Super Bowl XXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1992 season. The Cowboys defeated the Bills by the score of 52–17, winning their third Super Bowl in team history, and their first one in 15 years. This game is tied with Super Bowl XXXVII as the third-highest scoring Super Bowl ever with 69 combined points. The Bills became the first team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls, and just the second team to play in three straight (the Miami Dolphins played in Super Bowls VI–VIII, winning VII and VIII). The game was played on January 31, 1993 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the seventh Super Bowl held in the Greater Los Angeles Area. To date, this game represents the mid-point game in Super Bowl history as there are 26 Super Bowls both preceding and following it.
The Bills advanced to their third consecutive Super Bowl after posting an 11–5 regular season record, but entered the playoffs as a wild card after losing tiebreakers. The Cowboys were making their sixth Super Bowl appearance after posting a 13–3 regular season record. It was the first time that the two franchises had played each other since 1984.
The Cowboys scored 35 points off of a Super Bowl-record nine Buffalo turnovers, including three first half touchdowns. Bills backup quarterback Frank Reich, who replaced injured starter Jim Kelly in the second quarter, threw a 40-yard touchdown on the final play of the third quarter to cut the lead to 31–17. Dallas then scored three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 140.6, while also rushing for 28 yards.
In response to the Fox Network's Super Bowl counterprogramming of a special episode of In Living Color during the previous year, the NFL booked Michael Jackson to perform during the entire Super Bowl XXVII halftime show. Jackson's performance started the league's trend of signing top acts to appear during the Super Bowl to attract more viewers and interest.
|Super Bowl XXVII|
|Date||January 31, 1993|
|Stadium||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California|
|MVP||Troy Aikman, quarterback|
|Favorite||Cowboys by 6.5|
|Current/Future Hall of Famers|
|Bills: Ralph Wilson (owner), Bill Polian (general manager), Marv Levy (coach), Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas|
Cowboys: Jerry Jones (owner), Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith
|National anthem||Garth Brooks American Sign Language (ASL) translation by Marlee Matlin|
|Coin toss||O. J. Simpson|
|Halftime show||Michael Jackson|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy|
|Nielsen ratings||45.1 |
(est. 90.99 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||$850,000|
Super Bowl XXVII was originally scheduled to be played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, the home of the Phoenix Cardinals. In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday honoring African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In 1986, the first year that the holiday was observed, Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, a Democrat, had issued an executive order creating the holiday after the state legislature voted against it. Babbitt's successor, Republican Evan Mecham, rescinded the order on the grounds that Babbitt did not have the authority to issue such an order and Arizona ceased to observe MLK Day for the time being. Mecham also made his displeasure for the holiday widely known, saying that King did not deserve a holiday and that black supporters of the law should have been more concerned about getting jobs. In response, Dr. King's widow Coretta Scott King and musician Stevie Wonder spearheaded a complete entertainment and convention boycott of Arizona, condemning Mecham for the rescinding of the law and accusing him of racism. Blacks across the nation supported the boycott. Mecham was impeached and removed from office in 1988 on charges of obstruction of justice and financial misconduct. In 1989, the state legislature approved the holiday; however, Arizona's State Constitution required new holidays to be approved via initiatives to be approved by popular vote.
On March 13, 1990, the NFL had its annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, and one of the items on its agenda was to determine a host city for Super Bowl XXVII. Among the cities being considered was Tempe, and Arizona civil rights activist Art Mobley was sent to the meeting to make sure that the Arizona ballot initiative was a talking point at the discussion. The vote was conducted and Tempe was awarded the game, but committee chairman and Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman warned that if the MLK Day ballot initiative went against adoption of the holiday, the NFL would not hesitate to pull the game from Arizona and move it somewhere else. The fact that the majority of NFL players were African-American was a big factor into this threat, as many of them felt uncomfortable of having the Super Bowl in a state that didn't recognize a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
Polls showed that over 60% of the electorate approved of an MLK holiday in Arizona; however, the issue was confused since there were two competing initiatives and it was not clear that voters could vote "yes" for both. One initiative called for replacing President's Day with MLK Day while the other called for a new holiday on MLK's birthday. Both initiatives required a yes/no vote, and voters were confused if they could vote yes on both. Each initiative was defeated; however, a professor of statistics at Arizona State University demonstrated that all the yes/yes, yes/no, and no/yes votes totaled just over 60% of ballots cast, which corresponded with every poll taken prior to and after the vote. The NFL responded by making good on its threat to remove the Super Bowl from Tempe and held another vote in Kohala, Hawaii on March 19, 1991, with Pasadena chosen as the site for the first time since Super Bowl XXI was played there six years earlier. Arizona voters approved the MLK Day holiday in the 1992 elections when voters were simply asked to vote Yes or No on whether or not Arizona should recognize an MLK Day. The NFL responded by awarding Tempe Super Bowl XXX at their 1993 meeting.
