Super Bowl X

Super Bowl X 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 1975 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 21–17 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl. They were the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowls. (The Miami Dolphins won Super Bowls VII and VIII, and the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowls I and II.) It was also the first Super Bowl in which both participating teams had previously won a Super Bowl, as the Steelers were the defending champions and the Cowboys had won Super Bowl VI.

The game was played at the Orange Bowl[5] in Miami, Florida, on January 18, 1976, one of the first major national events of the United States Bicentennial year. Both the pre-game and halftime show celebrated the Bicentennial, while players on both teams wore special patches on their jerseys with the Bicentennial logo.

Super Bowl X featured a contrast of playing styles between the Steelers and the Cowboys, which were, at the time, the two most popular teams in the league. The Steelers, dominating teams with their "Steel Curtain" defense and running game, finished the regular season with a league best 12–2 record and defeated the Baltimore Colts and the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs. The Cowboys, with their offense and "flex" defense, became the first NFC wild-card team to advance to the Super Bowl after posting a 10–4 regular season record and postseason victories over the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams.

Trailing 10–7 in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl X, the Steelers rallied to score 14 unanswered points, including a 64-yard touchdown reception by Pittsburgh wide receiver Lynn Swann. The Cowboys cut the score, 21–17, late in the game with wide receiver Percy Howard's 34-yard touchdown reception, but Pittsburgh safety Glen Edwards halted Dallas' rally with an end zone interception as time expired. Swann, who caught four passes for a Super Bowl record 161 yards and one touchdown, became the first wide receiver to be named Super Bowl MVP.

Super Bowl X
Super Bowl X
Dallas Cowboys (4)
(NFC)
(10–4)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1)
(AFC)
(12–2)
17 21
Head coach:
Tom Landry
Head coach:
Chuck Noll
1234 Total
DAL 7307 17
PIT 70014 21
DateJanuary 18, 1976
StadiumOrange Bowl, Miami, Florida
MVPLynn Swann, wide receiver
FavoriteSteelers by 7[1][2]
RefereeNorm Schachter
Attendance80,187[3]
Current/Future Hall of Famers
Cowboys: Tex Schramm (team administrator), Gil Brandt (team administrator), Tom Landry (coach), Mike Ditka‡ (assistant coach), Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Ernie Stautner‡ (assistant coach), Randy White, Rayfield Wright‡ Elected as a player.
Steelers: Art Rooney (owner), Dan Rooney (team administrator), Chuck Noll (coach), Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Mike Webster
Ceremonies
National anthemTom Sullivan and Up With People
Coin tossUnited States Secretary of the Navy John Warner
Halftime showUp with People presents "200 Years and Just a Baby: Tribute to America's Bicentennial"
TV in the United States
NetworkCBS
AnnouncersPat Summerall, Tom Brookshier and Hank Stram (4th quarter only)
Nielsen ratings42.3
(est. 57.7 million viewers)[4]
Market share78
Cost of 30-second commercial$110,000

Background

The NFL awarded Super Bowl X to Miami on April 3, 1973, at the owners' meetings held in Scottsdale, Arizona.[6]

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys, considered a Cinderella team entering the Super Bowl, advanced to their third Super Bowl in team history with their rather high-tech offense and "flex" defense. Quarterback Roger Staubach had a solid season, passing for 2,666 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 310 yards. 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.

Like the Steelers, Dallas was a run-based team. Fullback Robert Newhouse was their leading rusher with 930 yards, and also caught 34 passes for 274 yards. Halfback Doug Dennison contributed 388 yards. Perhaps the most talented player in the backfield was halfback 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 preseason. Preston rushed for 509 yards, caught 27 passes for 351 yards, and added another 391 yards returning kickoffs. Preston had been especially effective in the playoffs, where he caught 12 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns, and was extremely eager to increase his numbers in the Super Bowl against the team that let him go. Up front, the offensive line was led by All-Pro right tackle Rayfield Wright.

The Cowboys' "Flex" defense was anchored by linemen Harvey Martin and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Linebacker Lee Roy Jordan led the team with six interceptions, while linebacker D.D. Lewis was an effective weapon pass rushing. The starting players in Dallas' defensive secondary, future Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Renfro, cornerback Mark Washington, and safeties Charlie Waters and Pro Bowler Cliff Harris, combined for 12 interceptions.

Even though the Cowboys finished in second place in the NFC East with a 10–4 record, they qualified for the playoffs as the NFC's wild-card team (during that time, only one wild card team from each conference entered the playoffs). The Dallas Cowboys became the first NFC wild card team to reach the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers became the first official #1 seed to reach the Super Bowl. Playoff seeds were instituted in 1975. The Steelers finished the regular season with a league-best 12–2 record, dominating opponents with their "Steel Curtain" defense and powerful running game. Fullback Franco Harris ranked second in the league with 1,246 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, while also catching 28 passes for 214 yards and another touchdown. Halfback Rocky Bleier had 528 rushing yards, and fullback John "Frenchy" Fuqua added 285 yards and 18 receptions. Still, the Steelers had a fine passing attack led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw threw for 2,055 yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while rushing for 210 yards and three touchdowns. One reason why Bradshaw's numbers were much improved from the previous season was the emergence of wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Both saw limited playing time in the previous season, but became significant contributors in 1975. Swann caught a team-leading 49 passes for 781 yards and 11 touchdowns. Stallworth only had 20 receptions, but he had an average of 21.2 yards per catch, recording a total of 423 reception yards.

The Steelers' "Steel Curtain" defense dominated the league, ranking third in fewest yards allowed (4,019) and sending 8 of their 11 starters to the Pro Bowl: defensive linemen Joe Greene (future Pro Football Hall of Fame player) and L. C. Greenwood; future Hall of Fame linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert; Andy Russell, the team's third starting linebacker; future Hall of Fame defensive back Mel Blount; and safeties Glen Edwards and Mike Wagner.

