Moving on From Super Bowl 5 Loss
The Cowboys lost Super Bowl 5 to the Colts on a last-second field goal. The loss was exceptionally difficult for the entire team. In 1971, they regrouped and started the long climb towards the Super Bowl all over again.Embed from Getty Images
Midway through the 1971 season, the Cowboys moved from the Cotton Bowl into the newly-built Texas Stadium. The Cowboys won their sixth straight division title in 1971. Bob Lilly earned All-Pro honors for the seventh time, as the Doomsday Defense forced five turnovers or more in five games that year, including against Minnesota in the NFC divisional playoffs. After the Cowboys toppled Minnesota, the Cowboys beat San Francisco in the NFC championship game.
That victory gave the Cowboys nine wins in a row. They looked for their tenth straight win in Super Bowl VI (6) against the AFC champion Miami Dolphins.
Cowboys vs Dolphins in Super Bowl 6
The Cowboys led the Dolphins at halftime 10-3 in Super Bowl 6. Bob Lilly and the rest of Dallas’ Doomsday Defense dominated the powerful Dolphins offense and shut them out in the second half. The Cowboys controlled the entire game and posted a convincing 24-3 victory. Lilly talked about how Dallas prepared for Miami and the Cowboys defensive game plan that worked so well in Super Bowl Six.Embed from Getty Images
“The team was very serious about that game. We had lost the last year by three points to Baltimore. And we’d been runner-up, bridesmaids, and all kinds of things for years. We made up our minds after that game (Super Bowl 5). We were going to win the next one (Super Bowl 6).”
Great Defensive Strategy
“We had been watching literally 10 or 12 different films of Miami. I think every film they had from the whole year. We saw what they did against three-man lines, four-threes (4-3 defense), and saw what they did. What they did is run over everybody. They had a great running game. So Coach Landry convinced us that the flex defense can shut down any run. He said you just have to be perfect. You have to do it right, and we did.”
Lilly adds that defensive backs Cornell Green and Mel Renfro played key roles in the Cowboys pass defense. “Cornell was a wild card, and they had Paul Warfield, who was an outstanding receiver. So, Mel Renfro was on him. Cornell was also on him, as far as he was always nearby, and he made some great plays.”
Lilly said that Green likely prevented a touchdown. “He tipped one ball that would have been a touchdown. He was a 6 foot 5 basketball player. Cornell probably jumped about 6 feet off the ground and tipped the ball, and it went just over Paul’s hands.”Embed from Getty Images
The Dallas Cowboys are Super Bowl Champions
The Dallas Cowboys finally reached the end of a successful championship journey. All the pent-up disappointment the Cowboys had in close games and winning divisional titles only to fall in the playoffs melted away that Super Bowl Sunday at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.Embed from Getty Images
“We were elated after the game was over. Absolutely elated. It was like lifting a hundred-pound weight off all our backs that we had been carrying around for a long time and we finally got rid of it. That was the beginning of more to come.”
Like sports history? Listen to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Podcast! Most episodes include stories from legendary Texas sports figures.