The Bills entered Super Bowl XXVII trying to avoid becoming the first team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls. Once again, the team was loaded with Pro Bowl players, boasting 12 Pro Bowl selections. During the regular season, Buffalo's no-huddle offense ranked as the number two offense in the league (6,114 yards) and ranked as the number one rushing offense (2,436 yards). Running back Thurman Thomas rushed for a career-high 1,487 yards and 9 touchdowns during the regular season, while also catching 58 passes for 626 yards and another 3 touchdowns. Running back Kenneth Davis rushed for 613 yards, caught 15 passes for 80 yards, and added another 251 yards returning kickoffs. Quarterback Jim Kelly had 269 out of 462 completions for 3,457 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. Wide receiver Andre Reed led the team with 65 receptions for 913 yards and 3 touchdowns, receiver James Lofton contributed 51 receptions for 786 yards and 6 touchdowns, and wide receiver Don Beebe caught 33 passes for 554 and 2 touchdowns. Also, tight end Pete Metzelaars recorded 30 receptions for 298 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Bills also had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, led by Pro Bowlers Will Wolford, Jim Ritcher, and Howard Ballard, along with center Kent Hull.
On defense, the line was anchored by end Bruce Smith (14 sacks) and nose tackle Jeff Wright (6 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), who were both fully recovered after missing almost all of the previous season due to injuries. The Bills were once again led by their trio of linebackers Darryl Talley (77 tackles, 4 sacks), Shane Conlan (66 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception), and Pro Bowler Cornelius Bennett (52 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries). The secondary was aided by the emergence of second-year safety Henry Jones, who tied for the NFL lead with 8 interceptions, returning them for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. Safety Mark Kelso recorded 7 interceptions, while Pro Bowl cornerback Nate Odomes had 5. Defensive back Cliff Hicks led the Bills special teams unit, returning 29 punts for 289 yards (9th in the NFL).
However, the Bills' quest for a third consecutive Super Bowl suffered a major setback when they lost the final game of the season to the Houston Oilers. The loss caused the Bills to finish with an 11–5 record, losing out on the AFC East title to the Miami Dolphins based on tie-breaking rules, making them a wild card team for the playoffs. Thus, even if they won their first playoff game, they would have to win two on the road to make the Super Bowl. To make matters worse, Kelly also suffered strained knee ligaments during the loss to the Oilers and had to miss the first two playoff games. Furthermore, their first opponent in the playoffs ended up being the Oilers. A headline on a Buffalo newspaper stated the Bills' situation: "Bills Begin The Longest Road Today."
Super Bowl XXVII saw the resurrection of the Dallas Cowboys. From 1966 to 1985, the team made the playoffs 18 out of 20 seasons under coach Tom Landry, including five Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl wins. But in the late 1980s, the team suffered several losing seasons, including a 3–13 regular season record in 1988. Then Jerry Jones bought the team on February 25, 1989, and in a controversial move, promptly fired Landry, the only coach Dallas had ever had in 29 years as an NFL franchise. Jones replaced Landry with University of Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson.
With Johnson as head coach and Jones as his own general manager, people in the league thought they could take advantage of them. Both lacked NFL experience, and instead of hiring coaching assistants with experience in the league, they hired ones that worked with Johnson in Miami. Compounding this issue was the departure of the two men that brought previous success to Dallas: founding president Tex Schramm and famed personnel man Gil Brandt.
The Cowboys' 3–13 record in 1988 did have a silver lining; it was the worst in the league and thus gave the Cowboys the first pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. Jones and Johnson picked UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman, who would eventually go on to be selected to the Pro Bowl six times in his NFL career. Meanwhile, Jones and Johnson immediately started to shuffle the team's depth chart to find players talented enough to build a winning team. Linebacker Ken Norton Jr., one of the few holdovers from Landry's last losing seasons, would later claim that he would often go into a player huddle and meet new teammates for the first time.
Then, Jones and Johnson made a move midway through the 1989 season that shocked many in the league: they traded their only Pro Bowl player, running back Herschel Walker, to the Minnesota Vikings for five veteran players and eight draft choices. Although the Cowboys finished the 1989 season with a 1–15 record, their worst record since the team's inception, the foundations for the Cowboys' return to glory had been set. Although Dallas had the league's worst record, they traded away the first pick in the 1990 draft so they could get backup quarterback Steve Walsh in the supplemental draft. Then with the 17th pick, they drafted running back Emmitt Smith, and the trifecta of Aikman, Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin (who was drafted by Landry in 1988) was now set. Dallas also signed veteran tight end Jay Novacek away from Phoenix, who went on to make the Pro Bowl in five of his six years with the Cowboys.
Johnson also started to rebuild the team by drafting players who were fast, quick, and athletic. The defense was designed to become aggressive, while the offense was made to be a conservative one that did not make mistakes. In 1990, the Cowboys finished 7–9, but Smith won the NFL Rookie of the Year Award and Johnson was selected as NFL Coach of the Year. In 1991, the Cowboys finished with an 11–5 record and made the playoffs for the first time in six years.
