Countdown of the 20 Greatest Super Bowl’s: #9 Super Bowl XIII
#9 Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Pittsburgh Steelers – 35
Dallas Cowboys – 31
January 21, 1979
MVP: Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh
Key Play: With less than two minutes left in the first half, Steelers defensive back Mel Blount picked off Roger Staubach’s pass, leading to a Steelers touchdown before halftime.
Super Bowl XIII featured two legendary franchises and a room’s worth of hall-of-fame players. Lead by legendary coach Tom Landry, the Dallas Cowboys were trying to win back-to-back Super Bowl’s. The Pittsburgh Steelers, featuring hall-of-famer’s Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Joe Greene, and Lynn Swann were trying to become the first franchise to win three Super Bowl’s.
Known to many as “The Battle of Champions”, the game actually wasn’t close until Dallas rallied and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Terry Bradshaw threw for a record four touchdown passes completing 17 of 30 for 318 yards on his way to the Super Bowl MVP award. Bradshaw led the Steelers into halftime with a 21-14 lead. The scoring slowed down in the third quarter, but Dallas kicked a field goal to pull to within 21-17.
The fourth quarter of Super Bowl XIII would end up becoming one of the wildest and most entertaining quarters in Super Bowl history. The Steelers scored twice within a minute halfway through the fourth quarter behind a Franco Harris 22-yard touchdown run and a 18-yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw to Swann. The Steelers looked to be in control of the game with a 35-17 lead with seven minutes left in the game.
Some Steelers players already began celebrating on the sideline at this point, but it proved to be a little too soon. On their next drive, the Cowboys went 89 yards downfield, scoring on a 7-yard Roger Staubach touchdown pass.
The Cowboys then recovered the onside kick and once again drove down the field and scored on a Staubach touchdown pass to make the game 35-31 with just 22 seconds left. The Cowboys had one last chance, but despite a remarkable comeback attempt, they were unable to recover the onside kick.
Super Bowl XIII featured two legendary teams, with two legendary quarterbacks, and two legendary coaches. The game itself had it all; scoring, suspense, and a dramatic comeback attempt. In the end, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 for their franchise’s third Super Bowl victory.