
This season was also the 75th anniversary of the NFL and was designated by a diamond-shaped patch worn on the left breast of every NFL team's uniform. The Cowboys celebrated the league's history by donning their inaugural white jerseys from the 1960–1963 seasons against the Detroit Lions. The team also later debuted a special white "Double-Star" jersey on Thanksgiving Day 1994. These uniforms celebrated the Cowboys' most recent back-to-back Super Bowl titles in the 1992 and 1993 seasons and were used in most of the Cowboys' remaining games of the season, including the playoffs.1996 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1996 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 37th season in the National Football League and was the third year under head coach Barry Switzer. Following their victory in Super Bowl XXX, the Cowboys endured a rough year failing to improve their 12-4 record from 1995 but still reached the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Star receiver Michael Irvin was suspended by the league for the first five games and before the playoffs were accused with lineman Erik Williams of sexual assault. Controversy also took place when writer Skip Bayless published a scathing account of the Cowboys' 1995 season. Longtime trainer Mike Woicik also left the team after the season following a sideline dispute with coach Barry Switzer although Woicik returned in 2011.
This season would be the last season the Cowboys won a playoff game until 2009, and since their Super Bowl win the previous season, the Cowboys never made it past the divisional round as of 2018.Chad Brown (American football official)
Chadwick Curtis "Chad" Brown Jr. (September 9, 1947 – September 9, 2016) was a National Football League official who officiated from 1992 through 2014. Brown served as an umpire and officiated in two Super Bowls (2001 and 2011) and served as an alternate (standby) official for Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. He wore uniform number 31.
Prior to his career as an NFL game official, Brown officiated football in the Big West Athletic Conference. He played college football at East Texas State, now Texas A&M University–Commerce. As a sophomore offensive and defensive tackle in 1966, A&M Commerce won its very first Lone Star Conference football championship. Brown was a NAIA All-American, an All-Lone Star Conference offensive lineman in 1967 and '68 and a Kodak All-American in 1968, becoming the first African-American to reach All-American status for the college. His athletic accomplishments earned him a 1993 induction into the East Texas State (ETSU) Athletic Hall of Fame. Brown then was on the preseason rosters in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Houston Oilers, and the New Orleans Saints.
Outside of the NFL, Brown was employed at the University of California, Los Angeles, campus since 1988, and celebrated his retirement in 2011. At UCLA, he served in several sports management capacities in the Department of Cultural and Recreational Affairs and as an Executive Officer to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.
In December 2012, Brown was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame, joining other NFL inductees, Tim Brown, Charles Haley and Gene Upshaw (posthumous). Brown, along with eleven other inductees in various sports, was recognized for exemplary performance in sportmanship, citizenship, and contributions to the history of sports as a Texas-born, African-American athlete.Ex (text editor)
ex, short for EXtended, is a line editor for Unix systems originally written by Bill Joy in 1976, beginning with an earlier program written by Charles Haley. Multiple implementations of the program exist; they are standardized by POSIX.James Madison Dukes football
The James Madison Dukes football team, founded in 1972, plays at Bridgeforth Stadium and was previously coached by Mike Houston. The JMU football team was rarely the centerpiece of JMU sports until the hiring of prior coach, Mickey Matthews, in 1999.
Notable Dukes include Charles Haley, one of two players to win five Super Bowl rings and is also an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame; Scott Norwood, the Buffalo Bills' all-time leading scorer; Gary Clark, an All-Pro wide receiver for the Washington Redskins; and Arthur Moats, a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers who is known for delivering the sack that led to the end of the record streak of consecutive starts made by Brett Favre in the NFL.Jeff Stover
Jeff Stover is a retired defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers American football team during the 1980s.Lindsy McLean
