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Old 12-05-2008, 11:12 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry

(Ah such happy, happy memories when we kicked south america's team butt twice in the Super Bowl. To know that the memories of those glorious, immortal, victories still torture those arrogant, sanctimonious, and over hyped CowTurd scum and their over mouthy fans gives me such a wonderful feeling of schenfreude. - mesa)

How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry
http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/...y/1075769.html
By RAY BUCK
rbuck@star-telegram.com
Lightning does strike twice.

Just ask the ’70s Dallas Cowboys.

In SB X, the Cowboys lost to the Steelers, by four points, in the Orange Bowl. A late Cowboys rally fell short.

In SB XIII, the Cowboys lost to the Steelers, by four points, in the Orange Bowl. A late Cowboys rally fell short.

There’s no echo in here. It happened that way twice.

The Steelers went on to become the NFL’s "Team of the ’70s" because of their four Super Bowl titles in six years. Fair enough.

But the Cowboys have been paying for it ever since in Canton, Ohio.

(Ah the whine of a cowturd. - mesa)

Fifteen future Hall of Famers played in Super Bowls X and/or XIII — nine for Pittsburgh, six for Dallas (although one of those was Dallas TE Jackie Smith, who was inducted as a Cardinal — not a Cowboy).

The two teams differed greatly in style. But in talent level, the disparity was never as great as HOF voters have made it look.

"Let me tell you what Tom Landry thought," Gil Brandt said of the Cowboys-Steelers Super Bowls after the ’75 and ’78 seasons. "Tom thought we were just as good as they were, and that we were capable of beating them."

And why not? The ’70s Cowboys were the winningest team of the decade. They won 105 regular-season games. The ’70s Steelers won 99.

Each team added 14 postseason victories.

The ’70s Cowboys set what is still an NFL record for Super Bowl appearances in a decade — five.

Their downfall was losing three of those five games (by a total of 11 points) to Baltimore (SB V), then twice to Pittsburgh (SBs X/XIII).

The latter became an ESPN Classic horror film for Cowboys fans and players alike. The way the game played out was tantamount to Murphy’s Law.

Aside from the most notorious dropped touchdown pass in a Super Bowl by a future HOFer (Jackie Smith, whose agony began when the ball hit him between the "8" and the "1"), the Steelers won SB XIII with some help.

Two late TD drives were extended/culminated by officials who either threw a questionable flag (Benny Barnes pass interference) or unwittingly sealed off a would-be tackler (Charlie Waters).

"I still go to bed thinking about this stuff," Brandt said.

Spelling B-R-A-D-S-H-A-W

Try imagining Terry Bradshaw with a star on the side of his helmet.

It never happened, of course. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying on the Cowboys’ part, according to Brandt.

Pittsburgh made Bradshaw the first pick overall in the 1970 NFL draft. The Cowboys had finished the ’69 season at 11-2-1 and Craig Morton at quarterback. Waiting in the wings was a 27-year-old rookie named Roger Staubach.

"We tried to trade for Bradshaw," Brandt said of the Louisiana Tech product. "The Steelers had the first pick in the draft, and we tried to get it so we could take Bradshaw.

"Mr. [Art] Rooney finally told us, 'If you’re so interested in this guy, I’m going to keep him. He must be pretty good.’ "

The Cowboys ended up taking RB Duane Thomas (West Texas State) with the 23rd pick overall.

Fast-forward to Super Bowl XIII. Bradshaw does a slow burn when Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson demeans Bradshaw’s IQ by telling reporters: "He couldn’t spell 'CAT’ if you spotted him the 'C’ and the 'T.’ "

Henderson performed exceptionally well in SB XIII, but Bradshaw was the game’s MVP. Landry couldn’t have been pleased with that trade-off.

"Hollywood later said that I said Bradshaw wasn’t smart," Brandt recalled. "We had tested [Bradshaw]. I knew his [pre-draft] Wonderlich score ... [and] let me tell you, Bradshaw is one of those guys who puts on that he isn’t smart. He’s made millions of dollars off it."

Covering SB XIII for the Cincinnati Enquirer, I remember going into the Cowboys’ locker room and being impressed by Henderson’s postgame openness. He sat at his locker, cut tape off his ankles and ignored tears in his eyes.