In 1992, the Cowboys finished with a 13–3 regular season record, the second-best in the league. Although not a single one of their defensive players made the Pro Bowl, Dallas was ranked as the number one defense in the league (allowing only 4,278 yards), fourth in fewest points allowed (243), and ranked as the number one defense against the run (allowing only 1,244 yards), bringing back many fans' memories of the Doomsday Defenses of old. The defensive line was anchored by Jim Jeffcoat (10.5 sacks) and Tony Tolbert (8.5 sacks), along with future Hall of Fame pass rusher Charles Haley (six sacks), who had led the NFC in sacks in 1990 and had been acquired by Dallas in a trade with San Francisco. While Norton and Defensive Rookie of the Year Robert Jones anchored the linebacking corps, the team's solid secondary was led by defensive backs Kenneth Gant and James Washington, who both recorded 3 interceptions each, and rookie cornerback Kevin Smith. The last member of the secondary was defensive back Issiac Holt who had been acquired as part of the trade with the Vikings for Walker.
Dallas' offense finished second in the league in scoring with 409 points. Aikman had the best season of his career, completing 302 out of 473 passes (ranking second and fourth in the league) for 3,445 yards (fourth in the league) and 23 touchdowns (third in the league) while throwing only 14 interceptions, producing a quarterback rating of 89.6 (third best in the league). Smith led the NFL in rushing for the second year in a row with 1,713 yards and scoring 18 rushing touchdowns, while also catching 59 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Daryl Johnston was also an asset in the backfield, providing Smith with effective blocking and hauling in 32 receptions. Irvin, the team's emotional lightning rod, caught 78 passes for 1,396 yards and 7 touchdowns. Other contributors on the offense included wide receiver Alvin Harper (35 receptions for 562 yards and 4 touchdowns) and Novacek (68 receptions for 630 yards and 6 touchdowns). Dallas' dominant offensive line, later dubbed "The Great Wall of Dallas", was led by Pro Bowlers Nate Newton and Mark Stepnoski, along with 10-year veteran Mark Tuinei, free agent acquisition John Gesek and the youngster Erik Williams.
With all this talent, the Cowboys would be considered by many to be one of the deepest and most talented teams to ever take to the gridiron.
The Cowboys easily defeated their first playoff opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, 34–10. Dallas' defense held the Eagles to only 178 offensive yards and sacked quarterback Randall Cunningham five times. Meanwhile, the Cowboys recorded 160 rushing yards and 185 passing yards. Aikman completed 15 of 25 passes and 2 touchdowns, while Smith ran for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Dallas then defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30–20 in the NFC Championship Game. This was the first time that the two teams met in the NFC Championship since the 49ers narrowly beat the Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game on a late touchdown pass known as "The Catch". The 49ers came into the game with the league's best regular season record at 14–2 and led the league in scoring with 431 points. But in this game, the Cowboys built a 24–13 lead going into the fourth quarter, as Aikman capped a nine-minute drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Smith. However, 49ers quarterback Steve Young's 5-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice cut the lead to 24–20 with 4:22 left in the game. But instead of trying to run out the clock with a running play, Aikman threw a 70-yard completion to Harper. Three plays later, Aikman threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kelvin Martin to clinch the victory (the extra point was blocked). Aikman finished with 332 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, with no interceptions.
The Bills first defeated the Houston Oilers 41–38 in overtime, overcoming a 32-point deficit in what became known as "The Comeback". Playing without Kelly or Bennett in the lineup, nothing seemed to go right for the Bills in the first half. The Bills' offense could only score a single field goal, while their defense played even worse, as Oilers quarterback Warren Moon passed for 222 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Houston jumped to a 28–3 halftime lead. The disaster only seemed to get worse in the second half, as Thomas was knocked out of the game with a hip injury, while backup quarterback Frank Reich's first pass of the second half was intercepted by Bubba McDowell and returned 58 yards for a touchdown, making the score 35–3. However, the Bills suddenly stormed back to score five unanswered touchdowns to overcome the seemingly insurmountable deficit. First, Kenneth Davis scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Then Buffalo recovered an onside kick and immediately scored again on Reich's 36-yard touchdown pass to Don Beebe. Reich then threw touchdowns of 26 and 18 yards to Andre Reed. In the fourth quarter, Reich hit Reed with a 17-yard score to give the Bills a 38–35 lead. The Oilers kicked a field goal late in the game to send it into overtime, but Nate Odomes' interception in the extra period set up kicker Steve Christie's game-winning field goal to give the Bills the biggest comeback win in NFL history.
Buffalo then recorded a 24–3 win on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the AFC Central champions with the AFC's best regular season record at 11–5. Although Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas had not recovered enough to play in this game, Reich threw for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions, while Davis rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the defense redeemed themselves after giving up 38 points against the Oilers by holding the Steelers to only a field goal.
The Bills then defeated the Miami Dolphins 29–10 in the AFC Championship Game. The Dolphins were coming off a 31–0 blowout playoff win over the San Diego Chargers. But Buffalo's defense dominated the Dolphins' offense, intercepting quarterback Dan Marino twice, recovering three fumbles, and limiting Miami to just 33 rushing yards. Although Buffalo's offense had trouble scoring touchdowns because Kelly and Thomas were rusty coming back from their injuries, Christie scored five field goals to make up for the difference. Kelly did connect with Thomas on a screen pass for a 17-yard touchdown, and Davis ran it in from two yards out for another score. As a result, the Bills became the fourth wild-card team to advance to the Super Bowl.
