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A look back: Super Bowl XIII

Posted Feb 1, 2017

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

During Super Bowl week Steelers.com will recap the six Super Bowl Championships the team has won.

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.