Greene made the Pro Bowl despite missing six games with injuries. Ham and Lambert had the best seasons of their careers, while Blount led the league with 11 interceptions and was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

Playoffs

Dallas went on to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, 17–14, with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Staubach to Drew Pearson with less than a minute to play in what was called the "Hail Mary pass". They went on to crush the Los Angeles Rams, 37–7, in the NFC Championship Game. As a result, the Cowboys became the first ever wild card team to advance to the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, even though Pittsburgh's offense lost a total of 12 turnovers in their two playoff games, the Steelers only gave up a combined total of 20 points in their victories over the Baltimore Colts in the AFC Divisional playoff game 28–10, and the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship Game 16–10.

Super Bowl pregame news and notes

Coming into Super Bowl X, most sports writers and fans expected that Swann would not play. He had suffered a severe concussion in the AFC Championship Game against the Raiders that forced him to spend two days in a hospital. If he did play, many assumed he would just be used as a decoy to draw coverage away from the other receivers.

Throughout the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Swann was unable to participate in several team practices or was limited to only a minor workout in them. However, a few days before the game, he received a verbal challenge from Dallas safety Cliff Harris, who stated, "I'm not going to hurt anyone intentionally. But getting hit again while he's running a pass route must be in the back of Swann's mind. I know it would be in the back of my mind."[7]

Swann responded "I'm still not 100 percent. I value my health, but I've had no dizzy spells. I read what Harris said. He was trying to intimidate me. He said I'd be afraid out there. He needn't worry. He doesn't know Lynn Swann. He can't scare me or the team. I said to myself, 'The hell with it, I'm gonna play.'[8] Sure, I thought about the possibility of being reinjured. But it's like being thrown by a horse. You have to get up and ride again immediately or you may be scared the rest of your life."[9]

Super Bowl X was the final NFL officiating assignment for veteran referee Norm Schachter, who also served as the referee for Super Bowl I and Super Bowl V. Schachter worked as an officiating supervisor and instant replay official following his on-field retirement.

Broadcasting

CBS televised the game in the United States with play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall (calling his first Super Bowl in that role) and color commentator Tom Brookshier. Toward the end of the game, Hank Stram took over for Brookshier, who had left the booth to head down to the locker room area to conduct the postgame interviews with the winning team. Two days after the Super Bowl, Stram was hired as coach of the New Orleans Saints, interrupting his broadcasting career for two seasons.

On radio, Verne Lundquist and Al Wisk announced the game for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, and Jack Fleming and Myron Cope called the game for the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network. Ed Ingles and Jim Kelly called the game nationally for CBS Radio. Hosting television coverage was The NFL Today crew of Brent Musburger; Irv Cross and Phyllis George. During this game, CBS began using Jack Trombey's "Horizontal Hold" as the theme music. That would be used the following season for the NFL Today pregame show between 1976 and 1980 in its original form, with a remake for 1981 followed by updates for 1984 and 1989 before its retirement.

Entertainment

American revolution bicentennial
Each player wore the Bicentennial logo on their jerseys

The overall theme of the Super Bowl entertainment was to celebrate the United States Bicentennial. Each Cowboys and Steelers player wore a special patch with the Bicentennial logo on their jerseys.

The performance event group Up with People performed during both the pregame festivities and the halftime show titled "200 Years and Just a Baby: A Tribute to America's Bicentennial". Up with People dancers portrayed various American historical figures along with a rendition of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans". Singer Tom Sullivan sang the national anthem.

Scenes for the 1977 suspense film Black Sunday, about a fictional terrorist attack on the Super Bowl via the Goodyear Blimp, were filmed during the game.

This was the last Super Bowl to kick off as early as 2:00 p.m. (EST), thereby allowing a finish time before the commencement of many of the nation's evening church services.

This was the first Super Bowl where the play clock was visible to teams and spectators. Visible play clocks were mandated by NFL rules beginning with the 1976 season.

Game summary

The Steelers won their second straight Super Bowl, largely through the plays by Swann and by stopping a rally by the Cowboys late in the fourth quarter. 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.

First quarter

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. Gerela suffered badly bruised ribs that appeared to affect his kicking performance all afternoon. On the first play of the game, Steelers defensive lineman L. C. Greenwood sacked Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, forcing him to fumble. Although Dallas recovered the fumble, they eventually were forced to punt. The sack was a foreshadow of things to come for Staubach, who was sacked seven times on the day. The Steelers managed to get one first down and advanced to their own 40-yard line, but then they too were forced to punt. Steelers punter Bobby Walden fumbled the snap. Walden managed to recover his own fumble, but Dallas took over on the Steelers' 29-yard line. On the very next play, Staubach threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson, taking a 7–0 lead. The score was the first touchdown permitted in the first quarter by the Steelers' defense in 1975.

Instead of trying to immediately tie the game on a long passing play, the Steelers ran the ball on the first four plays of their ensuing possession, and then quarterback Terry Bradshaw completed a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Lynn Swann to reach the Cowboys' 16-yard line. Swann soared over the outstretched reach of defensive back Mark Washington before tight-roping the sideline to make the reception. Two running plays further advanced the ball to the 7-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 were a running play, but then ran a pass route into the end zone, and Bradshaw threw the ball to him for a touchdown, tying the game, 7–7. This marked the first Super Bowl that both teams scored in the first quarter.

Second quarter

Dallas responded on their next drive, advancing the ball 51 yards, all rushing, (30 of them on five carries from fullback Robert Newhouse) before incurring a third down false start penalty, and scoring on kicker Toni Fritsch's 36-yard field goal to take a 10–7 lead early in the second quarter.[6] The 51 rushing yards the Cowboys amassed on the drive tripled what the Minnesota Vikings gained against Pittsburgh for all of Super Bowl IX. The Steelers subsequently advanced to the Cowboys' 36-yard line on their next possession, but on fourth down and two, Bradshaw's pass was broken up by Dallas safety Cliff Harris.

