51 for LI: Men of Steel Win Super Bowl X
[lead align=”default”]We’re down to ten days left until Super Bowl LI between New England and Atlanta. Both of the teams from Super Bowl X were in this year’s playoffs, though they won’t meet again in this Super Bowl.[/lead]
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys were the teams to beat in 1975. They also were in 1978, and that Super Bowl ended the same way as this one.
Pittsburgh was in the midst of its dynasty, being the defending Super Bowl champions from the year before. Both teams entering this game were prior champions, signalling the success each had in the early days of the Super Bowl era.
Super Bowl X: 1975 Dallas Cowboys
Dallas drafted Randy White with the second overall pick this season, and he’d go on to have a stellar career that included this year. He and Tom Landry’s Cowboys went 10-4 during the 1975 season.
The Cowboys began the year 4-0, lost three of four, and then were victorious in five of six. They did not win the NFC East, despite Roger Staubach leading the offense to a 350-point season. He took a licking in so doing, getting sacked early and often.
Dallas faced the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Round, squeaking out of Minneapolis with a 17-14 win. This was thanks to Staubach’s Hail Mary to Drew Pearson that won it. They went to the Super Bowl after routing the Los Angeles Rams, 37-7.
Super Bowl X: 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh, led by such notable figures as Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and Franco Harris, put together a 12-2 season. Their losses were near the beginning and at the end of 1975, with 11 straight wins in between. Outscoring opponents 373 to 162, with a big assist from the Steel Curtain defense of Mel Blount, the Steelers were the AFC’s top seed.
This gave them home games against the Baltimore Colts and Oakland Raiders. Pittsburgh held the Colts and Raiders to ten points each as they made it back to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl X: The Game
The Steelers were a seven-point favorite that did not cover the spread in this close contest. Early in the game belonged to Dallas, at least on the scoreboard, with the Cowboys taking a 10-7 lead into the half. Both Staubach and Bradshaw had touchdown passes early, but the second (and third) quarters were light on scoring.
In the fourth quarter, the game got interesting. After a blocked punt gave Pittsburgh a safety, we had a 10-9 football game. This turned into a 12-10 Pittsburgh lead, which ballooned to a 21-10 advantage after a long Lynn Swann touchdown catch. The Cowboys got back within four, 21-17, but with the ball and trailing by four, Dallas was unable to complete the comeback.