Steelers, their defenders swarming everywhere and Lynn Swann catching
a 64-yard touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw with 3:02 to play for the
game-clinching points, held on for a breathtaking 21-17 victory and
their second straight National Football League championship.
should have ended the suspense in the game. But Roger Staubach got the
Cowboys quickly back into contention with a 34-yard touchdown pass to
Percy Howard with 1:48 to play.
using all three times out on Pittsburgh's subsequent series, got the
ball back with 82 seconds left on the Dallas 39 when the Steelers
chose to run on fourth down at the Cowboy 41 instead of punt.
Pearson, after catching a short pass from Staubach, made the mistake
of turning inside and gaining 11 yards instead of going out of bounds
to stop the clock.
The play carried
to the Steeler 37, but used 20 seconds.
then forced to throw desperately three times into the end zone, twice
to Drew Pearson, was intercepted by the Steelers' Glen Edwards, who
returned 30 yards as the game ended and fans poured onto the Orange
outcome also saved Steeler coach Chuck Noll from a mob of
second-guessers that would have come after him had the Steelers lost,
since it was Noll's decision to run on fourth down that gave the
Cowboys their final opportunity from reasonably good field position.
"We were afraid
a blocked punt would put them in too good field position," said
Steeler quarterback Terry Hanratty, who directed the final Pittsburgh
series because Bradshaw had suffered a concussion on the touchdown
pass to Swann.
"We had a little
problem with a punt earlier and Dallas had put a pretty good rush on,"
Noll said. "We'd rather give them the football there (at the 39) with
no timeouts when they had to score a touchdown. I figured our defense
would hold them."
Dallas coach Tom
Landry said he "was a little surprised that the Steelers didn't punt.
They gave up field position. We were out of timeouts and couldn't get
out of bounds to stop the clock."
probably lost the game earlier in the fourth quarter when the
Steelers' Reggie Harrison blocked a punt for a safety and Roy Gerela
kicked back-to-back field goals of 36 and 18 yards, the field goals
coming within a span of 2 minutes 4 seconds.
thus turned a 10-7 deficit into a 15-10 advantage, and Swann's
touchdown catch with 3:02 remaining provided the eventual winning
four passes today for a Super Bowl record 161 yards. Each catch seemed
more spectacular than the previous, and on each one Mark Washington
was the burned Cowboy.
didn't get a chance to make his touchdown catch. Bradshaw barely got
off the pass, just eluding Cowboy linebacker D. D. Lewis before
lofting the ball deep toward his swift side receiver.
Swann, who had a
two-step lead on Washington, made the catch in full stride at the
eight-yard line and ripped away from the defender and into the end
saw the play. He had been whacked from the blind side immediately
after launching the football some 60 yards in the air. He suffered a
slight concussion and was taken to the dressing room with two minutes
to play. "I didn't know it was a touchdown until I came into the
locker room. I'm still hazy," he said.
certainly will be worth the price. The Steelers left the field $15,000
richer each. The Cowboys earned $7,500 a man.
meanwhile, will be sore for the next few days. He was under heavy
pressure from a Pittsburgh defense that sacked him seven times for
losses of 42 yards.
accomplished that without the full services of tackle Joe Greene. He
left the game in the second quarter and never came back, replaced by
Still, there was
more than enough terror applied by the rest of the "Steel Curtain" and
middle linebacker Jack Lambert, who was exceptional.
jumped off to a 7-0 lead that was set up when Steeler punter Bobby
Walden was tackled after mishandling a center snap. Drew Pearson
caught a 29-yard pass from Staubach 4:36 into the opening period for
the game's first score.
That was the
first first-quarter touchdown yielded by the Steelers all season.
the game five minutes later on its only sustained touchdown drive of
the day. Swann helped set up the score with the first of his
incredible catches, a 32-yard effort on the right sideline. Swann made
a leaping catch over Washington and somehow kept his feet in bounds.
Two plays later,
Bradshaw passed seven yards to tight end Randy Grossman for the score
that gave the first hint that Super Bowl 10 was something special.
Never before had two "super" teams scored that many points in a first
kicked a 36-yard field goal 15 seconds into the second period to give
Dallas a 10-7 lead, and the Cowboys maintained that advantage until
Harrison blocked Mitch Hoopes' punt 3:32 into the fourth quarter to
turn the game around.
for previous misses from 36 and 37 yards which he connected from 36
yards for a 12-10 Steeler lead with 8:41 to play.
could not ram over for a touchdown, however, largely because of a
near-disastrous fumble on third and goal at the Dallas one. Franco
Harris was hit by Lee Roy Jordan, the ball popped into the air and
came back down in Harris' arms. Noll chose the field goal, and Gerela
hit from the 18 for a 15-10 Steeler lead with 6:37 to play.
© Copyright 1976
The Washington Post Company
Super Bowl X MVP
Lynn Swann, WR,
became the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships.
They were led by balletic wide receiver Lynn Swann, who set a Super
Bowl record with 161 receiving yards on 4 catches and earned
most-valuable-player honors. A 64-yard touchdown pass from former
two-time Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw to Swann late in the fourth
quarter proved to be the decisive score. Earlier in the game, Swann
had made a couple of acrobatic catches. One of them, a juggling,
tumbling, 53-yard catch in the second quarter, is one of the Super
Bowl's greatest plays. Stumbling over a defender, Swann was
horizontal, parallel with the field in midair when he caught the pass.
Super Bowl X Memory
If anyone could
make one forget that football is a violent game, it was Lynn Swann.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' wide receiver brought style and grace to his
position - and a penchant for making his biggest catches in the
biggest games. The ultimate was his gravity-defying, 53-yard circus
catch against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. A few days before the game
Swann didn't even know if he'd be able to play because of a concussion
suffered in a victory over the Raiders in the AFC Championship Game.
"I'm worried about my timing," he told Steelers wide receiver John
Stallworth. "And my concentration isn't real good, either." But late
in the second quarter, Swann timed his leap, concentrated, and lunged
for the pass from Terry Bradshaw. Swann grabbed the ball while he was
horizontal to the turf. Though the catch had no tangible effect on the
outcome of the game (Roy Gerela missed a fieldgoal attempt a few plays
later), it left the Cowboys shaking their heads. Swann went on to
catch 4 passes for 161 yards, including a decisive 64-yard touchdown
in the fourth quarter. The Steelers won 21-17.
Super Bowl X Performances
Even in 1975,
just the second season of Lambert's NFL career, he was an
indispensable element of the Steel Curtain defense. He led the team in
tackles during the regular season and recovered an AFC Championship
Game-record 3 fumbles in a 16-10 victory over the Raiders. In a 21-17
Super Bowl victory over Dallas, he deliverd in other ways. On defense,
he made 14 tackles and knocked down a fourth-quarter end-zone pass. On
special teams, when Cliff Harris taunted the Steelers' Roy Gerela
after a missed field goal, Lambert knocked him to the turf. "The
Steelers don't get intimidated," he said later.
The lasting memory is of a diving, sprawling, fingertip catch that
covered 53 yards only after being tipped and plucked miraculously from
the air. But that was far from the only damage that Swann inflicted on
the Dallas Cowboys in the Steelers' 21-17 victory. He also reined in a
32-yard spiral on the Steelers' first scoring drive and a 64-yard bomb
that accounted for Pittsburgh's last touchdown. In the week leading up
to the game, there had been some doubt whether Swann could play
because of a concussion suffered in the AFC Championship Game. As it
turned out, he was the game's MVP