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Old 01-21-2009, 06:58 AM   #1
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Default Another Look: Steelers' third title was most memorable

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 21, 2009 :: Last modified: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:49 PM EST

Another Look: Steelers' third title was most memorable

By Bob Barrickman, Times Sports Correspondent

It was 30 years ago today that the Pittsburgh Steelers won perhaps their most memorable Super Bowl. The Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII, 35-31, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Jan. 21, 1979.

“Dallas was the world champ and we wanted to prove that we were the best by beating the best,” said Robin Cole, who alternated with Loren Toews at linebacker for the Steelers in that game.

Of the players on the field that day, nine Steelers and four Cowboys, including Hopewell great Tony Dorsett, would eventually wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Two of the Steelers Hall-of-Famers hooked up to open the scoring in the first quarter as Terry Bradshaw connected with John Stallworth on a 28-yard pass. Dallas tied it in the same period as Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach threw a 39-yard pass to receiver Tony Hill.

“We knew we were in for a tough game with Staubach and guys on defense like (Harvey) Martin and (Randy) White,” Cole said.

The Cowboys took the lead in the second quarter as linebacker Mike Hegman stole the football from Bradshaw and ran 37 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers tied the game at 14-14 when Bradshaw and Stallworth hooked up again on a 75-yard pass. A 7-yard pass to running back Rocky Bleier gave Pittsburgh a 21-14 lead at halftime.

Tight end Jackie Smith of Dallas also was a Hall of Famer thanks to his splendid days with the St. Louis Cardinals. Smith experienced a nightmare when he dropped a would-be touchdown pass from Staubach in the third quarter. The Cowboys settled for the only points in that period on a 27-yard field goal by Rafael Septien.

The Steelers drove deep in Dallas territory in the fourth quarter when Pittsburgh drew a penalty for delay of game. Steelers running back Franco Harris took exception when Cowboys linebacker Thomas Henderson made contact with Bradshaw after Harris heard the sound of the referee’s whistle.

“It just wasn’t right. He didn’t have to throw him down like that,” said Harris of Henderson in The Times after the game.

A miffed Harris ran the ball on the next play and went 22 yards for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 28-17 advantage. White fumbled the ensuing kickoff which was recovered by the Steelers Dennis Winston.

The Cowboys stormed back by scoring two touchdowns to pull within 35-31. But Bleier recovered an on side kick with 22 seconds left and the Steelers became the first team to win three Super Bowls. Bradshaw was named the game’s MVP after breaking the Super Bowl record with 318 yards passing.

“Great? No, he’s a step above that right now,” Steelers late Hall of Fame center Mike Webster said of Bradshaw in The Times.

“I wouldn’t call that game the highlight of my career,” Cole said. “Just to be able to play with guys like (Jack) Ham, (Jack) Lambert, L.C. Greenwood and Joe Greene was the highlight of my career.”

That win over Dallas in Super Bowl XIII, however, will forever live as one of the franchise’s greatest highlights.

Another Look appears on Wednesday.
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