Super Bowl XIII
Super Bowl XIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1978 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 35–31. The game was played on January 21, 1979, at the Miami Orange Bowl, the fifth and last time that the Super Bowl was played in that stadium.
This was the first Super Bowl that featured a rematch of a previous one (the Steelers had previously beaten the Cowboys, 21–17, in Super Bowl X), and both teams were attempting to be the first club to win a third Super Bowl. Dallas was also the defending Super Bowl XII champion, and finished the 1978 regular season with a 12–4 record, and posted playoff victories over the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams. Pittsburgh entered the game after posting a 14–2 regular season record and playoff wins over the Denver Broncos and the Houston Oilers. Super Bowl XIII is also the only Super Bowl to date that featured two teams (and quarterbacks) that had previously won two Super Bowls in the same decade. The Dallas Cowboys (quarterbacked by Roger Staubach) won Super Bowl VI during the 1971–72 season and Super Bowl XII during the 1977–78 season. The Pittsburgh Steelers (quarterbacked by Terry Bradshaw) won Super Bowl IX during the 1974–75 season, and Super Bowl X during the 1975–76 season.
Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw was named Super Bowl MVP for completing 17 of 30 passes for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns (both of which were Super Bowl records at the time) with 1 interception. He was the first quarterback since Staubach in Super Bowl VI to win the award. Bradshaw eclipsed Bart Starr's Super Bowl record for passing yards in the first half with 253 yards in the air as the Steelers led 21–14 at intermission. His 75-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter also tied Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl V for the longest pass in a Super Bowl. The Cowboys were able to stay close, only trailing 21–17 at the end of the third quarter, but Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in a span of 19 seconds in the fourth period. Dallas also could not overcome turnovers, drops, and a controversial penalty during the second half. The Cowboys were able to score two touchdowns in the final minutes of the game, but still ended up being the first defending champion to lose in the Super Bowl and the first losing Super Bowl team to score 30 points or more.
This game featured a combined 26 Hall of Famers (15 from the Steelers and 11 from the Cowboys).