In the 1975 Draft the Cowboys had a dozen players make the team. The media called them “The Dirty Dozen.” The great Bob Lilly, Mr. Cowboy, had retired after the 1974 season and the man who would one day replace him, Randy “The Manster” White was the 2nd overall pick in that Draft. The Cowboys became the first ever Wildcard playoff team to make it to the Super Bowl. They made it courtesy of a miracle play play by Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson known as “The Hail Mary.” Nate Wright, the Minnesota Vikings Cornerback who was victimized on that play lives in Tucson, Arizona and I’ve run into him a time or two. He still maintains Drew pushed off.
The main thing I remember about Super Bowl X was it was the first time in my life as a neophyte Cowboys fan that I saw Roger Staubach fail to lead the Cowboys back to victory. Dallas scored on a touchdown pass to Percy Howard, the only catch of his entire NFL career. They then went for an onsides kick and missed it. The Pittsburgh Steelers tried to run out the clock, but Dallas got the ball back after Chuck Noll went for it on 4th and short. I can’t help but wonder what fans today would think of such a decision. Doomsday stopped the Steelers cold and gave Roger one more chance. I was sure he would put the game away.
Percy Howard nearly caught another TD pass, but it wasn’t to be as it bounced away. Then he was the target again on a last second play, but the ball was deflected and intercepted in the end zone as time expired. It was perhaps the closest Super Bowl of all time, and nearly a Roger Staubach miracle that would have made “The Hail Mary” play an afterthought instead of legend. Well, maybe not, but the stage was sure bigger. Can you imagine the legend of Percy Howard had he caught that last second TD? More people would know his name and story I’m sure.
In 1977 I learned what a bandwagon fan is. Early in that season Dallas was the last unbeaten team. They went 8-0 before they finally lost a game, the longest winning streak to start a season in their History. I was in an Art class in Junior High, and I was drawing a picture of an exciting rookie RB named Tony Dorsett. I’m not ashamed to say it was awful. I’m not an artist. A classmate friend of mine told me to draws his last name on the back of the jersey. I asked him if he was a Cowboys fan, and he replied, “You bet.”