Said Hollywood: "I don’t regret saying anything ... no, sir."

Fast-forward again to Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio, this past summer. Brandt runs into his old buddy, Bradshaw.

Bradshaw: "I’ll trade you for a couple of Cowboys T-shirts."

Brandt: "What for?"

Bradshaw: "I need something to clean my tractor."

Real funny, Bradshaw. N-O-T.

Super Bowl X

Date: Jan. 18, 1976

Site: Orange Bowl

Favored: Pittsburgh, by 6

Final score: 21-17, Steelers

MVP: Lynn Swann

The ’75 Cowboys didn’t expect to be here. They finished 8-6 and missed the playoffs in ’74. Bob Lilly retired. The team had gotten old.

Tex Schramm walked up to NFL writer Jerry Green of the Detroit News during SB X week and said, "If you had told me we’d be here when I saw you last October, I’d have laughed in your face," Green wrote in Super Bowl Chronicles.

But rebuilding turned to reloading for the Cowboys. Rookies Randy White, Burton Lawless and Henderson became immediate impact players from one of Brandt’s strongest drafts ever.

The Cowboys went 10-4, then scored a pair of road upsets over the Minnesota Vikings (Hail Mary pass) and the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.

Next up: Pittsburgh in sunny South Florida.

The late Ernie Holmes, a member of Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain defense, apparently didn’t pack a disposition to match.

Holmes told reporters, "I don’t like this place. It’s for people with arthritis. They come here to play golf or die. All that’s out here are mosquitoes and space. This is no place for champions."

The unenviable task of blocking Ernie Holmes fell to rookie guard Lawless, a second-round pick out of Florida.

"Actually," said Brandt, "Lawless did a good job."

Defensively, the Cowboys didn’t allow Pittsburgh to score a second touchdown until 3:02 left in the game: Bradshaw to MVP Swann, 64 yards.

The Cowboys immediately answered by driving 80 yards in five plays to cut the deficit to 21-17. Staubach’s 34-yard TD pass to Percy Howard would be Howard’s only catch of his NFL career.

Dallas still needed one more TD drive — and Capt. Comeback nearly got it. However, the game ended with a last-gasp Staubach throw into the end zone from the Steelers 38.

Safeties Mike Wagner and Glenn Edwards tag-teamed it, with a tip (Wagner) and a pick (Edwards). Game over.

The bad blood in this game flowed when Roy Gerela missed a 33-yard FG attempt in the third quarter for Pittsburgh. Cowboys safety Cliff Harris playfully patted Gerela on the head, and Jack Lambert quickly rag-dolled him to the ground.

"Cliff Harris never backed down from anybody in his life, but I think he probably showed good judgment in this case," Brandt laughed. "He took one look at Lambert, and saw a 215-pound middle linebacker with no teeth."

But what isn’t funny to Brandt, or anyone else from those ’70s Cowboys teams, Lambert is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame ... and Harris is not.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry

Super Bowl XIII

Date: Jan. 21, 1979

Site: Orange Bowl

Favored: Pittsburgh, by 3 1/2


Final score: 35-31, Steelers

MVP: Terry Bradshaw

Landry asked Brandt before Super Bowl week to invite Woody Hayes to be a team guest at the Cowboys’ hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

Hayes, who had been fired at Ohio State just three weeks earlier, accepted. He met the players. He ate meals with the team. It was all Landry’s idea.

The Cowboys took an early 14-7 lead when Hollywood Henderson and Mike Hegman met at the quarterback late in the first quarter. Bradshaw was sandwiched, then stripped of the ball by Hegman, who raced with it 37 yards for a touchdown.

But some things just aren’t omens.

This game pretty much came down to Pittsburgh scoring 14 points in a span of 19 seconds in the fourth quarter.

The first of those two TD drives was extended when cornerback Barnes’ feet became tangled with Swann’s on a "mile-high floater," in which Swann darted underneath Barnes at the last moment to try and catch it.

Both players went down. Incidental contact? The official on the play signaled "incomplete pass."

But from 30 yards away, field judge Fred Swearingen raced in and threw his yellow hanky.

"I mean, is there a worse call in football than that call?" Staubach asked ESPN in its NFL Classic Games series, which will re-air tonight at 8 p.m.

