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Super Bowl XIII Rewind

Posted Jul 12, 2014

A look back at the Steelers' victory in Super Bowl XIII.

Super Bowl XIII
Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31
Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
January 21, 1979; Attendance: 79,484

This was more than just the first rematch in Super Bowl history: It re-staged what many still consider the most enjoyable and dramatic Super Bowl battle to that point. Opportunity—recognizing it and capitalizing on it—was the theme. Failure to embrace it would play a hand too. It was the Steelers, though, who managed a 35-31 victory.

Dallas had its chances. The Cowboys took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter when linebacker Mike Hegman simply took the ball away from Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and ran 37 yards to score. But Bradshaw countered immediately with a 75-yard touchdown strike to John Stallworth.

In the third quarter, trailing 21-14, Dallas marched from its 42 to the Steelers’ 10. On third-and-three, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach saw tight end Jackie Smith alone in the end zone. Smith slipped and fell reaching for Staubach’s pass and Dallas settled for a 27-yard field goal.

Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter—a 22-yard run by Franco Harris and an 18-yard pass from Bradshaw to Swann. Harris’ score followed a pass-interference call against Dallas cornerback Benny Barnes, who was covering Swann. The mistake cost the Cowboys 33 yards. Dallas did score touchdowns with 2:27 and 22 seconds to play, on passes from Staubach to tight end Billy Joe Dupree and Butch Johnson, but Pittsburgh held on to win, 35-31.

With the victory, the Steelers became the first team to win three Super Bowls. The two teams set a Super Bowl record for points scored.

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