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Art Rooney media photoAlthough pro football had entered the age of computers and millionaire athletes, Art Rooney remained as close to his players as he was in the 1930s when he was a hungry young hustler and the game was a seat-of-the-pants operation.

“In some ways I’m closer to the players now,” he told the Pittsburgh Press. “Everything’s together here.” A wave of the hand takes in the bustling Steeler complex in Three Rivers Stadium. Office personnel work there; coaches plot; players practice or just hang around. And Art Rooney proudly oversees what he and his sons have wrought.

The setup is light years away from the early days when the colourful, but usually inept, teams operated and practiced out of an old house in South Park. The game then was not the exercise in precision that the Steelers will perform in Super Bowl X.

“A lot of the stars of the old days couldn’t play this game now,” Rooney noted. “And a lot of them today couldn’t have played that type of game.”

A deep source of pride are the contributions of his sons to the Steelers’ transformation from perennial loser to a powerhouse.

“There are a number of reasons,” Rooney added. “The coach gets much of the credit. And then my boys Danny and Artie.”

Dan Rooney, president, runs the Steelers now; he built the team that won Super Bowl IX. Art Jr., vice president, has made the scouting one of the best in pro football.

Art Rooney, legend, couldn’t ask for anything more.


“I don’t care what people think,” said Lee Roy Johnson of Dallas, “we can win this one. It’s going to take a hell of an effort, but I think we can do it. There’s no reason why we can’t.

So what if we are the underdog? I love being in that position. The Steelers are the ones under the gun. If they win, everybody will say they should have. It they lose, everybody will say they fell apart at the seams; that they couldn’t take the pressure.”

The Cowboys’ safety Cliff Harris suggested, “We spend a lot of time concentrating on the quarterback. We can’t take our frustration out on him when he drops back to pass. When he crosses the line… that’s another story.

If our strategy works, we’ll contain him. That will be easier on me, really. And on him too.”

Super Bowl X
The Pittsburgh Steelers vs the Dallas Cowboys

The opening kickoff showed the Steelers that it wasn’t going to be easy to become the third team to accomplish back to back Super Bowl wins. Dallas surprised them on the run back with a reverse. Roy Gerela was forced to make the tackle that ended the run and it was the probable cause of the bruised ribs that affected his kicking game.

To follow that revers, Bobby Walden fumbled a snap on a punt handing good field position to Dallas on the Steelers’ 29. One play later, Drew Pearson pulled in Roger Staubach’s pass and ran 12 yards to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.

Still in the first quarter, the Steelers came back with Terry Bradshaw guiding his team to an 8-play drive of 67 yards, kept alive by Lynn Swann’s leaping catch in coverage, and finished by Randy Grossmann’s 7-yard touchdown catch.

In the second quarter, only a Dallas field goal of 36 yards separated the teams as they extended that 10-7 lead into the final period when Gerela missed two field goal attempts for Pittsburgh.

After the second miss, Gerela was the object of some Dallas taunting as Cliff Harris waved the ball in his face. Jack Lambert then defended his teammate by trying to “unscrew Harris’ head from his shoulders” in the words of the Pittsburgh Press.

With the result in the balance, the Steelers produced the play of the game. With the Cowboys punting on a fourth and 13 from their own 16, the Steelers decided to go for a blocked punt.

Instead of dropping back as he would normally, Dave Brown lined up to create a 10-man rush for the Steelers. When Dallas didn’t adjust, it opened up the play for Harrison to crash through to block Mitch Hoopes’ punt out of the end zone. The safety gave two points and the momentum to the Steelers.

From the ensuing kickoff, the Steelers added three points from the boot of Gerela with his field goal of 36 yards to take the lead. On the first play of the Cowboys’ next series, Mike Wagner intercepted a Staubach pass and Gerela kicked another field goal, this one from 18 yards.

The Steelers defense held the Cowboys on their next series and three plays later, the Steelers increased extended their lead.

Lyn Swann media photoUnder extreme pressure as Dallas gambled on a safety blitz, Bradshaw hung up a pass. Bradshaw was taken down and never saw the 64-yard completion to Swann (picture left) who took it in for a touchdown. With less than three minutes remaining and the Steelers 21-10 ahead, Bradshaw left the field.

Dallas tried to fight back. Beginning a drive on their own twenty, Staubach completed three straight passes before a sack momentary halted their progress. His next pass connected to Percy Howard for a 34-yard touchdown to reduce the gap to 21-17.

Dallas attempted an onside kick, but Pittsburgh recovered and stuck with the run to let the clock run down. Coach Noll decided to run on a fourth down in deference to the potential of having a punt blocked.

The Cowboys took over on their own 39, with 1:22 and three timeouts remaining. The Steelers defense held and the game finished with an end zone interception by Glen Edwards.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 21 vs the Dallas Cowboys 17
Orange Bowl, Miami January 18th 1976; 80,197

Of the winning score, Bradshaw observed, “I didn’t know it was a touchdown until I came into the locker room. I didn’t see the catch. I’m still a little hazy. I got hit from the blind side and I heard bells ringing.”

“Our strategy was first to run the ball, then to mix it up, and then I decided to throw more on first down and then to throw some more. I wanted to go deep all day. I had lots of time, great protection. I just couldn’t hit my receivers.”

“Swann was the difference,” Landry said. “He made two great catches while covered. On that last one (64-yard touchdown), we had Bradshaw dead (on a safety blitz) and he got out of it.”

In the last Super Bowl I didn’t catch anything,” Lynn Swann said. “It bothered me. Maybe subconsciously I wanted to make up for it. In this one, I just had a good time and this is all mine,” he added pointing at the game ball.

Of the Cliff Harris incident, Jack Lambert remarked, “I felt he jumped up in Roy’s face and that was uncalled for, and someone had to do something about it.”

Of the the Cowboys final drive, Art Rooney said, "I was thinking of what they did to Minnesota," when Staubach threw a bomb to Drew pearson.

Franco Harris enthused, “I’m very happy, more excited than last year. We’re number one two times. We have championship blood in us.”

French Fuqua added, “We’re champs two years in a row. Let’s make it five.”

Chuck Noll said the tough competition in the Central division helped the club. “When you’re in the position of having to play pressure-type football all year, it’s better than having a comfortable lead early in the year.”

When asked how he would compare the Steelers with past champion teams, Noll replied, “Anything anybody says doesn’t mean that much. You speak with actions and our team spoke with action on the field Sunday.”










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Last updated October 18th 2014.

Byron White's 1938 season with the Pirates added July 2014.

Keeping the Faith with Chuck Noll added September 2014.

Chuck Noll tribute added June 2014.

The Thirties Pirates updated April 2014.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2013 added February 2014.
The story of Steeler Nation's visit to London added October 2013.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2012 added May 2013.
The Terrible Towel photos updated April 2013.
Steeler Nation UK in Dublin with the Steelers 1997 added April 2013.
Portsmouth Spartans added April 2013.

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