Later in the period, Dallas drove to the Steelers' 20-yard line. But in three plays, the Cowboys lost 25 yards. On first down, Newhouse was tackled for a 3-yard loss by linebacker Andy Russell. Then Greenwood sacked Staubach for a 12-yard loss. And on third down, Staubach was sacked again, this time for a 10-yard loss, by defensive end Dwight White. The sacks pushed Dallas out of field goal range and they were forced to punt. The Steelers' offense got the ball back their own 6-yard line with 3:47 left in the half. On the drive, Bradshaw completed a 53-yard pass to Swann to advance the ball to the Cowboys' 37-yard line; Swann's catch has become one of the most memorable acrobatic catches in Super Bowl history. On the very next play, Bradshaw just missed connections with Swann at the Dallas 6. Pittsburgh drove to the 19-yard line after the two-minute warning, but the drive stalled there and ended with no points after Gerela missed a 36-yard field goal attempt with 22 seconds remaining in the period.

Third quarter

Early in the third quarter, Pittsburgh got a great scoring opportunity when defensive back J. T. Thomas intercepted a pass from Staubach and returned it 35 yards to the Cowboys' 25-yard line. However, once again the Steelers failed to score as the Dallas defense kept Pittsburgh out of the end zone and Gerela missed his second field goal, a 33-yard attempt. After the miss, Harris mockingly patted Gerela on his helmet and thanked him for "helping Dallas out," but was immediately thrown to the ground by Steeler linebacker Jack Lambert. Lambert could have been ejected from the game for defending his teammate, but the officials decided to allow him to remain.[10]

Fourth quarter

The third quarter was completely scoreless and the Cowboys maintained their 10–7 lead going into the final period. However, early in the fourth quarter, Dallas punter Mitch Hoopes was forced to punt from inside his own goal line. As Hoopes stepped up to make the kick, Steelers running back Reggie Harrison broke through the line and blocked the punt. The ball went through the end zone for a safety, cutting the Dallas lead to 10–9. It was the second safety recorded in Super Bowl history, the first occurring a year earlier when White downed Minnesota's Fran Tarkenton on a fumble recovery in the end zone. Then Steelers running back Mike Collier returned the free kick 25 yards to the Cowboys' 45-yard line. Dallas halted the ensuing drive at the 20-yard line, but this time Gerela successfully kicked a 36-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh their first lead of the game, 12–10. Then on the first play of the Cowboys' next drive, Steelers defensive back Mike Wagner intercepted a pass from Staubach and returned it 19 yards to the Dallas 7-yard line. Wagner's interception came off the same play Dallas used to score their opening touchdown. Instead of surveying the middle of the field, Wagner watched Pearson and recognized the pattern. Staubach later said: "It was our bread and butter play all season long. It was the first time it didn't work." The Cowboys defense again managed to prevent a touchdown, but Gerela kicked an 18-yard field goal to increase the Steelers lead to 15–10.

The Steelers forced a punt and regained possession of the ball on their own 30-yard line with 4:25 left in the final period, giving them a chance to either increase their lead or run out the clock to win the game. But after two plays, the Steelers found themselves facing 3rd-and-4 on their own 36-yard line. Assuming that the Cowboys would be expecting a short pass or a run, Bradshaw decided to try a long pass and told Swann in the huddle to run a deep post pattern. As Bradshaw dropped back to pass, Harris and linebacker D.D. Lewis both blitzed in an attempt to sack him. But Bradshaw managed to dodge Lewis and throw the ball just before being leveled by Harris and lineman Larry Cole, who landed a helmet-to-helmet hit on Bradshaw. Swann then caught the ball at the 5-yard line and ran into the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown completion. Bradshaw never did see Swann's catch or the touchdown since Cole's hit to Bradshaw's helmet knocked him out of the game with a head injury. It was only after he was assisted to the locker room that he was told what happened.

After play resumed, Gerela missed the extra point attempt, but the Steelers now had a 21–10 lead with 3:02 left in the game, and the Cowboys needed two touchdowns to come back.

Staubach then led his team 80 yards in 5 plays on the ensuing drive, scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Percy Howard and cutting their deficit to 21–17 (Howard's touchdown reception was the only catch of his NFL career; he was not mentioned by name by John Facenda in the highlight package produced by NFL Films). After Gerry Mullins recovered Dallas' onside kick attempt, the Steelers then tried to run out the clock on the next drive with four straight running plays, but the Cowboys defense stopped them on fourth down at their 39-yard line, giving Dallas one more chance to win. Some questioned why Noll would elect to go for it on fourth down but, as later explained by NFL Films, his entire kicking game had been suspect all game long with Gerela missing an extra point and two field goals while Walden fumbled a snap on a punt, and nearly had two punts blocked. (Gerela's problems may have begun on the opening kickoff when he was forced to make a touchdown saving tackle on Hollywood Henderson.) [11]

With 1:22 left in the game, Staubach started out the drive with an 11-yard scramble to midfield, and then followed it up with a 12-yard completion to Preston Pearson at the Steelers' 38-yard line. Pearson inexplicably ran towards the middle rather than running out of bounds to stop the clock. On the next play, Staubach couldn't handle a low snap but managed to recover the ball and throw it downfield for an incompletion. On second down with 12 seconds left, he threw a pass intended for Howard in the end zone, but the ball bounced off Howard's helmet and a Hail Mary replay was not to be. Had Howard positioned himself inches back from his position in the end zone as the ball came down he would have had a better opportunity to catch the ball and write himself into Cowboy folklore. Then on third down, Staubach once again tried to complete a pass to Howard in the end zone, but the ball was tipped by Wagner into the arms of safety Glen Edwards for an interception as time expired, sealing Pittsburgh's victory.

Bradshaw finished the game with 9 out of 19 pass completions for 209 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also added another 16 yards rushing the ball. Staubach completed 15 out of 24 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. He also rushed for 22 yards on five carries, but was sacked seven times. Steelers running back Franco Harris was the leading rusher of the game with 82 rushing yards, and also caught a pass for 26 yards. Newhouse was the Cowboys top rusher with 56 yards, and caught two passes for 12 yards. Greenwood recorded a Super Bowl record four sacks but it has gone unrecognized since the NFL didn't officially record sacks until 1982.

