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Pittsburgh Steelers (12-1) vs. Dallas Cowboys (10-4) January 18, 1976 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida 2:00 p.m. EST

By Wilson of

Point Spread: Pittsburgh -7/Dallas +7
Over/Under: 36

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Pre Game Report

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the Orange Bowl in 1976 looking to win their second consecutive superbowl. This year’s team was even more dangerous than the year before when they beat the Minnesota Vikings 16-6 in Super Bowl 9. The Steelers were now fully equiped with multiple weapons both on the ground and through the air.

Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier were once again in the backfield while future Pro Bowler’s Lynn Swann and John Stallworth patrolled the airways. Pittshburgh fans fell in love with the primetime play of Lynn Swann as he would go on to be named the superbowl 10 MVP. Swann was a huge part of the Steelers success throughout the entire year. The Steeler defense (Steel Curtain) remained solid as 8 of the 11 starters were named to the Pro Bowl.

Dallas was no pushover for the Steelers as the Cowboys never gave up and nearly pulled off a late fourth quarter come-back, but the Steel Curtain fell on the Dallas rally. The Cowboy’s were playing in their third superbowl after another successful season behind Hall of Famer QB Roger Staubach. Staubach threw for over 2600 yards and 17 touchdowns and also rushed for 310 yards during the regular season leading up to this matchup.

Cowboy receiver Drew Pearson led the team in receptions with 46 catches for 822 yards and 8 touchdowns. Despite the improved passing game Dallas was known for their rushing attack. Fullback Robert Newhouse was the leading rusher for “America’s Team” as he entered this game with 930 yards rushing and another 274 in passing on 34 receptions.

Dallas was famous for their “flex” defense which was anchored by Harvey Martin and Ed “To Tall” Jones. The Cowboy secondary which consisted of Mel Blount, Mel Renfro, Charlie Waters, and Cliff Harris combined for 12 interceptions coming into the SB 10 game.

Game Summary

Both teams started the game with botched drives as they were both forced to punt. The Cowboys drew first blood when QB Roger Staubach found wide receiver Drew Pearson on a 29 yard strike for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead after the Toni Fritsch kick.

The Steelers responded by calling four straight run plays and rushing the ball down the field before Pittsburgh QB Terry Bradshaw completed a 7-yard pass to Tight End Randy Grossman that tied the game at seven after a Roy Gerela kick. Grossman faked a blocking assignment and then ran a the pass route for the score. Dallas would go on to add a Toni Fritsch field goal and take a halftime 10-7 lead.

The third quarter was scoreless as both teams struggled to get on the board. In the fourth quarter the Steelers scored four consecutive times. Reggie Harrison blocked a punt throught the end zone for a safety which moved the Steelers to within one point at 10-9. Then kicker Roy Gerela connected on two field goals form 36 and 18 yards out to make it a 15-10 Pittsburgh lead. Pittsburgh would score one more time as Bradshaw hit Lynn Swann on a 64-yard bomb that would secure the victory.

Dallas scored for the last time on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Staubauch to Percy Howard. Then the Steel Curtain held the Cowboys down the stretch.

Final Score: Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17

MVP: Lynn Swan (Steeler’s wide receiver)

Head Coaches: Pittsburgh Steelers, Chuck Knoll; Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry

National Anthem: Tom Sullivan

Halftime Show: “Up with People” celebrates America’s bicentennial

Cost of a 30-Second Commercial: $110,000.00

Attendance: 80,187

Behind the Scenes Story

On the last pass by Bradshaw to Swann that secured the win Bradshaw didn’t even get a chance to see the touchdown. Bradshaw was hammered by Larry Cole on a helmet to helmet hit that knocked Bradshaw out of the game. He did not know what happened until he was escorted off the field and into the locker room. Ironically, most sports writers thought Swann would not play in the superbowl game due to a head injury that caused dizzy spells. Swann proved everyone wrong by earning the MVP award.

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