J. Lindsy McLean was an athletic trainer for college and professional American football teams for nearly 50 years.
McLean's college career began as a student athletic trainer at Vanderbilt University in 1956. In 1963, he was the head athletic trainer and director of physical therapy at the University of California Santa Barbara from 1963 to 1965. Next, in 1965, he was named the head athletic trainer and assistant professor at San Jose State College. Lastly, he was the head athletic trainer at the University of Michigan for eleven years from 1968 to 1979. While at Michigan, he was named the first chair of the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification and was instrumental in developing certification standards for the athletic training profession. He was a member of the athletic training staff at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
In 1979, he moved to professional sports and became the head athletic trainer for the San Francisco 49ers, a position he held for 24 years. He retired at the conclusion of the 2003 NFL season. In 1988, he was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Cain Fain Memorial Award from the NFL Physician's Society and in 2008, received the Tim Kerin Award for Athletic Training Excellence. McLean has five super bowl rings with the 49ers. According to NFL records (2010), McLean and only three other people have five rings, among them Bill Belichick and player Charles Haley (49ers and Cowboys.)In February 2004, ESPN The Magazine published a feature story on McLean in which he came out publicly as gay and discussed his experiences in the world of football. He said that many players and team officials were aware of his homosexuality during his years with the 49ers. He detailed incidences of harassment from players as well, including one player who repeatedly grabbed him and performed simulated sex while other players watched.List of National Football League career sacks leaders
This is a list of National Football League (NFL) players who have reached the 100-sack milestone.
The NFL began to keep track of sacks in 1982. Sacks before this date are not included in this list.List of San Francisco 49ers head coaches
There have been 19 head coaches in the history of the San Francisco 49ers professional football franchise. The San Francisco 49ers franchise was formed in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) before joining the National Football League (NFL) in 1950 after the AAFC merger with the NFL. Buck Shaw became the first head coach of the 49ers in 1946, serving for nine seasons—four in the AAFC and five in the NFL. He coached a number of future College and Pro Football Hall of Famers, such as Frankie Albert, Joe Perry, Leo Nomellini, Y. A. Tittle, Bob St. Clair and Hugh McElhenny.In terms of tenure, Bill Walsh has coached more games (152) and more complete seasons (10) than any other head coach in 49ers franchise history. He led the 49ers to playoff appearances in seven seasons, three of which led to the Super Bowl championship, in 1981, 1984 and 1988. Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott, Johnny Davis, Roger Craig, Fred Dean and Steve Young are among the players Walsh has coached in his career.Four 49ers coaches—Dick Nolan, Bill Walsh, George Seifert, and Jim Harbaugh—have been named coach of the year by at least one major news organization. Walsh, Jack Christiansen and Mike Singletary are the only 49ers coaches currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Walsh was selected for his coaching contributions. Singletary and Christiansen were voted into the Hall of Fame primarily for their defensive play. Four times in 49ers history has there been an "interim" head coach. Three games into the 1963 season, coach Red Hickey resigned and was replaced by Jack Christiansen. Christiansen coached the 49ers to a 2–9 record in the remainder of the season and came back to coach the team for four more years. In 1978, Pete McCulley was fired after coaching the 49ers to a 1–8 record. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Fred O'Connor, who was himself fired after leading the 49ers to one win in their final seven games. After a 2–5 start to the 2008 season, Mike Nolan was fired and replaced by Mike Singletary, who finished the season 5–4 and became the official head coach following that season. After a 5–10 start to the 2010 season, Mike Singletary was fired and replaced by Jim Tomsula for the final 49ers game of the 2010 season. Stanford University head coach Jim Harbaugh succeeded Tomsula as head coach in January 2011, and led the franchise to the NFC Championship Game, where the 49ers lost in overtime to the New York Giants. The following season, the 49ers reached Super Bowl XLVII, where they faced off against the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Jim's older brother John Harbaugh. The 49ers trailed by as many as 22 points during the game, but ultimately lost 34–31 to the Ravens; the 49ers losing a Super Bowl for the first time.National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award
Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.Scott Myers