Aftermath

The game was remembered for being the most exciting of the first 10 Super Bowl games. Swann's heroics and Lambert's 14 tackles and throw-down of Cliff Harris are the indelible images from the game. After being benched to start the 1974 campaign and being booed for most of his first four seasons in Pittsburgh, Bradshaw became the first quarterback to throw two game-winning touchdown passes in Super Bowl competition. The Steelers' bid for three-consecutive championships ended in a 24–7 loss to the Oakland Raiders in the 1976 AFC Championship game after a season that saw Pittsburgh's defense shut out five opponents and allow only 28 points in a 9-game span. The loss to Pittsburgh coupled with an early playoff exit in 1976 largely influenced the Cowboys to draft Tony Dorsett in the 1977 Draft to help infuse life into Dallas' offense. Dorsett helped lead Dallas to a Super Bowl XII victory over the Denver Broncos, who defeated the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs that year.

Pittsburgh and Dallas would battle in another thriller in Super Bowl XIII (also played in Miami). The result was the same, as the Steelers prevailed 35–31. But Super Bowl X was the game that began the rivalry between the two storied franchises. The Cowboys gained a measure of revenge by defeating the Steelers 27–17 in Super Bowl XXX following the 1995 season.

This was the final football game to be played on artificial turf (specifically, Poly-Turf) at the Orange Bowl.[12] The surface in 1976 reverted to natural grass, and remained so until the stadium's closure in 2007. Poly-Turf was first installed at the Orange Bowl in 1970 and replaced in 1972, but players complained often of the slickness of the surfaces, and fields became discolored due to the intense sunshine common to south Florida.

Box score

Final statistics

Sources: NFL.com Super Bowl X, Super Bowl X Play Finder Pit, Super Bowl X Play Finder Dal

Statistical comparison

Dallas Cowboys Pittsburgh Steelers
First downs 14 13
First downs rushing 6 7
First downs passing 8 6
First downs penalty 0 0
Third down efficiency 3/14 8/19
Fourth down efficiency 1/1 0/3
Net yards rushing 108 149
Rushing attempts 31 46
Yards per rush 3.5 3.2
Passing – Completions/attempts 15/24 9/19
Times sacked-total yards 7–42 2–19
Interceptions thrown 3 0
Net yards passing 162 190
Total net yards 270 339
Punt returns-total yards 1–5 5–31
Kickoff returns-total yards 4–96 4–89
Interceptions-total return yards 0–0 3–89
Punts-average yardage 7–35 4–39.8
Fumbles-lost 4–0 4–0
Penalties-total yards 2–20 0–0
Time of possession 30:30 29:30
Turnovers 3 0

Individual statistics

Cowboys Passing
C/ATT1 Yds TD INT Rating
Roger Staubach 15/24 204 2 3 77.8
Cowboys Rushing
Car2 Yds TD LG3 Yds/Car
Robert Newhouse 16 56 0 16 3.50
Roger Staubach 5 22 0 11 4.40
Doug Dennison 5 16 0 5 3.20
Preston Pearson 5 14 0 9 2.80
Cowboys Receiving
Rec4 Yds TD LG3 Target5
Preston Pearson 5 53 0 14 7
Charley Young 3 31 0 14 3
Drew Pearson 2 59 1 30 5
Robert Newhouse 2 12 0 8 3
Percy Howard 1 34 1 34 2
Jean Fugett 1 9 0 9 2
Doug Dennison 1 6 0 6 1
Golden Richards 0 0 0 0 1
Steelers Passing
C/ATT1 Yds TD INT Rating
Terry Bradshaw 9/19 209 2 0 122.5
Steelers Rushing
Car2 Yds TD LG3 Yds/Car
Franco Harris 27 82 0 11 3.04
Rocky Bleier 15 51 0 8 3.40
Terry Bradshaw 4 16 0 8 4.00
Steelers Receiving
Rec4 Yds TD LG3 Target5
Lynn Swann 4 161 1 64 7
John Stallworth 2 8 0 13 6
Franco Harris 1 26 0 26 2
Larry Brown 1 7 0 7 3
Randy Grossman 1 7 1 7 1

1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted

Records Set

The following records were set in Super Bowl X, according to the official NFL.com boxscore,[14] the 2016 NFL Record & Fact Book[15] and the ProFootball reference.com game summary.[16]
Some records have to meet NFL minimum number of attempts to be recognized.[15] The minimums are shown (in parenthesis).

Player Records Set [16]
Passing Records
Highest passer rating, game 122.5 Terry Bradshaw
Most touchdown passes, career 4 Roger Staubach
Rushing Records
Most attempts, career 61 Franco Harris
Receiving Records
Most yards, game 161 yds Lynn Swann
Highest average gain, game (3 receptions) 40.3 yds (4-161)
Combined yardage records
Most Attempts, career 64 Franco Harris
Most yards gained, game 161 yds Lynn Swann
Fumbles
Most fumbles, game 3 Roger Staubach
Most fumbles, career 3 Roger Staubach
Franco Harris
Defense
Most sacks, game 4 L. C. Greenwood000(Pit)
Special Teams
Longest kickoff return 48 yds Thomas Henderson000(Dal)
Most kickoff returns, career 7 Preston Pearson000(Dal)
Records Tied
Most touchdown passes, game 2 Roger Staubach
Terry Bradshaw
Most interceptions thrown, game 3 Roger Staubach
Most fumbles recovered, game 2 Roger Staubach
Most fumbles recovered, career 2 Franco Harris
Roger Staubach
Bobby Walden000(Pit)
Most safeties, game 1 Reggie Harrison000(Pit)
Most kickoff returns, game 4 Preston Pearson
Most fair catches, game 3 Golden Richards000(Dal)
Most field goals attempted, career 5 Roy Gerela000(Pit)
  • † This category includes rushing, receiving, interception returns, punt returns, kickoff returns, and fumble returns.[17]
  • ‡ Sacks an official statistic since Super Bowl XVII by the NFL. Sacks are listed as "Tackled Attempting to Pass" in the official NFL box score for Super Bowl X.[14]
Team Records Set [16]
Points
Most points, fourth quarter 14 pts Steelers
Passing
Most times sacked 7 Cowboys
Defense
Most sacks made 7 Steelers
Records Tied
Most Super Bowl victories 2 Steelers
Most consecutive Super Bowl victories 2
Most points scored in
any quarter of play
14 pts (4th)
Most safeties, game 1
Fewest penalties, game 0
Fewest yards penalized, game 0
Fewest turnovers, game 0
Most punt returns, game 5
Fewest rushing touchdowns 0 Cowboys
Steelers
Most passing touchdowns 2
Fewest first downs penalty 0
Most fumbles recovered, game 4
Most touchdowns, losing team 2 Cowboys