This marked the first time since the AFL–NFL merger that the two Super Bowl teams each won their conference championship on the road, with Dallas winning in San Francisco and Buffalo in Miami. The only time it happened prior to 1992 was in 1966 (Super Bowl I), when Kansas City won at Buffalo and Green Bay won at Dallas. This would happen again in 1997, with Green Bay winning in San Francisco and Denver in Pittsburgh; in 2012, with San Francisco winning in Atlanta and Baltimore in New England; and in 2018, with the Los Angeles Rams winning in New Orleans and New England in Kansas City.
Even though the Bills had more experienced players than the Cowboys, Dallas was favored to win Super Bowl XXVII based on the recent dominance of NFC teams in the Super Bowl. Some writers and fans were starting to compare Buffalo to the Super Bowl losers Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos.
Still, many thought that the inexperienced Cowboys might panic under the pressure of playing in their first Super Bowl, and thus make a number of mistakes. Also, some thought Buffalo's no-huddle offense could eventually wear down and dominate Dallas' young defense.
Finally, Jimmy Johnson was looking to become the first head coach to win a college football national championship (University of Miami in 1987) and a Super Bowl. As of today, Johnson, Cowboys' successor Barry Switzer, and current Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll remain the only coaches ever to achieve this goal.
This became last of five Super Bowl games played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Two other Super Bowl games were played nearby at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. As previously mentioned, this would be the seventh and final (to date) Super Bowl in the Los Angeles area, tying New Orleans at the time for the city to host the most Super Bowls.
Bob Costas hosted all the events with analyst Mike Ditka, who joined NBC almost immediately after he was fired as head coach of the Chicago Bears earlier in January. Other contributors included former Boston Globe sportswriter Will McDonough (assigned to Buffalo's locker room); former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders tight end Todd Christensen; The Tonight Show host Jay Leno; Cris Collinsworth (participating in an NFL Experience piece with Christensen as well as reporting from the Dallas locker room); former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Magic Johnson (then working as a commentator for the NBA on NBC; Johnson was assigned to an interview with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin); Paul Maguire; Gayle Gardner; Jim Lampley (who would replace Costas as host of NFL Live for the following season); and Dateline NBC correspondent Deborah Roberts (producing a special report on the Michael Jackson halftime show). Also included was an interview with former New York Jets defensive end Dennis Byrd and his wife Angela in the first one-on-one interview since Byrd suffered a paralyzing neck injury (which he eventually recovered from) suffered in a collision with teammate Scott Mersereau during their game against Kansas City.
After the game, Homicide: Life on the Street premiered on NBC. This would be the third successful series to premiere after a Super Bowl (The A-Team, which premiered after Super Bowl XVII, and The Wonder Years, which premiered after Super Bowl XXII, were the other two successful series).
Super Bowl XXVII was broadcast to 125 countries around the world. In addition to the United States, this Super Bowl was also broadcast in Canada on CTV, in Germany on Tele 5, in Mexico on Canal 5, in Australia on the ABC, in the Philippines on GMA Network and World TV 21 and the United Kingdom on Channel 4.
The NFL's Greatest Games episode A Man and His Moment features Jimmy Johnson reading excerpts from his book Turning the Thing Around: My Life in Football, interspersed with game footage and audio from Super Bowl XXVII. It was based on the Super Bowl XXVII highlight film, which had the same title as this episode.
Country music singer Garth Brooks sang the national anthem. He was accompanied by actress Marlee Matlin, who signed the anthem for the deaf fans. Brooks very nearly did not perform the anthem—he left the stadium less than an hour before he was slated to sing, because of a dispute with NBC, regarding a video he asked them to air for the song "We Shall Be Free". Television producers spotted rocker Jon Bon Jovi in the crowd and were prepared to have him perform the anthem, until Brooks was finally coaxed back into the stadium.
After Super Bowl XXVI, where a special episode of In Living Color, broadcast by future NFL broadcaster Fox during the game's halftime period, successfully attracted viewers away from the Super Bowl telecast on CBS (with viewership falling by 22% over halftime), the NFL began the process of heightening the profile of the halftime show in an effort to attract mainstream viewers. Radio City Productions, who would produce the halftime show, attempted to court Michael Jackson to serve as the headline act by meeting with him and his manager Sandy Gallin. After three failed negotiations, one having asked the NFL for a fee of $1 million, Jackson's management agreed to allow him to perform at Super Bowl XXVII.
Although the league does not pay appearance fees for Super Bowl halftime performers, the NFL and Frito-Lay agreed to donate $100,000 to the Heal the World Foundation—a charity that was founded by Jackson, as well as commercial time to air an appeal for the foundation's Heal L.A. campaign, which aimed to provide health care, drug education, and mentorship for Los Angeles youth, particularly children affected by the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Jackson's set included a medley consisting of "Jam" (with the beginning of "Why You Wanna Trip On Me"), "Billie Jean" and "Black or White". The finale featured an audience card stunt, a video montage showing Jackson participating in various humanitarian efforts around the world, and a choir of 3,500 local Los Angeles area children singing "We Are the World", later joining Jackson as he sang his single "Heal the World".