Scott Myers (born 1958, USA) is an American painter and sculptor who lives and works in Texas. He graduated Texas A&M University in 1984 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He studied sculpture throughout Italy focusing on Florence, Venice and Rome. Sculpting in Tuscany, he cast his work in bronze at the prestigious Fonderia d'Arte Massimo Del Chiaro in Pietrasanta. In 1994, Myers became an elected member of the National Sculpture Society. On February 12, 2011, Myers was featured in the popular television show Texas Country Reporter. Myers was inducted in the inaugural class of the Haltom City High School Hall of Fame on March 10, 2011.Myers is best known for sculpting busts for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Chris Doleman, Chris Hanburger, Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm, Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Fred Dean, Emmitt Thomas, Bruce Matthews, Rayfield Wright, Elvin Bethea, Curley Culp, Claude Humphrey, Charles Haley and Kevin Greene.Myers' paintings focus mostly on ranch life and western landscapes, with horses and cowboys figuring prominently in his subject matter. His paintings combine bold color with a Monet-like layering of color and texture that makes him unique in the western art genre.Super Bowl XXVIII
Super Bowl XXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1993 season. The Cowboys defeated the Bills by the score of 30–13, winning their fourth Super Bowl in team history, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers for most Super Bowl wins. The game was played on January 30, 1994, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. Since the 1993 regular season was conducted over 18 weeks (two byes per team), the traditional bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl was not employed; the last time this happened was before Super Bowl XXV.
This is the only time that the same two teams have met in consecutive Super Bowls. The defending Super Bowl XXVII champion Cowboys finished with a 12–4 regular season record, despite key players missing games due to injuries. The Bills were making their fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but still seeking their first title, after also finishing with a 12–4 regular season record, largely through the strength of their no-huddle offense.
After trailing 13–6 at halftime, the Cowboys scored 24 unanswered points in the second half. The Bills had built their lead off of running back Thurman Thomas' 4-yard touchdown run. But just 45 seconds into the third quarter, Thomas was stripped of the ball, and Dallas safety James Washington returned the fumble 46 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. From there, Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, largely took over the game. On Dallas' next possession, Smith was handed the ball seven times on an eight-play, 64-yard drive that was capped off with his 15-yard touchdown run. He later scored on a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Overall, Smith had 30 carries for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also catching 4 passes for 26 yards.Super Bowl XXX
Super Bowl XXX was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1995 season. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers by the score of 27–17. The game was played on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, the first time the Super Bowl was played in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Both teams entered the game trying to tie the San Francisco 49ers for the record for most Super Bowl wins by a franchise (5). The Cowboys, who posted a 12–4 regular season record, were making their eighth Super Bowl appearance, while the Steelers, who recorded an 11–5 regular season record, were making their fifth appearance. This game was also the fifth rematch between Super Bowl teams. Moreover, it was the third meeting between the two longtime rivals in a Super Bowl (after Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII), the most between any two NFL teams. Dallas became the first team to win three Super Bowls in four years, while Pittsburgh's defeat was their first Super Bowl loss in team history.
Dallas' Larry Brown, a 12th-round draft pick, became the first cornerback to be named Super Bowl MVP by recording two interceptions in the second half, which the Cowboys converted into two touchdowns to prevent a Steelers comeback. Dallas built a 13–0 lead in the second quarter before Pittsburgh scored with 13 seconds left in the half to cut their deficit to 13–7. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Brown made his first interception and returned it 44 yards to the Pittsburgh 18-yard line to set up running back Emmitt Smith's 1-yard touchdown run. The Steelers then rallied to cut their deficit to 20–17 in the 4th quarter. But Brown recorded his second interception on Pittsburgh's next drive and returned it 33 yards to the Steelers 6-yard line to set up Smith's 4-yard rushing touchdown.
The NBC television broadcast broke the then-record for most watched sporting event ever on American television, and the second-most watched program of all time, trailing only the final episode of M*A*S*H.UPI NFC Player of the Year
From 1970 to 1996, United Press International (UPI) awarded the NFC Player of the Year award to players from the National Football League's National Football Conference (NFC).