Turnovers are defined as the number of times losing the ball on interceptions and fumbles.

Records Set, both team totals [16]
Total Steelers Cowboys
Points
Most points, fourth quarter 21 pts 14 7
Rushing
Fewest rushing touchdowns 0 0 0
Passing
Most passing touchdowns 4 2 2
Fumbles
Most fumbles 8 4 4
Penalties
Fewest penalties, game 2 0 2
Records tied
Most points, first quarter 14 pts 7 7
Fewest first downs, penalty 0 0 0
Most times sacked 9 2 7
Fewest fumbles lost 0 0 0

Starting lineups

Source:[18]
Dallas Position Pittsburgh
Offense
Golden Richards WR John Stallworth
Ralph Neely LT Jon Kolb
Burton Lawless LG Jim Clack
John Fitzgerald C Ray Mansfield
Blaine Nye RG Gerry Mullins
Rayfield Wright RT Gordon Gravelle
Jean Fugett TE Larry Brown
Drew Pearson WR Lynn Swann
Roger Staubach QB Terry Bradshaw
Preston Pearson RB Franco Harris
Robert Newhouse RB Rocky Bleier
Defense
Ed "Too Tall" Jones LE L. C. Greenwood
Jethro Pugh LT Joe Greene
Larry Cole RT Ernie Holmes
Harvey Martin RE Dwight White
Dave Edwards LLB Jack Ham
Lee Roy Jordan MLB Jack Lambert
D. D. Lewis RLB Andy Russell
Mark Washington LCB J. T. Thomas
Mel Renfro RCB Mel Blount
Charlie Waters LS Mike Wagner
Cliff Harris RS Glen Edwards

Officials

  • Referee: Norm Schachter #56 third Super Bowl (I, V)
  • Umpire: Joe Connell #57 second Super Bowl (VI)
  • Head Linesman: Leo Miles #35 second Super Bowl (VIII)
  • Line Judge: Jack Fette #39 third Super Bowl (V, VIII)
  • Back Judge: Stan Javie #29 third Super Bowl (II, VIII)
  • Field Judge: Bill O'Brien #83 first Super Bowl
  • Alternates Bob Frederic #71 and Gordon McCarter #48 (neither officiated a Super Bowl on the field)

This was the first Super Bowl in which the referee wore a wireless microphone to announce penalties and other rulings to the audience in the stadium, those listening on radio and those watching on television. The idea was pioneered by Cowboys GM Tex Schramm.

Norm Schachter retired following this game and became an officiating supervisor. He became the first official to serve as referee for three Super Bowls, a mark later equaled by Jim Tunney, Pat Haggerty, Bob McElwee and Terry McAulay, and surpassed by Jerry Markbreit with four.

Note: A seven-official system was not used until 1978

Notes

  1. ^ DiNitto, Marcus (January 25, 2015). "Super Bowl Betting History – Underdogs on Recent Roll". Sporting News. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Super Bowl History". Vegas Insider. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "Super Bowl Winners". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Historical Super Bowl Nielsen TV Ratings, 1967–2009 – Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  5. ^ This was the last game played on AstroTurf at the Orange Bowl. The artificial surface was installed in 1970, but after this game, the AstroTurf was ripped up and grass was replanted for the 1976 season. Also, this was the last open-air stadium Super Bowl to be played on AstroTurf. Every outdoor Super Bowl since then had been played on grass, until Super Bowl XLVIII when it was played on a next-generation artificial surface.
  6. ^ a b "USA Today Super Bowl X Play by Play". USATODAY.com.
  7. ^ "Super Bowl X". www.nflportal.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  8. ^ Mann, Dan (January 29, 1999). "Can't Blame this on Washington". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  9. ^ "Legends Grow From Super Bowls Past". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  10. ^ No. 13 of 100 Greatest Super Bowl Moments, espn.com (Last retrieved October 28, 2005)
  11. ^ "Super Bowl X Box Score: Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17". www.nfl.com.
  12. ^ "The Spokesman-Review - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  13. ^ "Super Bowl Game-Time Temperatures". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Super Bowl X boxscore". NFL.com. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "2016 NFL Factbook" (PDF). NFL. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d "Super Bowl X statistics". Pro Football reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "Super Bowl definitions".
  18. ^ "Super Bowl X–National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). NFLGSIS.com. National Football League. January 18, 1976. Retrieved April 26, 2016.

References

1975 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1975 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's sixteenth season in the National Football League (NFL) and their sixteenth under head coach Tom Landry. They finished second in the National Football Conference (NFC) East division with a 10–4 regular season record and advanced through the playoffs to Super Bowl X, where they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were also the first wild card team to reach the Super Bowl.

1975 NFL season

The 1975 NFL season was the 56th regular season of the National Football League. It was the first NFL season without a tie game. The league made two significant changes to increase the appeal of the game:

The surviving clubs with the best regular season records were made the home teams for each playoff round. Previously, game sites rotated by division.