The halftime show was a major success, marking the first time in Super Bowl history that ratings increased between halves during the game, Nine days later, Jackson would gain his highest television interview with Oprah Winfrey, that gain the highest television interview in history.
Super Bowl XXVII started out well for Buffalo. The Cowboys were forced to a three-and-out on their opening possession. Bills special teams expert Steve Tasker then blocked the ensuing punt, knocking the ball out of bounds at the Cowboys 16-yard line. Four plays later, Thurman Thomas scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Bills the 7–0 early lead.
Dallas then reached their own 40-yard line on their next drive, but an illegal formation penalty nullified running back Emmitt Smith's 12-yard run. Troy Aikman then threw two consecutive incompletions, and the Cowboys were forced to punt again. The Bills subsequently advanced to midfield with the aid of a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett and a 21-yard reception by wide receiver Andre Reed.
Then the wave of turnovers began. On the next play, a blitz by reserve defensive back Kenneth Gant forced a pass by Jim Kelly that Dallas safety James Washington intercepted and returned 13 yards to the Bills 47-yard line. Six plays later, the Cowboys tied the game on Aikman's 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jay Novacek.
The Bills had to start at their own 10 following the ensuing kickoff due to an illegal block. On the first play of the drive, Dallas defensive end Charles Haley sacked Kelly and forced a fumble. Cowboys defensive tackle Jimmie Jones picked the ball out of the air at the 2-yard line and dove into the end zone for a touchdown to give his team a 14–7 lead. Dallas had scored two touchdowns in a span of 15 seconds, the shortest time between touchdowns in Super Bowl history.
Early in the second quarter, Kelly's 40-yard completion to Reed gave the Bills a first down at the Cowboys 4-yard line. But the Bills failed to score on three rushing attempts. On fourth down, Kelly's pass was intercepted in the end zone by safety Thomas Everett.
On Buffalo's next drive, linebacker Ken Norton Jr. hit Kelly, re-injuring the quarterback's knee that he sprained earlier in the season, and playoff star Frank Reich took Kelly's place. Reich started out well, completing his first two passes, including a 38-yard completion to Reed to advance the ball to the Dallas 22-yard line, while running back Kenneth Davis was also a major contributor on the drive, rushing five times for 28 yards. However, Thomas was stopped for no gain on third down and 1 at the 4-yard line. Rather than attempt another fourth-down play near the goal line, the Bills settled for Steve Christie's 21-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 14–10 with 3:24 left in the half.
The Cowboys then stormed down the field on their next possession, scoring in just five plays. After a pair of completions by Aikman for 17 yards, Smith's 38-yard run gave the Cowboys a first down inside the Bills 20-yard line as the half came to the 2-minute warning. Aikman then finished the drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Irvin, increasing his team's lead to 21–10. On the first play of the Bills' ensuing drive, Thomas caught a swing pass, but fumbled the ball while being tackled by Lett, and Jones recovered it at the Bills 18-yard line. Aikman then threw his second touchdown pass to Irvin to give the Cowboys a 28–10 lead (Irvin's two touchdown receptions made him the 7th player to do so in a Super Bowl. Irvin also became the second player, after Washington Redskins wide receiver Ricky Sanders in Super Bowl XXII, to catch two touchdowns in a single quarter; Furthermore, Irvin's two catches occurred in a span of 18 seconds, the fastest pair of touchdowns ever scored by a single player in Super Bowl history).
With a little over a minute left in the first half, Buffalo barely avoided another turnover when running back Kenneth Davis recovered a fumbled handoff from Reich. But two plays later, defensive back Larry Brown intercepted Reich's pass at the Dallas 28-yard line to preserve the Cowboys' 18-point lead at halftime.
Dallas then took the opening drive of the second half and advanced 77 yards in 11 plays, featuring a 25-yard reception by Irvin. However, on third down and 2, Aikman's pass to Novacek in the end zone was overthrown, forcing Dallas to settle for Lin Elliott's 20-yard field goal. This increased their lead to 31–10. Both teams were unable to score on each of their next possessions, but on the last play of the quarter, Reich threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to receiver Don Beebe. So despite five first-half turnovers, Buffalo was only trailing Dallas 31–17 going into the 4th quarter, and after their comeback from the 32-point deficit to the Houston Oilers, a 14-point comeback seemed perfectly within their capabilities.
Early in the 4th quarter, Aikman threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Harper. Then on the second play of the Bills' next possession, Everett intercepted a pass from Reich and returned it 22 yards to Buffalo's 8-yard line, setting up another touchdown three plays later on Smith's 10-yard run. After Buffalo received the ensuing kickoff, Reich fumbled a high snap while in a shotgun formation. Norton recovered the loose ball and returned it 9 yards for a touchdown, increasing the Cowboys' lead to 52–17. The 21 points by the Cowboys is the most ever for a team in the 4th quarter. The Cowboys also became just the second team to score two non-offensive touchdowns in a Super Bowl. The Raiders also did so in Super Bowl XVIII with a blocked punt return and an interception return.
