The Dallas Cowboys crunched the Los Angeles Rams in the 1978 NFC Championship Game 28-0... while the Pittsburgh Steelers were handily beating the Houston Oilers 34-5 in the 1978 AFC Title Game.
Super Bowl XIII
The Pittsburgh Steelers built a 21-14 half-time lead and went on to beat the Dallas Cowboys 35-31. Terry Bradshaw tossed 4 touchdown passes for the winning Steelers. With Pittsburgh up 31-17 in the 4th quarter, Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach rallied his team with two short TD passes, but it was too late. Staubach threw 3 TD passes in a losing cause.
Pittsburgh 35-31 over Dallas
Around the NFL in 1978:
* Drew Pearson, Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver - an All-Pro, who's best described as: 'poetry-in-motion'... he's fast, and maneuvers around the arena with rhythmic confidence... a perennial All-Pro, he has 23 touchdown passes in first six seasons for Dallas - '73-'78. And, has caught 281 passes for 4,697 yards.
* Larry Little, Miami Dolphins Guard - one of the strongest men in the NFL, he's a power-house up-close in the offensive line, and is one of the main reasons Miami continues to lead the league in running yards... Attended Bethune Cookman College and joined the Dolphins in 1969... three times, Larry Little was named the AFC Outstanding Offensive Lineman during his outstanding career.
* Earl Mann, Oakland Raiders Kicker - one of the top field goal kickers in football history... made his pro football debut with Green Bay back in '68, and was signed by Detroit the following season... and, scored 100 or more points the next 3-years - 101, 101 and 103 points from '69-71... Mann kicked 20 or more successful field goals in 5 of his first 6 year with the Lions. In mid-season of '76 he joined up with the Raiders and is still right-on-the-money on placement kicks... so far in his 11-year career, Earl Mann has kicked 315 extra points and 177 field goals for a total of 846 points.
* Bruce Laird, Baltimore Colts, Strong Safety &Kickoff Returner - a top all-around athlete, he's been a solid performer at strong safety and is one of the leading kickoff returners... his career record of 25.2 yards per/return/average ranks among the top return specialists in the history of football. In 1972, Laird, then a rookie, ran back 29 kickoffs for 843 yards, for a stunning 29.1 yard/average.
* Otis Sistrunk, Oakland Raiders Defensive End - a relentless hustler, he has been a starter with the Raiders since his rookie season of 1972... and has been a starter in 100 straight regular season games... was selected to the Pro Bowl in '74. A giant-of-a-man, he stands 6ft, 6inches and weighs in at 250 pounds, and is the team's Field Sargent. In the off-season Sistrunk works as a youth counselor.
* Stu Voigt, Minnesota Vikings Tight End - a excellent, intelligent blocker, he was one of the NFL best pass-catching ends in the 1970s... he caught 20 or more passes for five successive seasons - 23, 32, 34, 28 and 20 from 1973-1977 and has 15 lifetime touchdowns. Voigt was drafted by the Vikings in 1970 after attending Wisconsin University.
* Charlie Hall, Cleveland Browns Linebacker - a solid performer and a hard-hitting defensive left linebacker, he joined the Browns in 1971... standing 6ft, 4inch and weighing 225 pounds, Hall originally went to the University of Houston as a basketball player before switching to football... In '74, he intercepted a career-best 3 passes and in his first eight years with Cleveland, he has 9 interceptions.
* Charley Young, Los Angeles Rams Tight End - the well-liked 6ft, 4inch- 235-pounder played his first four seasons with the Eagles before being traded to the Rams in '77... In his rookie year of 1973, he caught 55 passes, good for 854 yards and six touchdowns... in his 6-year career, Charley Young has 220 receptions and has scored 13 TD.
* Steve Furness, Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Tackle - a seemingly endless charging tackler, he led the team with 8 1/2 quarterback sacks in 1977... he was one of the Steelers' main defensive men in their drive to the Super Bowl in January of 1978. A leader in the weight room, Steve Furness stands 6ft, 4inches and weighs 255 pounds. He was drafted out of Rhode Island U by Pittsburgh back in '72.
* Thomas Henderson, Dallas Cowboys Linebacker - nicknamed 'Hollywood Henderson'... the likable linebacker has played with the Cowboys for four years now - 1975-78... Henderson recorded 4 interceptions in his rookie campaign of '75 and also was used as a receiver on kickoffs, returning 4 for 130-yards and one TD... In Dallas' 28-0 win over the Rams in the 1978 NFC Championship Game, he intercepted a 4th-quarter pass and scampered back 68-yards for touchdown.
* Mike Patrick, New England Patriots Punter - although he missed most of the '78 season on the disabled list, he has been one of the league top punters since he opened as a rookie in 1975... He booted 13 punts inside the 20-yard line in 1977... attended Mississippi State and played in the Sun Bowl in 1974.