The league pioneered the use of equipping referees with wireless microphones to announce penalties and clarify complex and/or unusual rulings to both fans and the media.Instead of a traditional Thanksgiving Day game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys, the league scheduled a Buffalo Bills at St. Louis Cardinals contest. This was the first season since 1966 that the Cowboys did not play on that holiday.

The season ended with Super Bowl X when the Pittsburgh Steelers repeated as champions by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21–17 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 43rd in the National Football League. They would be the second championship team in club history. This Steelers team entered the beginning of the season as defending champions for the first time in their 40-year history. The team was led by a dominating defense and a quick offense, and won Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. The team posted their best defensive numbers since 1946, and scored more points than any other Steelers team to that point.

1975–76 NFL playoffs

The National Football League playoffs for the 1975 season began on December 27, 1975. The postseason tournament concluded with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, 21–17, on January 18, 1976, at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

This was the first season in which the league used a seeding system in the playoffs. Thus, the surviving clubs with the higher seeds were made the home teams for each playoff round. The three division champions in each conference were seeded 1 through 3 based on their regular season won-lost-tied record, and the wild card qualifier in each conference became the 4 seed.

However, the league continued to prohibit meetings between two teams from the same division in the Divisional Playoffs. Thus, there would be times when the pairing in that round would be the 1 seed vs. the 3 seed and 2 vs. 4.

1976 Orange Bowl

The 1976 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1976. The Oklahoma Sooners, champions of the Big Eight Conference, defeated the Michigan Wolverines, second-place finishers in the Big Ten Conference, 14–6. This was the first meeting between these two teams.

This was the sixth and final Orange Bowl played on artificial turf. Poly-Turf, similar to AstroTurf, was installed before the 1970 season and lasted six seasons. It was removed in early 1976, following Super Bowl X, and replaced with natural grass.

1977 Orange Bowl

The 1977 Orange Bowl featured a matchup between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The #12 Buffaloes came into the game from the Big Eight Conference with an 8–3 record. The Buckeyes came out of the Big Ten Conference with an 8–2–1 record, ranked 11th in the nation.This was the only Orange Bowl between 1976 and 1981 without Oklahoma, and the only one from 1976 through 1989 without either the Sooners or Nebraska (the 1979 game matched both). The night before, Nebraska won the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, and Oklahoma took the Fiesta Bowl a week earlier.

Underdog Colorado scored quickly, jumping out to an early 10–0 lead. However, Rod Gerald, who had not played since the seventh game of the season due to a bone chip in his lower back, came off the bench to lead the Bucks to its ninth win of the season.

Gerald rushed 14 times for 81 yards, including 17 on his first carry setting up a 36-yard scoring run by Jeff Logan. Ohio State was on the scoreboard with 3:11 to go in the first quarter.

The Buckeyes scored on their next two possessions with Tom Skladany;s 28-yard field goal with 9:33 left in the half and Pete Johnson's 3-yard run with 24 seconds remaining before halftime. That capped a 99-yard drive after a blocked Colorado field goal attempt, and gave Ohio State the lead for good. Gerald ended the scoring with a 4-yard run with a minute left in the fourth quarter, and was named the back of the game.

Ohio State with 271 yards rushing, outgained Colorado 330–271.

This was the first Orange Bowl played on natural grass in seven years, since January 1970. Poly-Turf, similar to AstroTurf, was installed for the 1970 season, replaced in 1972, and removed in early 1976, following Super Bowl X. Through 2017, this is the Buckeyes' only Orange Bowl victory.

Andy Russell (American football)

Charles Andrew "'Andy" Russell (born October 29, 1941) is a former American football linebacker who played his entire 12-year National Football League (NFL) career for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football for, and earned a degree in economics from, the University of Missouri.

As a freshman in high school, he moved from the New York area to St. Louis, attending Ladue High School. He graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1959. Having never played football in the East, he became a starter as a sophomore, playing end. In his junior and senior year, he played fullback and linebacker, earning all-state honors in his senior year. Heavily recruited by out-state universities, he selected Missouri and began a tradition of St. Louis area football players attending their home-state university under Coach Dan Devine.

After playing for the Steelers his rookie season in 1963 and just missing out on playing the Chicago Bears for the NFL Championship, Russell temporarily left the team for the Army to fulfill ROTC commitments from Missouri. He was stationed in Germany for two years, achieving the rank of second lieutenant, and serving as an aide to a three-star general. He then returned to the Steelers in 1966, where he would spend the next 11 seasons.

He was an early member of Pittsburgh's famed Steel Curtain defense, and was named the Steelers' MVP in 1971. He made seven Pro Bowl appearances—in 1969 and from 1971 through 1976—and earned two Super Bowl rings in Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X. On December 27, 1975 he set the NFL playoff record for a returned touchdown–93 yards in a Three Rivers Stadium victory over the Baltimore Colts. Some have claimed it as the longest football play from scrimmage in time duration. In 2011, the Professional Football Researchers Association named Russell to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2011 Coming from a business oriented family (his father was a senior executive with Monsanto Company), Russell has had great success off the field as a partner of Laurel Mountain in Pittsburgh, involved in municipal finance and investment banking.

Russell is the author of two books: A Steeler Odyssey and An Odd Steelers Journey.

Bobby Walden

Robert Earl Walden (March 9, 1938 – August 27, 2018) was an American professional football player who played as a punter. Walden played for 17 seasons, 14 of which were played in the National Football League from 1964 to 1977. Previously, Walden had played 3 years in the Canadian Football League from 1961-1963. Walden was a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X winning teams.He led the NFL in punting in 1964 with a 46.4 yard average and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1969 season.

Before his NFL career, Walden led the Canadian Football League in punting, rushing, and receiving as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos in 1961 and 1962.Walden played for the University of Georgia Bulldogs for three years from 1958-1960. In 1958, as a sophomore, he led the nation in average yards per punt. In 1960, he set an Orange Bowl record for yards per punt.

Brent Sexton (American football)

Brent Sexton (born July 23, 1953) is a former American football player who played for three seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He earned a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys. He played College Football at Elon College, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 5th round of the 1975 NFL draft with the 130th pick.

