The 1975 Dallas Cowboys surprised all the NFL pundits by advancing to Super Bowl X. The Cowboys were coming off a disappointing 8-6 season and most thought they were still rebuilding in 1975. The Cowboys offense was led by QB Roger Staubach. Staubach did not have one of his better seasons but still led the Cowboys to 9 wins in his 13 starts. Robert Newhouse led the Cowboys in rushing with 930 yards and newcomer Preston Pearson chipped in 509 yards. Drew Pearson was the Cowboys leading receiver with 822 yards on 46 catches and 8 TDs. For the 1st time in 14 seasons the Cowboys defense was no longer led by Bob Lilly who had retired after the 1974 season. Despite missing their hall of fame leader, the Cowboys defense responded to the challenge and ranked 5th in the league at the end of the season. The Cowboys defense was led by MLB Lee Roy Jordan, CB Mel Renfro, Safeties Charlie Waters and Cliff Harris as well as 2nd year player “Too Tall” Jones.
The Cowboys had one of their most successful drafts in 1975 when 12 of their draft picks made the team. Some of the more notables were Future Hall of Famer Randy White who was selected in the first round. LB Thomas Henderson was also taken in the 1st round. LB Bob Breunig came in the 3rd, Tackle Pat Donovan was a 4th round pick. DB Randy Hughes was also a 4th round pick. LB Mike Hegman came in the 7th round. Guard Herb Scott was taken in the 13th round and Scott Laidlaw was selected in the 14th round.
The Cowboys won their first 4 games of the 1975 season including an OT win over the Division winning St Louis Cardinals. At mid season the Cowboys lost 3 of 4 games including an OT loss to the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys won 5 of 6 down the stretch with their only loss coming to the Division Champion Cardinals. The Cowboys failed to capture the Division title but easily won the NFC Wild Card with a 10-4 record.
The Cowboys traveled to Minnesota to face the heavily favored Vikings in the first round of the 1975 NFC Playoffs. Both teams struggled to score in the first half. The Cowboys were shutout but the Vikings did manage a 1 yard TD run from Chuck Foreman after a muffed punt by the Cowboys. The Cowboys tied the score at 7 with a 3rd quarter 4 yard TD run from RB Doug Dennison. The Cowboys took a 10-7 lead in the 4th Quarter off of a Toni Fritsch 24 yard field goal. The Vikings took the lead back at 14-10 after a 70 yard drive capped off by a Brent McClanahan’s 1 yard TD run. The Cowboys got the ball on their own 15 yard line with 1:51 to play in the game. Early in the drive the Cowboys faced a 4th and 16 when Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson on the sidelines right at the first down marker. The Cowboys moved the ball to mid field with 24 seconds remaining and completed one of the most famous passes in NFL history. Staubach launched a long pass down the right sideline where Drew Pearson was sprinting down field with Viking DB Nate Wright along side. As the ball arrived, Wright fell down and Pearson appeared to trap the ball along his side. The refs signaled TD and the Vikings cried foul. The play was later dubbed the ‘Hail Mary’ when Roger Staubach used those words to describe the pass during the post game interview. The Cowboys had pulled off an improbably victory over the Vikings 17-14.
The Cowboys traveled to LA to play the Rams in the NFC Championship game. The Rams were heavily favored over the Cowboys but the Cowboys had momentum coming off the Vikings game and steamrolled the Rams 37-7. Staubach threw for 220 yards and 4 TD’s as the Cowboys raced to 21-0 halftime lead. The Cowboys scored a TD on their first possession of the 2nd half to take a commanding 28-0 lead. They added 3 Toni Fritsch FG’s and if not for a late TD run by John Cappelletti would have shut the Rams out. The Cowboys defense allowed only 118 yards, 22 on the ground and recorded 5 QB sacks.
The Cowboys face the defending Super Bowl Champions Pittsburgh Steelers in Miami for Super Bowl X. Super Bowl X was a great game and featured 15 future Hall of Famer’s. The Cowboys scored 1st off a Steelers fumbled punt. Staubach hit Drew Pearson for a 29 yard TD pass. The Steelers immediately responded with a TD drive of their own. Bradshaw hit Randy Grossman on a 7 yard TD pass. The Cowboys responded on their next possession with a Toni Fritsch field goal to take a 10-7 lead. The Steelers and the Cowboys both squandered opportunity to score again in the first half and went to the locker rooms with the score Cowboys 10, Steelers 7. Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter but the Steelers did miss another field goal. The Cowboys punter Mitch Hoopes had a punt blocked early in the 4th quarter that went through the end zone for a safety moving the Steelers closer at 10-9. The Steelers were able to get 2 field goals on their next two possessions to take a 15-10 lead. The Steelers pushed the score out even further on a 64 yard TD pass from Bradshaw to Swann. Gerala missed the extra point making the score 21-10. With a little over 5 minutes remaining, the Cowboys and Staubach were not done. Staubach drove the Cowboys 80 yards for a TD. Staubach hit Percy Howard on a 34 yard TD, Howard’s only NFL Catch, to make the score 21-17. The Cowboys then recovered the onside kick with 1:22 left. The Cowboys moved to mid field but failed to score as the Steelers intercepted a last ditch ‘Hail Mary’ attempt by Staubach. The Steelers won Super Bowl X by a score of 21-17.
1975 Dallas Cowboy draft picks
|1||Randy White HOF||DT||Maryland|
|3||Bob Breunig||LB||Arizona St.|
|6||Rolly Woolsey||DB||Boise St.|
|7||Mike Hegman||LB||Tennessee St.|
|11||Greg Krpalek||C||Oregon St.|
|13||Herbert Scott||G||Virginia Union|
|16||Pete Clark||TE||Colorado St.|
1975 Dallas Cowboys schedule and results
|1||September 21||W||Los Angeles Rams||18||7|
|2||September 28||W||St. Louis Cardinals||37||31|
|3||October 6||W||@||Detroit Lions||36||10|
|4||October 12||W||@||New York Giants||13||7|
|5||October 19||L||Green Bay Packers||17||19|
|6||October 26||W||@||Philadelphia Eagles||20||17|
|7||November 2||L||@||Washington Redskins||24||30|
|8||November 10||L||Kansas City Chiefs||31||34|
|9||November 16||W||@||New England Patriots||34||31|
|10||November 23||W||Philadelphia Eagles||27||17|
|11||November 30||W||New York Giants||14||3|
|12||December 7||L||@||St. Louis Cardinals||17||31|
|13||December 13||W||Washington Redskins||31||10|
|14||December 21||W||@||New York Jets||31||21|
|Division||December 28||W||@||Minnesota Vikings||17||14|
|ConfChamp||January 4||W||@||Los Angeles Rams||37||7|
|SuperBowl||January 18||L||N||Pittsburgh Steelers||17||21|
1975 Dallas Cowboys roster