January 21, 1979: The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys were playing to become the first team ever to win three Super Bowls. The Game was a rematch of Super Bowl X that the Steelers won, 21-17. The Cowboys were the defending world champs, having defeated the Denver Broncos, 27-10, in Super Bowl XII.
This was the first season in NFL history the teams played 16 regular season games after the NFL expanded it from 14. The Steelers went 14-2 and the Cowboys 12-4 that season.
Super Bowl XIII at the Orange Bowl in Miami was a true heavyweight fight and may have been the greatest collection of players ever assembled on the same field. 14 players from both teams would end up being voted into the Hall of Fame: Nine Pittsburgh players: Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Mike Webster, Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, and Mel Blount, and five from Dallas: Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Rayfield Wright, and Jackie Smith.
The game was a close contest with lots of fireworks, and one of the biggest drops in NFL history that forever haunts Cowboys fans. Jackie Smith (mentioned above) was lured out of retirement because of injuries to Cowboys tight ends. With the score 21-14 in favor of the Steelers in the third quarter, Dallas drove down to the Pittsburgh 10-yard line. On third down, Quarterback Roger Staubach then spotted a wide open Smith in the end zone. He floated the ball softly, and Smith sensing a defender stopped and slide and the ball bounced off his pads. Announcer Verne Lundquist made the famous call: "Bless his heart, he's got to be the sickest man in America."
It's still considered one of the biggest blunders on the game's biggest stage.
After having to settle for a field goal, the Dallas famous "Doomsday" defense collapsed. Pittsburgh would go on to score two touchdowns in a row, the last being Bradshaw-to-Swann toss for the QB's fourth on the day. Dallas would rally for two touchdowns after that to cut it to 35-31, but they couldn't overcome the the lost 4 points on the drop. The Steelers became the first franchise to win three Super Bowls, and Bradshaw took home the game's MVP honors by going 17 of 30 passing for a record 318 yards and 4 touchdowns with 1 interception.
The game came to be known as "Black Sunday" in Las Vegas. The point spread eventually hit Pittsburgh -4.5 and then the Dallas money poured in on the Cowboys. The 35-31 score meant Las Vegas sportsbooks lost the vast majority of wagers on the game, according to Wikipedia.
Money or no money, it was a great game of swings, great plays, and missed opportunities. Here's to you 1978 world champion Pittsburgh Steelers for your win.