Dirty Dozen (American football)

The Dirty Dozen were the rookies that made the Dallas Cowboys team in 1975. These players were credited with helping the Cowboys advance to Super Bowl X and was a key foundation of the team's success during the latter half of the 1970s going into the early 1980s, as by 1979 many of these players would have replaced many of the Cowboys' aging starters of the 1960s. The rookies came up with the nickname inspired by the film of the same name, and spent half of the season without shaving.

Frank Lewis (American football)

Frank Douglas Lewis (born July 4, 1947) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills in the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons.

Lewis was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft. He won two Super Bowl rings with the team, in Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X.In August 1978 the Steelers traded Lewis to the Bills in exchange for tight end Paul Seymour. Seymour was returned by the Steelers when he failed to pass their physical. Lewis, however, remained with the Bills and the Steelers ended up receiving no compensation in the trade.Lewis was a Pro Bowl selection in 1981 as a member of the Bills. In his pro career, he caught 397 receptions for 6,724 yards and 40 touchdowns.In 2019, Lewis was elected to the 10th class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. As a star player at Grambling State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, he helped the university win the conference championship in 1968. He scored 42 total touchdowns, both receiving and rushing, during his four years there before becoming a first-round draft pick.

Glen Edwards (American football)

Glen Edwards (born July 31, 1947) played safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1971 to 1977, and for the San Diego Chargers from 1978 to 1981. Edwards is a Gibbs High School alumnus.

Edwards became a full-time starter with the Steelers as a free safety in 1973, and in 1974 won the award as Most Valuable Steeler. Edwards won two championship rings (Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X) and made two Pro Bowl appearances after the 1975 and 1976 seasons. Edwards is also known for two key plays in his Super Bowl appearances. In Super Bowl IX, he laid a hit on Minnesota Vikings receiver John Gilliam just as Gilliam caught a pass near the goal line. The ball popped out of Gilliam's hands and into the arms of Steelers cornerback Mel Blount for an interception, killing the Vikings' drive. In Super Bowl X, he sealed a victory for Pittsburgh by intercepting a pass from Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach in the end zone as time expired in the game.

Edwards was a member of Pittsburgh's famed Steel Curtain defense, and he also returned punts and kickoffs for the Steelers. He was traded to the Chargers for a 1979 6th round pick in August 1978. With the Chargers, he recorded an interception in their famous 1982 AFC playoff victory known as The Epic in Miami.

Edwards finished his 11 NFL seasons with 39 interceptions, which he returned for 961 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also recovered 13 fumbles, returned 104 punts for 959 yards, and gained 257 yards on 13 kickoff returns.

He played college football at Florida A&M University.

List of Pittsburgh Steelers seasons

The Pittsburgh Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC; seven franchises in the National Football Conference (NFC) have longer tenures in the NFL. The team struggled to be competitive in its early history, posting winning records in just 8 of its first 39 seasons. Since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, however, it has appeared in eight Super Bowls and one of only two teams, along with the New England Patriots have won the Super Bowl six times. The six championships place the Steelers fourth in the league in terms of total championships (including those prior to the first Super Bowl), trailing only the Green Bay Packers (13 championships), the Chicago Bears (9) and the New York Giants (8). The club's 15 AFC Championship Game appearances are second all-time, behind the Patriots (16). In addition, they have hosted the second-most conference championship games (11) than any franchise in either conference, and are tied for second with the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos with eight Super Bowl appearances; the Patriots currently hold the record of eleven appearances, as of 2019.

From 1974 to 1979 the franchise became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowl titles in six seasons, a feat which is yet to be matched. The 2005 team was the first sixth-seeded team to advance to a conference championship game since the playoff field was expanded to 12 teams in 1990; the same team also became the first sixth-seed to win the Super Bowl. The Steelers are 6–2 in Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII, Super Bowl XIV, Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLIII and losing Super Bowl XXX and Super Bowl XLV.

As of the start of the 2018 season, the Steelers franchise are second all-time in playoff appearances, with 31, which is the most among active AFC franchises, as well as the most since the official start of the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. The Giants, Cowboys, and Packers are all tied for first all-time in playoff appearances, with 32 each.

Notes:

The Finish, Wins, Losses, Ties and Pct columns include only regular season results. Postseason results are shown only within the "Playoffs" column. Regular and postseason records are combined only at the bottom of the table.

T Tied for this position with at least one other team

1 For the purposes of calculating winning percentage ties count as ½ win and ½ loss

2 The Playoff Bowl (a.k.a. Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) is regarded as an unofficial post-season exhibition for third place

3 Ranked by conference rather than division (strike shortened season).

List of Super Bowl halftime shows

Halftime shows are a tradition during American football games at all levels of competition. Entertainment during the Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), represents a fundamental link to pop culture, which helps broaden the television audience and nationwide interest. As the Super Bowl itself is typically the most-watched event on television in the United States annually, the halftime show has been equally-viewed in recent years: the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX featuring Katy Perry was viewed by 118.5 million, as part of an overall telecast that peaked at 120.3 million at its conclusion—the most-watched television broadcast in U.S. history. The NFL announced that the Super Bowl LI halftime show, with Lady Gaga was the "most-watched musical event of all-time," citing a figure of 150 million viewers based on the television audience, as well as unique viewership of video postings of the halftime show on the league's platforms, and social media interactions (a metric that was never calculated prior to 2017). The show was seen by 117.5 million television viewers, making it the second-highest-rated halftime show on network broadcast.Prior to the early 1990s, the halftime show was based around a theme, and featured university marching bands (the Grambling State University Marching Band has performed at the most Super Bowl halftime shows, featuring in six shows including at least one per decade from the 1960s to the 1990s), drill teams, and other performance ensembles such as Up with People. Beginning in 1991, the halftime show began to feature pop music acts such as New Kids on the Block and Gloria Estefan. In an effort to boost the prominence of the halftime show to increase viewer interest, Super Bowl XXVII featured a headlining performance by Michael Jackson. After Super Bowl XXXVIII, whose halftime show featured an incident where Justin Timberlake exposed one of Janet Jackson's breasts, the halftime show began to feature classic rock acts until the return of headlining pop musicians in 2011.

