Super Bowl XII
Super Bowl XII virtually defined the cliché "That's the way the ball bounces" and in this case it seemed to consistently bounce in favor of the host team, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10, but the 17-point deficit appeared much worse as very little went the Broncos' way in the NFL championship game. The Broncos and Cowboys tied for the best record in the NFL at 12-2 with Dallas scoring the most points of any NFC team and Denver allowing the least number of points of any AFC club, led by their infamous "Orange Crush" defense. Dallas accounted for one Denver's losses in the final game of the regular season with their other coming at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champions Oakland Raiders. The Broncos then proceeded to knock off the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-21 in the divisional playoff and then the Oakland Raiders 20-17 in the AFC Conference Championship. The Cowboys fell only to the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers in back-to-back games during the regular season, but then trounced the Chicago Bears 37-7 in the divisional playoff and then the Minnesota Vikings 23-6 in the NFC Conference Championship.
Super Bowl XII was played in January 15, 1978 in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on the same day Tulane Stadium (venue of Super Bowls IV, VI and IX) was condemned to demolition. It was the first major sporting event to take place at the relatively new arena. Early in the first quarter Dallas seem to tempt fate, fumbling three times on their first two possessions, but recovered the ball each time. They then took control both on offense and defense with their legendary "Doomsday Defense" that confounded opponents for the entire season. Former Dallas quarterback, now leading the Broncos offense, Craig Morton threw two interceptions in the first and Dallas capitalized converting them into a 3-yard rushing touchdown by running back Tony Dorsett and a field goal from Efren Herrera. Dallas survived a sloppy second quarter taking a 13-0 lead into halftime despite two sacks of quarterback Roger Staubach, two Herrera missed field goals and one lost fumble. Denver lost three fumbles and Craig Morton threw two interceptions, as the Broncos were unable to figure out Dallas head coach Tom Landry's flex defense led by Danny White and Harvey Martin. Denver mounted a comeback in the second half cutting Dallas' lead to 20-10 with a third quarter field goal from Jim Turner and touchdown on a 1-yard run from Rob Lytle. But, on a trick play, the halfback option play, Staubach pitched to running back Robert Newhouse who threw a 29-yard pass to Golden Richards in the end zone to ice the game. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10 in a game filled with blunders, penalties and mistakes that seemed to all favor "America's Team. In total, Denver turned the ball over eight times on four fumbles and four interceptions, lost 26 yards on four quarterback sacks and were penalized 60 yards on eight penalties. Dallas had two turnovers, five sacks for a loss of 35 yards and committed 12 penalties for 94 yards. The game had more trick plays, more fumbles and more penalties than any other Super Bowl to date. The two leaders of the "Doomsday Defense" were honored as Harvey Martin and Danny White were named Super Bowl XII co-MVPs.