One of the more memorable moments of the game came after the Cowboys had built a 35-point lead. Buffalo QB Frank Reich lost a fumble while being sacked by Cowboys lineman Jim Jeffcoat. Dallas tackle Leon Lett picked up the ball with no one in front of him, appeared ready to score on a 64-yard touchdown return. As Lett started to showboat just before crossing the goal line, a hustling Buffalo wide receiver Don Beebe ran Lett down from behind and stripped Lett of the ball just before he crossed the goal line, as the ball rolled out of the end zone for a touchback. After the game, in an otherwise dejected Buffalo locker room, Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson went straight to Beebe and thanked him for his hustle and perseverance.
Smith was the top rusher of the game, rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown, while also catching 6 passes for 27 yards. Irvin was the Cowboys' leading receiver with 6 receptions for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Novacek added 7 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Lett recorded a sack, a fumble recovery, and 2 forced fumbles.
Reich and Kelly combined for 22 out of 38 completions for 276 yards and a touchdown, but also threw 4 interceptions. Thomas, who gained 2,113 combined rushing and receiving yards during the season, was held to just 29 combined rushing and receiving yards in the game. Reed was the Bills' top receiver with 8 receptions for 152 yards. Bills running back Kenneth Davis was their leading rusher with 86 yards. Davis also caught 3 passes for 16 yards and returned a kickoff for 21 yards, giving him 123 total yards.
Buffalo had seven possessions which ended in four plays or less because of turnovers and resulted in five Dallas touchdowns. Irvin and Bills receiver Andre Reed each had over 100 yards receiving, making it the first time players from different teams had at least 100 yards receiving in a Super Bowl; Irvin had 114 yards, while Reed had 152. Reed's total is the highest for a player on a losing team.
|Buffalo Bills||Dallas Cowboys|
|First downs rushing||7||9|
|First downs passing||11||11|
|First downs penalty||4||0|
|Third down efficiency||5/11||5/11|
|Fourth down efficiency||0/2||0/1|
|Net yards rushing||108||137|
|Yards per rush||3.7||4.7|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||22/38||22/30|
|Times sacked-total yards||4–22||1–2|
|Net yards passing||254||271|
|Total net yards||362||408|
|Punt returns-total yards||1–0||3–35|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||4–90||4–79|
|Interceptions-total return yards||0–0||4–35|
|Time of possession||28:48||31:12|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
|Player Records Set |
|Most receptions, career||21||Andre Reed|
|Most fumble return yards, game||64||Leon Lett (Dallas)|
|Longest fumble return||64 yards|
|Most fumbles, game||3||Frank Reich|
|Most fumbles recovered, game||2||Jimmie Jones (Dallas)|
|Most fumbles recovered, career||2|
|Most fumble returns for touchdowns, game||1|
|Most fumble returns for touchdowns, game||1||Ken Norton (Dallas)|
|Most (one point) extra points, game||7||Lin Elliott (Dallas)|
|Team Records Set |
|Most Super Bowl appearances||6||Cowboys|
|Most points, fourth quarter||21|
|Most fumble returns for touchdowns, game||2|
|Most consecutive Super Bowl losses||3||Bills|
|Most fumbles, game||8|
|Most fumbles lost, game||5|
|Most turnovers, game||9|
|Most consecutive Super Bowl appearances||3||Bills|
|Most first downs, penalty||4|
|Most points, first quarter||14||Cowboys|
|Most (one point) PATs||7|
|Most Interceptions by||4|
Turnovers are defined as the number of times losing the ball on interceptions and fumbles.
|Records Set, both team totals |
|Most points, first quarter||21||14||7|
|Most fumbles lost||7||2||5|
|Records tied, both team totals|
|Most (one point) PATs||9||(7–7)||(2–2)|
|James Lofton‡||WR||Alvin Harper|
|Will Wolford||LT||Mark Tuinei|
|Jim Ritcher||LG||Nate Newton|
|Kent Hull||C||Mark Stepnoski|
|Glenn Parker||RG||John Gesek|
|Howard Ballard||RT||Erik Williams|
|Pete Metzelaars||TE||Jay Novacek|
|Andre Reed‡||WR||Michael Irvin‡|
|Jim Kelly‡||QB||Troy Aikman‡|
|Thurman Thomas‡||RB||Emmitt Smith‡|
|Don Beebe||WR||FB||Daryl Johnston|
|Phil Hansen||DE||LE||Tony Tolbert|
|Jeff Wright||NT||LT||Russell Maryland|
|Bruce Smith‡||DE||RT||Tony Casillas|
|Marvcus Patton||LB||RE||Charles Haley‡|
|Shane Conlan||LB||Vinson Smith|
|Cornelius Bennett||LB||Robert Jones|
|Darryl Talley||LB||Ken Norton Jr.|
|James Williams||LCB||CB||Kevin Smith|
|Nate Odomes||RCB||CB||Larry Brown|
|Henry Jones||SS||Thomas Everett|
|Mark Kelso||FS||James Washington|
For the first (and to date only) time in Super Bowl history, officials changed shirts at halftime, going from short sleeves in the first half to long sleeves for the second.
Donnie Hampton died January 30, 1995 at age 47, one day after Super Bowl XXIX.
