Now we are talking! 1977 was a wonderful year to be a Cowboys fan. The trade with Seattle to move up and take Tony Dorsett was huge for us! The lackluster play of the previous season was gone and a new fire was kindled in our players.
We won our first 8 games pretty easily before dropping a close one to the Cards and our only real beating by the Stealers. We then went on to win the last 4 games of the season easily again. I was hoping we would meet them again in the SB but it didn't happen this year.
Dorsett was everything we hoped he would be and more as he gained just over 1000 yards & 12 TDs and was named the offensive rookie of the year. Newhouse still gave us good solid running but Dorsett brought in a whole new dimension of speed, quickness, agility, and vision that we hadn't ever seen in Dallas before.
Staubach led the league in passing and had a great season throwing to the Pearsons, DuPree and Dorsett. Our defense gelled and we led the NFC in sacks with 53. That was in a 14 game season, I would love for our team to get 53 sacks today! The move of Randy White from LB to DT was a big part of that as it allowed our DEs, Martin and Jones to face single blocking a lot of the time or took a RB out of play to double one of them.
We also added Tony "Thrill" Hill but he didn't see much action this year. Another guy we drafted but didn't make the team was QB Steve DeBerg who would go on to have a very interesting career of being replaced by several HoF QBs (Elway, Young, & Montana). I wish we would have kept him but we were already set at QB with Staubach and Danny White although I can't see how he couldn't beat out Glen Carano, who was our 2nd round pick that year, for the 3rd QB spot.
Another addition was OL Jim Cooper who would be a mainstay on the O-Line for many years to come. We did lose Lee Roy Jordan and Blaine Nye to retirement but their replacements filled in quite well.
As good as we looked all season I was still hesitant to get my hopes up that we would go all the way. The loss to the Stealers kinda took the wind out of my sails but by the time the playoffs rolled around we were unstoppable!
In the opening round we completely crushed Walter Payton and the Bears 37-7 as Dorsett outgained "Sweetness" by 25 yards on 2 fewer carries. Tony also scored twice. The defense closed off Walter's running lanes and mercilessly harassed QB Bob Avellini all day forcing 4 INTs and 3 fumbles. When I talk about an "attacking defense" this is what I am referring to.
It was 37-0 until the Bears finally scored a late, meaningless TD to keep from being shut out.
We then faced our old nemesis, the Vikings in the NFC Championship game and dominated them as well limiting them to two 2nd quarter FGs. The Vikings' defense played well but with Tarkenton out with a broken leg their offense couldn't generate anything against us. We used a good mix of run and pass and won pretty easily over them. The defense forced 4 turnovers and never allowed the Minnesota offense to get untracked keeping Chuck Foreman in check all day.
Then came the SB against the Broncos and our former QB Craig Morton who must have been confused by seeing his old uniforms as he completed as many passes to Cowboys' defenders as he did to his Broncos teammates.
This game was over before it started as the "Doomsday Defense" completely smothered the Broncos all day. They couldn't run the ball, they had no time to pass, they were totally outclassed as co-MVPs Randy White and Harvey Martin could not be blocked.
Denver's "Orange Crush" defense played well for the most part but they were on the field a lot and eventually wore down and started to give up some big plays. Norris Weese came in for Morton at QB and was mobile enough to scramble away from the passrush and make some plays but it was too little, too late. They scored a TD late in the 3rd quarter but they were down 20-10 by that time. A 29-yard TD RB-Option pass from Robert Newhouse to Golden Richards sealed the deal in the 4th quarter as the Broncos never got close to scoring again.
Our defense was amazing that day as we forced 8 turnovers and were relentless in our attack on their QBs and RBs. Constant pressure, constant movement and misdirection by the D-Line, we were at our best that year on defense. Even though we had had some better years statistically in 1966, 68, & 69 I believe the 1977 version was the best defense the Dallas Cowboys have ever produced.
For the second time we had won a SB in convincing fashion and I was anticipating winning several more just like that with this team as we looked unbeatable!
Captain Nathan Brittles: "Only the man who commands can be blamed. It rests on me... mission failure!"
"Jerry Jones is a billionaire fan who bought his own team for the express purpose of buying his way into the game. He wants to hang out with the players, stand in front of the cameras, be the face of the team (yech), make personnel moves as if this were a video game, and more than anything else, be seen as the guy who made it all happen."