Percy Howard

Percy Lenard Howard (born January 21, 1952 in Savannah, Georgia) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He was an unlikely star for the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. He played college basketball at Austin Peay University.

Pre-game show

A pre-game, pregame, or pre-match show is a television or radio presentation that occurs immediately before the live broadcast of a major sporting event.

Contents may include:

replayed highlights of each team's previous games or series.

analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each team by sports commentators.

interviews with fans and coaches from each team.

shots of crowds filing into the arena or stadium.The networks that broadcast the NFL were the first networks to create and air pre-game shows. CBS was the first to broadcast a sports pre-game show in 1964, when the network launched a 15-minute regional sports program that interviewed players and coaches and featured news and features about the league. The show aired immediately before games on CBS. The show originated in studio and live from the fields, and featured broadcaster Jack Buck. In 1967, the show grew to 30 minutes in length and in 1976, aired a new 90-minute “Super Bowl Special” before Super Bowl X. The show moved to two hours long in 1984 and featured 11 broadcasters, 13 producers and four directors.FOX created its own pre-game show when it won the rights to broadcast NFC games in 1994. The network hired James Brown to host the show and brought on analysts such as Terry Bradshaw to lead the coverage. In 2006, Brown left the network to return to CBS and host their pre-game show, NFL Today.

NBC launched its own version of a pre-game show – Grandstand – in 1975, and not only featured NFL programming, but other sporting events around the nation. The show led up to the NFL's 1 p.m. games but covered college football, golf, tennis and many other sports and topics. The network hired Jack Buck to host the show and the show didn’t just preview that day’s NFL games but did investigative pieces on a variety of topics.Starting from Wrestlemania 28 WWE have aired a monthly live half an hour pre-show on YouTube before each of their PPVs featuring a match, an interview and the hype for the subsequent PPV.

Pre-game shows generally run for 30 minutes to one hour, though for some big events such as the Super Bowl, a pre-game show has run up to six hours in length. While most pre-game shows are done in a studio (sometimes with live shots to someone at the event itself), some shows travel to certain locations to broadcast. A notable example is ESPN’s College GameDay pre-game show, which broadcasts live from various college campuses for football and basketball games.

Stan Javie

Stanley "Stan" Javie (December 7, 1919 – December 30, 2002) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 30 years until the conclusion of the 1980 NFL season. Working as a back judge, Javie was assigned four Super Bowls; Super Bowl II, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl X, and Super Bowl XIV; one of the first officials to reach such an achievement. Javie was also notable for being one of the few officials to wear eyeglasses/sunglasses on the playing field during a game. Javie wore the number 29 for the majority of his career. For the 1979 and 1980 NFL seasons, Javie wore the number 6.

He graduated from St. John's High School, Philadelphia and later coached three sports at that school for several years. In addition, Javie was a basketball coach at Malvern Preparatory School, while serving as a football and basketball official. Stan Javie was inducted the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame on June 23, 2011, in Troy, Michigan.

Super Bowl XIII

Super Bowl XIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1978 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 35–31. The game was played on January 21, 1979, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, the fifth and last time that the Super Bowl was played in that stadium.

This was the first Super Bowl that featured a rematch of a previous one (the Steelers had previously beaten the Cowboys, 21–17, in Super Bowl X), and both teams were attempting to be the first club to ever win a third Super Bowl. Dallas was also the defending Super Bowl XII champion, and finished the 1978 regular season with a 12–4 record, and posted playoff victories over the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams. Pittsburgh entered the game after posting a 14–2 regular season record and playoff wins over the Denver Broncos and the Houston Oilers.

Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who was named Super Bowl MVP, completed 17 out of 30 passes for Super Bowl records of 318 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes. Bradshaw eclipsed Bart Starr's Super Bowl record for passing yards in the first half with 253 yards in the air as the Steelers led 21–14 at intermission. His 75-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter also tied Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl V for the longest pass in a Super Bowl. The Cowboys were able to stay close, only trailing 21–17 at the end of the third quarter, but Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in a span of 19 seconds in the fourth period. Dallas also could not overcome turnovers, drops, and a controversial penalty during the second half. The Cowboys were eventually able to score two touchdowns in the final minutes of the game, but still ended up being the first defending champion to lose in the Super Bowl and the first losing Super Bowl team to score 30 points or more.

William O'Brien (American football)

William Edward O'Brien (March 11, 1923 – December 1, 2000) was an American football coach and official. He was the seventh head football coach at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, serving for three seasons, from 1952 to 1954, and compiling a record of 6–20. O'Brien was an official in the National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons, from 1967 through 1983, officiating in Super Bowl X in 1976. He wore number 83 for the major part of his NFL career. He was also a professor at Southern Illinois University.O'Brien died in 2000 after battling Alzheimer's disease for 13 years.

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP DAL PIT
1 10:24 1 29 :08 DAL Drew Pearson 29-yard touchdown reception from Roger Staubach, Toni Fritsch kick good 7 0
1 5:57 8 67 4:27 PIT Randy Grossman 7-yard touchdown reception from Terry Bradshaw, Roy Gerela kick good 7 7
2 14:45 11 46 6:12 DAL 36-yard field goal by Fritsch 10 7
4 11:28 PIT Mitch Hoopes punt blocked through the end zone by Reggie Harrison for a safety 10 9
4 8:41 6 25 2:47 PIT 36-yard field goal by Gerela 10 12
4 6:37 3 6 1:45 PIT 18-yard field goal by Gerela 10 15
4 3:02 3 70 1:23 PIT Lynn Swann 64-yard touchdown reception from Bradshaw, Gerela kick no good (hit left upright) 10 21
4 1:48 5 80 1:14 DAL Percy Howard 34-yard touchdown reception from Staubach, Fritsch kick good 17 21
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 17 21
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