Buffalo Bills-From 32 points behind to win
The 1992 NFL season was the 73rd regular season of the National Football League.
Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Andrew, the New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins game that was scheduled for September 6 at Joe Robbie Stadium was rescheduled to October 18. Both teams originally had that weekend off. This marked the first time since the 1966 NFL season and the AFL seasons of 1966 and 1967 that there were byes in week 1; in those years, byes were necessary every week since there were an odd number of teams, which would happen again between 1999 and 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dolphins also had their 2017 season opener postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
The Atlanta Falcons played their first season in the new Georgia Dome, replacing Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, playing there until 2016.
The season ended with Super Bowl XXVII when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52–17 at the Rose Bowl. This would be the third of the Bills’ four consecutive Super Bowl losses.Alan Veingrad
Alan Stuart Veingrad (born July 24, 1963) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. Veingrad played for the Green Bay Packers for five seasons, and for the Dallas Cowboys (who won Super Bowl XXVII over the Buffalo Bills) two seasons, playing in a total of 86 games.Alvin Harper
Alvin Craig Harper (born July 6, 1967) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League. He played college football at Tennessee, and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft. Harper played in Dallas for four years as the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII, twice against the Buffalo Bills.Bill Bates
William Frederick "Bill" Bates (born June 6, 1961) is a former American football safety who played for fifteen seasons in the National Football League, all of which were spent with the Dallas Cowboys. A fan favorite, he was a Pro Bowl selection in 1984, played in Super Bowl XXVIII and Super Bowl XXX, and was on the Cowboys' roster for Super Bowl XXVII. He played college football at the University of Tennessee.Dale Hamer
Dale Hamer is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) who served from 1978 to 2001, with a break taken for health reasons during the 1995 season. During his 23 seasons in the NFL, Hamer was assigned to officiate in two Super Bowls, as a head linesman in Super Bowl XVII and in Super Bowl XXII. Additionally, he was an alternate referee for Super Bowl XXVII.
Hamer's career in the NFL started in 1978 as a head linesman. He was later promoted to referee in 1989 upon the retirement of long-time referee Fred Silva. In 1995, Hamer was forced to take a leave from officiating when doctors discovered that he had a heart murmur. Further tests revealed that Hamer had stenosis and calcification of his aortic heart valve, and it would need to be replaced. In July 1995, Dale received a pericardial tissue heart valve. As a result, he missed the entire 1995 NFL season, but returned at the start of the 1996 NFL season after Gordon McCarter announced his retirement. He returned to the head linesman position in 1998 and worked on the crews of Larry Nemmers and Bernie Kukar. After retiring as an on-field official following the 2001 NFL season, Hamer assumed new duties as an instant replay official for the NFL, a position he continues to serve in today.
Hamer, who wore uniform number 104, is a past president of the National Football League Referees Association.
Hamer is a 1960 graduate of California State College in Western Pennsylvania (now California University of Pennsylvania), and in the early 1960s taught algebra at Clairton High School in Clairton, Pennsylvania.Dangerous World Tour
The Dangerous World Tour was the second world concert tour by American singer Michael Jackson. The tour was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The tour ran from June 27, 1992, to November 11, 1993. After his appearances in Mexico City, Jackson abruptly canceled the remainder of his tour, which was scheduled to run through the rest of the year. He cited his addiction to prescription painkillers after surgery, as well as exhaustion after dealing with the recent child sexual abuse allegations against him. He described a lawsuit filed by the family of a young boy and an accompanying criminal investigation as an attempt at "extortion."Dick Hantak
Dick Hantak (born c. 1938) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 25 years between 1978 and 2003. He began his NFL officiating career as a back judge and became a referee eight years later. During his career, he officiated in two Super Bowls, Super Bowl XVII in 1983 as a back judge and later as a referee in Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, both at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and selected as an alternate for Super Bowl XXXII in 1998. He was one of the first officials to wear a three-digit uniform number, wearing number 105 except for 1979-81, when officials were numbered separately by position.
Hantak was most notable for being involved in a game that would result in the elimination of the excessive crowd noise rule from the NFL because of the actions during an exhibition game preceding the 1989 NFL season between the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome. Prior to the snap to begin a play, Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason constantly complained to Hantak about the loud crowd noise inside of the dome and would embellish his reactions in protest over the newly created rule. Esiason would later admit that he was put up to the task by then head coach Sam Wyche.Hantak was also involved in a humorous incident during a 1996 game between Pittsburgh and Carolina. On a punt the ball landed in the endzone and the Carolina mascot Sir Purr downed it, unaware the ball was live. While Steelers coach Bill Cowher was laughing, Hantak told Sir Purr not to do it again.
Dick ended his distinguished officiating career with a playoff game on January 11, 2003 between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets.
As of the 2006 NFL season, Hantak serves as an NFL replay official, working on-site in the video officiating booth.
