Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Forgotten Cowboys Super Bowl - Super Bowl V

Brace yourself: it is time for another edition of Random Football Rants.

Super Bowl V

Ask any Cowboys fan to rank the 8 Super Bowls the Cowboys have participated in, and there is a real good chance that finishing 8th will be the very first that the Cowboys ever played in. January 1971, Baltimore versus Dallas in Super Bowl V. Surely, you would rank the 5 wins in the top 5 spots. At #6 would have to be Super Bowl XIII, the 35-31 classic that Jackie Smith has been forever vilified in. Then, the Lynn Swann show would most likely grab #7. So what about the forgotten trip to Miami in 1971?

This is a game that the Cowboys should have won. In fact, never has a team received so many turnovers and not won. The Colts turned the ball over 7 times. 7! The Cowboys actually gave it back 4 times of their own, as the two teams combined for the most turnovers (11) in Super Bowl History. To add to the theory that this was not the most crisp of games, the two teams also hold the record for combined penalty yardage in a Super Bowl (164).

This game also holds several other distinctions:

· Chuck Howley named MVP of the game, the only MVP ever to lose
· The first Super Bowl on Artificial Turf
· Johnny Unitas did not wear his trademark high-tops
· Jim O’Brien kicked the game winning FG with :04 to play (the only kicker to do so for the first 35 Super Bowls)
· Earl Morrall brought the Colts back after he replaced an injured John Unitas
· The only game the Cowboys wore Blue jerseys in the Super Bowl

Also, two very controversial plays happened in the game that may have decided the winner: First, Unitas hooked up with John Mackey for a 75 yard pass in the 2nd Quarter to tie the game. On the play, the ball caromed off of Colt Eddie Hinton, then Cowboys DB Mel Renfro, and finally landed in Mackey’s hands. Renfro swears (to this day) that he never touched it. In those days, the ball could not be tipped from teammate to teammate on a pass play, so if Renfro did not touch it, the play would have been illegal. In fact, the Immaculate Reception (Pittsburgh vs. Oakland, 1972) had the exact same controversy. On that play, the officials ruled Jack Tatum touched the ball, which made the play legal. That was very suspicious judging from replays. But, from every replay I have ever seen of the Mackey touchdown, it seems pretty clear that Renfro’s fingertips did tip the ball. It sure appeared that this call was proper.

The second controversy happened early in the 2nd half. The Cowboys were ahead 13-6, and Unitas fumbled after a big hit from Lee Roy Jordan. The Cowboys recovered and a few plays later were ready to punch it in. But, like several other key moments of Super Bowl V, the Colts defense rose to the occasion, and stopped the Boys. This time, Duane Thomas fumbled at the Baltimore 1-yard line. The Colts were given the ball, despite Cowboys center Dave Manders coming out of the pile with the football. Even today, Cowboys fans are especially annoyed with this call, as it appeared the Colts jumping around claiming that they had the ball influenced the referee. That particular play saved the Colts and gave back-up QB Morrall a chance to rally his team.

Nevertheless, the Cowboys had a 13-6 lead entering the 4th Quarter. They still, despite the controversy, had this game right where they wanted it. But, then the self-inflicted death would occur.

First, with less than 8 minutes to play, QB Craig Morton would throw a pass behind Walt Garrison, which Garrison tipped in the air and right to Colts safety Rich Volk who returned it 30 yards to the Dallas 3 yard line. Two plays later, Tom Nowatzke punched it in to tie the game at 13-13.

Then, both teams stalled. The hitting picked up, and time was running out. With less than 2 minutes to play, the Cowboys got the ball back one last time, taking a punt to the Baltimore 48. On 2nd and 11, Morton was sacked, but the play was nullified due to a holding penalty. Back then, holding was 15 yards from the spot of the foul, which turned into a 24 yard penalty. So, it is 2nd and 35, with just over 1 minute to play. Do the Cowboys run the ball and play for overtime? No. They throw downfield on 2nd and 35, and although the pass seemed to be accurate to Dan Reeves, Reeves tipped the ball into the air, and for the second time in the 4th Quarter, the Colts get a huge takeaway, this time LB Mike Curtis returns it to the Dallas 28.

Moments later, O’Brien kicks the game winner, and Bob Lilly, frustrated again by another late season loss, throws his helmet 50 yards in disgust.

The next year, the Cowboys would finally get their title, with Roger Staubach at the helm. If the 4th quarter went differently in this game, perhaps Craig Morton is the long term QB in the 70’s in Dallas. But, alas, he ultimately would be sent to Denver, to face the Cowboys once again in Super Bowl XII.


Super Bowl V stats

Mavericks win again

Mike Heika laughs at the Owner’s proposal …hockey circles the drain…

Superstar Perrilloux is off to LSU …And it takes him 10 seconds to take a shot at the current LSU QBs. What a tool.

"LSU is the perfect school for me," said Perrilloux, who clearly counts unbridled confidence among his assets. "I can come in and play next year. JaMarcus struggled last year, and Matt Flynn is definitely not a better quarterback than me. It's just a perfect opportunity.”

"I'm a Louisiana guy and the No. 1 player in the state.”

Our 1:30 guest today, Jerry Green has been to every Super Bowl

Sawgrass #17 diver finds all sorts of treasure

Recruiting score sheet

I watched the great movie Snatch last night. If you like Pulp Fiction, you will like this movie. So underrated. But you might need Closed Caption to fight through the accents…

Shaq on Damp

"Dampier is soft," Shaq said, defiantly. "Quote it, underline it, tape it, send it to him."

You think maybe Shaq's read where Dampier rates himself the second-best center in the NBA?

"Don't ask me about that guy ever again," Shaq said.

"You guys try to compare us and match up," he said, "but their defense is the same."

Bad Radio publicity from the media party in the St Augustine paper

Dan McDowell, radio personality from The Ticket, a sports station in Dallas, took a shot at the 17th hole.

"We've played it on a video game, now I can live it," McDowell smiled.
Hitting across the green certainly was a feature of the evening. Many lined up for their shot.

Thirteen of The Ticket's employees came to Jacksonville to cover Super Bowl week. Not everyone in the group was impressed with the media event. "It's no New Orleans when it comes to food," said Bob Sturm. "I don't mean to be the demanding media or anything," he laughed.


Anonymous said...


If you're going to be so bold as to link Fark on your links, get Ryan Perrilloux's nickname right.


Tool works fine too though.

Will said...

Interesting point about the Jerseys for the Cowboys. Being a Bills fan I always loved their Blue jerseys best but it sure didnt help them against the Cowboys. The thing I can't figure out is how come they got to wear the same ones in back to back superbowls. Wouldn't they have been the home team once and the road team once? I guess the home team might get the choice. If that is the case then it seems smart that the Eagles chose green so the Patriots would have to wear white because New England is 0-1 in white and 2-0 in blue (in 85 they wore red).

I also wanted to say the Shannon Sharp e-brake interview was even more golden seeing in on the webcam. I had to keep myself from laughing out loud and getting myself in trouble at work. The look on Dan's face as he kept flipping the switch of the mic while hearing you mutter "ohhh no"... well it was gold.

Superbowl week has been great. Thanks for taking us listeners (and readers) along for the ride.