* Cleo Miller, Cleveland Browns Running Back - a throwback to the old halfback slot, he's a solid runner and an outstanding blocker... he played two years ('74-'75) with Dallas before signing as a free agent with Cleveland in 1976. Cleo Miller has rushed for 1,914 career yards and has 10 touchdowns to his credit... In 1977, he gained 117-yards on 21 carries and caught a TD pass in a game against Buffalo.
* Ken Stone, St Louis Cardinals Defensive Safety - the well-traveled pro football veteran has played for four different NFL teams - 1973-1978... his 9 interceptions for the Cardinals in 1978 enabled him to be tied for the NFC lead... Stone also is one of the hardest-hitters on specialty teams while covering punts and kickoffs returns.
* Gerald Irons, Cleveland Browns Linebacker - a nine year NFL veteran, the muscular right linebacker broke into pro football in 1970 with the Oakland Raiders and was one of the team's leaders before being traded to the Browns in '76... generally regarded as 'no forward progress' for opponents on his side of the line... He comes out of Maryland E. Shores College.
* Randy White, Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle - a star defensive lineman at Maryland, he was the Cowboys No. 1 draft pick in 1975... and was voted the co-MVP of Super Bowl 12 in January of '78... nicknamed 'Manster' - part man/ part monster - he racked up 70 tackles, 48 assists and 12 quarterback sacks in the regular season. Randy White is generally regard as one of the strongest men in pro football during the late'1970s.
footballhistorian.com - The History of Football The two top guns in the NFL in 1978 both led their teams to league championships. Quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers had the highest passing points, 84.8, in the AFC and Dallas Cowboy star Roger Staubach's 84.9 led the NFC.
Note: % of passes completed
Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys 55.9%, 25 TD, 7.72 avg/gain, 84.9 Points... Archie Manning, Washington Redskins 61.8%, 17 TD, 7.25 avg/gain, 81.6 Pts... Gary Danielson, Detroit Lions 56.7%, 18 TD, 6.54 avg/gain, 73.6 Pts...
Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings 60.3%, 25 TD, 6.06 avg/gain... 68.9 Pts... Ron Jaworski, Philadelphia Eagles 51.8%, 16 TD, 6.25 avg/gain, 68.0 PTs... Jim Hart, St. Louis Cardinals 50.3%, 16 TD, 6.54 avg/gain, 66.8 Pts... Pat Haden, Los Angeles Rams 51.6%, 13 TD, 6.75 avg/gain, 65.0 Pts... Joe Theisman, Washington Redskins 41.3%, 13 TD, 6.65 avg/gain, 61.6 Pts... Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta Falcons 50.7%, 10 TD, 6.75 avg/gain, 61.1 Pts... David Whitehurst, Green Bay Packers 51.2%, 10 TD, 6.38 avg/gain, 59.7 Pts...
Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers 56.3%, 28 TD, 7.92 avg/gain, 84.8 Pts... Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers 58.8%, 24 TD, 7.87 avg/gain, 83.2 Pts... Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins 63.0%, 11 TD, 7.62 avg/gain, 82.4 Pts... Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns 55.6%, 21 TD, 7.28 avg/gain, 80.6 Pts...
Graig Morton, Denver Broncos 54.7%... 11 TD, 6.75 Avg/gain, 77 Pts... Jim Zorn, Seattle Seahawks 56%, 15 TD, 7.41 avg/gain, 72.2 Pts... Joe Ferguson, Buffalo Bills, 53%, 16 TD, 6.47 avg/gain, 70.5 Pts... Dan Pastorini, Houston Oilers 54.1%, 16 TD, 6.72 avg/gain, 70.3 Pts... Matt Robinson, New York Jets 46.6, 13 TD, 7.53 avg/gain, 63.6 Pts... Steve Grogan, 50%, 15 TD, 7.80 avg/gain, 63.3 Pts...
* Jim Zorn, Seattle Seahawks Quarterback - one of the AFC leading signal callers, he was a starter in his rookie season with Seattle in '76 - completing 208-of-439 passes, good for 2,571 yards and 12 touchdowns. A rapid-passer, he tossed for 296 yards in one game in '77 to enable the Seahawks to topple the Bills 56-17. In 1978 Zorn threw for 15 TD and had 3,283 passing yards.
* Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta Falcons Quarterback - was Atlanta's No. 1 draft pick in 1975 - and although he missed 3-games because of an elbow injury, he still managed to win the 'Bert Bell Trophy as Offensive Rookie of the Year.' Has passed for 30 touchdowns in his first four years in the NFL.
* Dan Pastorini, Houston Oilers Quarterback - attended Santa Clara College... was Houston's No. 1 pick in the 1971 draft. He's been the Oilers starting quarterback since his rookie year... a 8-year veteran, in 1978 he completed 199-of-368 passes, good for 2,472 yards... has tossed 82 career touchdowns.
* Pat Haden, Los Angeles Rams - played rookie season of 1975 in the WFL before signing with Los Angeles. An excellent runner as well as passer, Haden finished 1978 with a 51.6 completion percentage, and passed for 13 touchdown and helped the Rams win their 6th straight division title.
footballhistorian.com - The History of Football