Hantak is a 1960 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma.Four Falls of Buffalo
Four Falls of Buffalo is a 2015 documentary film produced for ESPN's 30 for 30 series and directed by Ken Rodgers of NFL Films. The film profiles the Buffalo Bills teams of the early 1990s, when the franchise became the first team to play in — and lose — four consecutive Super Bowls.The film goes through the Bills four "Super Bowl" years featuring retrospectives and insight on such famous plays as Scott Norwood's 47-yard field goal miss at the end of Super Bowl XXV, Thurman Thomas' misplaced helmet at the start of Super Bowl XXVI, and Don Beebe's strip of Leon Lett's attempted fumble return in Super Bowl XXVII. Former Bills players Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Don Beebe, Darryl Talley, Steve Tasker, Frank Reich, coach Marv Levy, and general manager Bill Polian all gave extensive interviews for the film.A highlight of the documentary is an emotional interview with Norwood and former Bills special teams coach Bruce DeHaven conducted on the steps of Buffalo City Hall, the site where, twenty-five years before, the crowd of Bills fans had cheered for Norwood following his ill-fated kick.James Washington
James McArthur Washington (born January 10, 1965) is a former American football safety in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. With the Cowboys, he won back-to-back titles in Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII, both against the Buffalo Bills. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins.Jimmie Jones
Jimmie Sims Jones (born January 9, 1966) is a former professional American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles. He shares the Super Bowl record for Most Fumble Recoveries in a game with two in Super Bowl XXVII vs. the Buffalo Bills, returning one for a touchdown (two yards). He played college football at the University of Miami.John Davis (offensive lineman)
John Henry Davis (born August 22, 1965 in Ellijay, Georgia) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League, mainly for the Buffalo Bills. He played in Super Bowl XXV, Super Bowl XXVII, and Super Bowl XXVIII. He was also with the Bills for Super Bowl XXVI, but did not play in the game due to a knee injury.Kelvin Martin (American football)
Kelvin Brian Martin (born May 14, 1965) is a former professional American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) who was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL Draft. He won Super Bowl XXVII with the Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills, giving him his only Super Bowl title. He graduated from Boston College and played in ten NFL seasons from 1987 to 1996 for the Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, and Philadelphia Eagles.Leon Lett
Leon Lett Jr. (born October 12, 1968) is a former American football defensive tackle and coach. He is the assistant defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League (NFL). Lett played in the NFL for 11 seasons and spent the majority of his career with the Cowboys, who drafted him in 1991. In his final season in 2001, he played for the Denver Broncos.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Lett was a member of the Cowboys teams that won three Super Bowls during the 1990s. He is also remembered for two botched plays: a fumble just before he would have scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XXVII and a failed recovery after a blocked field goal in a Thanksgiving game. After retiring, Lett began a career in coaching and rejoined the Cowboys as a coach in 2011.Lin Elliott
Lindley Franklin Elliott Jr. (born November 11, 1968) is a former kicker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs. He played college football at Texas Tech. He earned a Super Bowl ring playing for the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII.List of Dallas Cowboys head coaches
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in Frisco, Texas. Their stadium is located in Arlington, Texas. They are members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Cowboys franchise was founded in 1960 as an expansion team. The team played their games in the Cotton Bowl from 1960 to 1970, then in Texas Stadium from 1971 to 2008, and AT&T Stadium from 2009 to present.
There have been eight head coaches for the Dallas Cowboys. Three coaches have won Super Bowls with the team: Tom Landry in Super Bowl VI and XII, Jimmy Johnson in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII, and Barry Switzer in Super Bowl XXX. Landry is the team's all-time leader in games coached and wins, and Switzer leads all coaches in winning percentage with .625. Dave Campo is the only Cowboys coach with a losing record (.313), and is also the only coach in franchise history to have never posted a winning season. The team's first coach, Tom Landry, has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The current coach is Jason Garrett who replaced Wade Phillips on November 8, 2010.Mickey Pruitt
Mickey Pruitt (born January 10, 1965 in Bamberg, South Carolina) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII over the Buffalo Bills.Super Bowl LVI
Super Bowl LVI, the 56th Super Bowl and the 52nd modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game, will decide the league champion for the 2021 NFL season. The game is scheduled to be played on February 6, 2022 at Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California (with the exact date pending potential changes to the NFL calendar). It will be the eighth Super Bowl hosted by the Greater Los Angeles Area, with the last one being Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, held at the Rose Bowl, and the first in the City of Inglewood. The game will be televised nationally by NBC.
With Super Bowl LVI tentatively scheduled to be held on February 6, 2022, the game overlaps with the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing, China.Super Bowl XXVII halftime show
The Super Bowl XXVII halftime show took place on January 31, 1993, at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, as part of Super Bowl XXVII. It featured American singer Michael Jackson. The halftime show was broadcast on NBC. This halftime performance increased the TV ratings by a significant amount and has been claimed to be one of the most watched events in American television history with 133.4 million viewers.Jackson's performance started the NFL's trend of signing top acts to appear during the Super Bowl to attract more viewers and interest.Thurman Thomas
Thurman Lee Thomas (born May 16, 1966) is a former American football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Thomas was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Thomas was an important part of the Bills "no-huddle offense" that won four consecutive AFC championships.
Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII champions
|Division championships (23)|
|Conference championships (10)|
|League Championships (5)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (10)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (2)|
|Wall of Fame|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
Website: NBC Sports - NFL News