What followed was more bad luck for the Cowboys.


Henderson’s third-and-4 sack of Bradshaw (12-yard loss) was nullified by a delay-of-game penalty. Henderson was livid. Franco Harris jumped in Hollywood’s face, then broke off his only notable run of the game on a quick trap up the middle, with 7:10 left. Touchdown. Pittsburgh led, 28-17.

Defensive tackle Randy White, playing with a cast on his broken left hand, then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which was squibbed to him with 6:58 left. (Except Gerela never planned to squib it. His plant-foot simply slipped out on him.)

Bradshaw immediately hit Swann for a leaping catch in the end zone, and the Steelers led 35-17 with 6:51 left.

Dallas rallied. A pair of Staubach TD passes (Billy Joe DuPree and Butch Johnson) was sandwiched around the recovery of an onside kick (Dennis Thurman). But it was déjà vu all over again for the Cowboys.

Fast finish ... four-point loss.

Mutual animosity

Despite being in opposite conferences, these two storied franchises have developed a healthy dislike for each other over the years.

On Sunday, they meet for the 30th time. Dallas leads the series, 15-14.

The Cowboys and Steelers have squared off in three Super Bowls, most recently SB XXX, which was won by the ’95 Cowboys, 27-17.

But by then, Landry, Schramm and Brandt were on the outside looking in, although they could be happy for older Cowboys fans who suffered through SBs X and XIII with them.

"What always got me was how we were perceived as a team that wasn’t tough," Brandt said. "Well, I don’t know how you can play pro football and not be tough."

The perception stems from the Cowboys’ high-tech, multiple shift and motion, flex defense, even its world-famous cheerleaders and America’s Team alias.

"The Steelers were meat-and-potatoes, blue-collar, whatever you want to call it," Brandt said. "They were tough ... but to this day, I don’t believe they were better. I think the outcomes [each by four points] indicate that."

Too bad it wasn’t a spelling bee. C-A-T.

By the numbers

Steelers’ HOFers (9) — These players appeared in both SB X and SB XIII: Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Mike Webster.

Cowboys’ HOFers (5) — These players appeared in Super Bowls against the ’70s Steelers: Roger Staubach, Randy White, Rayfield Wright, Mel Renfro (SB X only) and Tony Dorsett (SB XIII only). Note: Jackie Smith (SB XIII only) was enshrined as a St. Louis Cardinal.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry

Quote:
"The Steelers were meat-and-potatoes, blue-collar, whatever you want to call it," Brandt said. "They were tough ... but to this day, I don’t believe they were better. I think the outcomes [each by four points] indicate that."
Yes they were, Gil. That's why they won both games. The only reason the Steelers didn't win SB X by 10+ points was because of Gerela missing two FGs and an XP due to badly bruised ribs. We were also up by 18 points in XIII with 6 minutes to go - that game wasn't as close as the final score indicated, especially in the 2nd half. Yeesh, you'd think the sour grapes would get kinda stale after 30 years.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
Yes they were, Gil. That's why they won both games. The only reason the Steelers didn't win SB X by 10+ points was because of Gerela missing two FGs and an XP due to badly bruised ribs. We were also up by 18 points in XIII with 6 minutes to go - that game wasn't as close as the final score indicated, especially in the 2nd half. Yeesh, you'd think the sour grapes would get kinda stale after 30 years.
Not in Texas, where everything is bigger...including the sour grapes.

The Cowboys are starting to remind me of the team we most recently beat for a Super Bowl, bunch whiney lil beotches.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry

Sure they had more wins in the seventies 105-99 but the AFC Central in the 70's was what they claim the NFC East is today, an awesome division where wins were hard fought...
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: How those '70s Steelers tormented Tom Landry

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Sure they had more wins in the seventies 105-99 but the AFC Central in the 70's was what they claim the NFC East is today, an awesome division where wins were hard fought...
And you have to account for '70 and '71 when we went 5-9 and 6-8, respectively, while the Cowboys went 10-4 and 11-3 and 1-1 in Super Bowls. Don't get me wrong, the '70s Cowboys were a great team (they represented the NFC in the SB FIVE times during the decade), and if it weren't for the Steelers, they would have been the team of the decade, not the Dolphins or Raiders.
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