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1996 ‐ Super Bowl XXX ‐ Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers

1996 ‐ Super Bowl XXX ‐ Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers

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Dallas Cowboys 27
Pittsburgh Steelers 17

January 28, 1996

Super Bowl XXX was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The NFC champion Cowboys (15-4) faced the AFC champion Steelers (13-6). A record 138.5 million viewed the game on TV.

Dallas was making its third Super Bowl appearance in four years under Barry Switzer, who replaced Jimmy Johnson in 1993. Pittsburgh overcame a 3-4 start to advance to their first Super Bowl since XIV. The game was the third meeting between the teams after X and XIII.

Dallas scored on its first three possessions to go ahead 13-0: a 3-yard touchdown pass by Troy Aikman and two field goals. Neil O’Donnell’s 6-yard touchdown pass to receiver Yancey Thigpen with 13 seconds left in the first half cut Dallas lead to 13-7.

Pittsburgh had the ball near the 50 yard life halfway through the third quarter, but Dallas cornerback Larry Brown intercepted O’Donnell at Dallas’ 38. He returned the ball to the Steelers’ 18.

Aikman connected with Michael Irvin for a 17-yard gain, setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Emmitt Smith to put Dallas up 20-7.

But Pittsburgh completed a 46-yard field goal, then recovered an onside kick and scored on a one-yard touchdown by Byron (Bam) Morris to pull to within 20-17 with 6:36 left.

Pittsburgh forced Dallas to punt and took possession at its 32. But Brown picked off O’Donnell again and the ball back to Pittsburgh’s six-yard line. Smith sealed the victory with a four-yard touchdown run.

Pittsburgh limited Dallas’ powerful rushing attack to just 56 yards. But Pittsburgh could not overcome the two interceptions by Brown, which broke up two Pittsburgh drives and set up two Dallas touchdowns. He returned the balls for 77 yards, becoming the first cornerback to be voted Super Bowl MVP.

Morris ran for a game-high 73 yards. O’Donnell threw 28 of 49 passes for 239 yards. Aikman completed 15 of 23 attempts for 209 yards.

Dallas’ Super Bowl XXX victory was their record-tying fifth overall and the NFC’s twelfth consecutive.

Around the World on January 28:

  • Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born poet, Nobel Laureate died at 55.

Around the NFL in 1996:

  • February 9 – The NFL approved the relocation of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore and the activation of a new Browns team no later than 1999.
  • March 7 – NFL attendance reached a record 19,202,757, surpassing 19 million for the first time.
  • April 30 – The NFL approved the transfer of the Oilers from Houston to Nashville for 1998.
  • June 23 – The Scottish Claymores beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 32-27 to win the 1996 World Bowl.
  • August 3 – The Ravens premiered in Baltimore with a preseason 17-9 victory over the Eagles. The Panthers premiered in Charlotte with a 30-12 preseason victory over the Bears.
  • November 10-11 – Weekend records of 762 points scored and attendance of 964,079 were set.
  • December 6 – Former Commissioner Pete Rozelle died at 70.
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