January 28, 1996

The Dallas Cowboy-Pittsburgh Steeler match-up of Super Bowl XXX was a rematch of two previous Super Bowls, both won by the Steelers. Even if it had been almost 20 years since the Steelers wins over the Cowboys, Fans went into Super Bowl XXX shaking in their boots. This game was the return of the Cowboys who had won Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII at the expense of the Buffalo Bills both times. This was also the first appearance of the Pittsburgh Steelers since the win in Super Bowl XXIV over the Los Angeles Rams. The previous two Super Bowl games between the rival Cowboys and Steelers were closely contested games until the very end of the fourth quarter. Although this Super Bowl game had a lot in common with the first two games, the result was finally what The Dallas Cowboys, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and The Dallas Cowboys fans finally had a different result.

To start the game, The Mighty Dallas Cowboys offence quickly drove downfield before but Pittsburgh’s defence tightened up and held Emmitt Smith and the rest of the Cowboys to just a field goal. On the next possession however, Dallas scored on a quick pass from the Aikman to Novacek combination. After another Chris Boniol field goal, the score was 13-0 and it looked like the rout was on.. Looks can be deceiving because as Fans were preparing to drink champagne, the Pittsburgh ‘s defence became real determined and did not allow Dallas any more points in the first half. At the same time Pittsburgh scored right before half-time to cut the lead to 13-7.  It was obvious that the momentum had shifted at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe Arizona.

To start the second half, Dallas scored quickly on an Emmitt Smith dive to make the score 20-7. Larry Brown‘s then intercepted and on the next possession and it appeared that the game was going to once again be a rout. The Steelers had different thoughts in their minds as the fourth quarter brought a different light to the game. Pittsburgh held the Cowboys and then drove down the field for a field goal of their own to cut into the lead. The fans were then treated to a trick-play that turned the game in favour of Pittsburgh . An on-side kick recovered by Pittsburgh led to a Steeler touchdown. The score was now 20-17 and everyone including that Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were in shock. . Dallas was once again unable to drive and Pittsburgh got the ball back. The Bill Cowar coached Steelers however could and drove the ball well. Relief for the Dallas Cowboys fan finally came when Larry Brown intercepted the ball for the second time in the game and Dallas sealed the win with another touchdown for The Great Emmitt Smith. This sealed a 27-17 win for the Cowboys.  This also was sweet revenge from two previous Super Bowl losses to the Chuck Knoll Steelers.  More importantly for the Dallas Cowboys Franchise this win also erased the recent memory of the Jimmy Johnson-Jerry Jones feud and vindicated coach Barry Switzer in the eyes of many (but not everybody).

Starting Lineups

Dallas Position Pittsburgh
Kevin Williams WR Thigpen
Mark Tuinei LT Jackson
Nate Newton LG Newberry
Derek Kennard C Dawson
Larry Allen RG Stai
Erik Williams RT Searcy
Jay Novacek TE Bruener
Michael Irvin WR Mills
Troy Aikman QB O’Donnell
Emmitt Smith RB Pegrams
Daryl Johnson FB J.L. Williams
Dallas Position Pittsburgh
Tony Tolbert LE Buckner
Russell Maryland LT Steed
Leon Lett RT Seals
Charles Haley RE Greene
Dixon Edwards LLB Kirkland
Robert Jones MLB C. Brown
Darrin Smith RLB Lloyd
Deion Sanders LCB W. Williams
Larry Brown RCB Lake
Darren Woodson SS Bell
Brock Marion FS Perry
Dallas Position Pittsburgh
Chris Boniol K N. Johnson
John Jett P Stark


Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Dallas 10 3 7 7 27
Pittsburgh 0 7 0 10 17
First Quater
02:55 — Dallas – FG, Chris Boniol 42 Yard
09:37 — Dallas – TD, Jay Novacek 3 Yard Pass from Troy Aikman (Chris Boniol Kick)
Second Quarter
08:57 — Dallas – FG, Chris Boniol 35 Yard
14:47 — Pittsburgh – TD, Yancy Thigpen 6 Yard Pass from Neil O’Donnell (Norm Johnson Kick)
Third Quarter
08:18 — Dallas – TD, Emmitt Smith 1 Yard Run (Chris Boniol Kick)
Fourth Quarter
03:40 — Pittsburgh – FG, Norm Johnson 46 Yard
08:24 — Pittsburgh – TD, Bam Morris 1 Yard Run (Norm Johnson Kick)
11:17 — Dallas – TD, Emmitt Smith 4 Yard Run (Chris Boniol Kick)
Dallas Team Stats Pittsburgh
15 1st Down – Total 25
5 1st Down – Rushing 9
10 1st Down – Passing 15
0 1st Down – Penalty 1
0 Fumbles – Number 2
0 Fumbles – Lost Ball 0
5 Penalties 2
25 Yards Penalized 15
0 Missed Field Goals 0
50 Offensive Plays 84
254 Net Yards 310
5.1 Average Gain 3.7

Individual Stats

Dallas Smith 18-49, Johnston 2-8, K. Williams 1-2, Aikman 4-3
Pittsburgh Morris 19-73, Pegram 6-15, Stewart 4-15, O’Donnell 1-0, J. Williams 1-0
Dallas Aikman 15-23-209-1-0
Pittsburgh O’Donnell 28-49-239-1-3
Dallas Irvin 5-76, Novacek 5-50, K. Williams 2-29, Sanders 1-47, Johnston 1-4, Smith 1-3
Pittsburgh Hastings 10-98, Mills 8-78, Thigpen 3-19, Morris 3-18, Holliday 2-19, J. Williams 2-7

Attendance – 76,347 in Tempe, AZ

MVP – CB Larry Brown, Dallas Cowboys


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