Super Bowl XIII Cowboys 31 - Steelers 35 http://www.dallascowboysfanclub.com/superbowl/sb13.htm The locker room was quiet and jammed with reporters tripping over each other and players trying to dress. The sound of water jetting from the showers may have been the loudest noise. Even Hollywood Henderson was relatively quiet. In the clogged areas, where the media huddled around certain members of the Dallas Cowboys, players were going over details of their 35-31 Super Bowl XIII loss to Pittsburgh. One mass of reporters would make their way to the front and ask the same players to repeat the same answers; then another wave would shoulder in and ask, one more time, the players to go over the crucial plays. WHEN 1,700 reporters cover an event, repetition is the order of the locker room. But it made it that much harder on split end Drew Pearson, asked to describe the fumble exchange between he and Tony Dorsett on a reverse two minutes into the game. That much harder on Aaron Kyle, asked what happened when John Stallworth broke free from Kyle's grasps and tacked on an extra 65 yards to what ended up being a 75-yard touchdown pass play with 10:25 left in the half. That much harder on Jackie Smith, the veteran tight end who enjoyed so much being here and fulfilling a 16-year dream. He had dropped a cinch touchdown which would have knotted the score late in the third quarter. He must have described his muff 50 times, while on the other side of the room Roger Staubach tried to ease the blame by accepting half of it. THE CIRCUMSTANCES also required Benny Barnes to explain perhaps the key play of the game - the pass interference call which with 9:05 to go set up the score which gave the Steelers a 28-17 lead. And there was Randy White stating simply enough he had dropped the ball on the next kickoff, setting up another Pittsburgh touchdown only 19 seconds later. In the wildest Super Bowl yet - one producing 66 points (including seven TD passes) and 674 total yards - the plays which will haunt the Cowboys and which so greatly aided the Steelers will be remembered as the grace of Lynn Swann and the passing performance of Terry Bradshaw. The ones that got away: (1) THE FUMBLE on the reverse. "We worked on that play for three weeks," Drew Pearson said. "The play is designed for me to hit Billy Joe (tight end DuPree) about 15 to 17 yards downfield. We had put it in the week before the Los Angeles game but didn't use it then. "We practiced the play so much this week it was unbelievable, and we never fumbled it. I should have had the handoff from Tony, but I was anticipating it to be a little lower. "We had been so successful doing it in practice I think coach Landry had complete confidence in it. When we fumbled, I think coach Landry may have seen theat and got conservative in the play-calling. Billy Joe said he was in the process of breaking open when we had the fumble. (2) AARON KYLE'S missed tackle. "I just missed the tackle on him," Kyle said. "If I had been in better position initially maybe I would have stopped him. Pittsburgh has two good outside receivers, but we are paid to cover them. If we don't do it well, we get beat. They have to catch the ball, we have to cover them." (3) JACKIE SMITH'S dropped pass while wide open in the end zone. "I feel badly, of course," Smith said. "If I had caught it, I think we would have at least tied them. It was a great call. I just missed it. I slipped a little but still should have had it. I've dropped passes before but not any with that much importance. "Maybe I would have caught it with my hands but in that situation you are trying to be sure so you want to use your chest. Then I lost my footing, my feet ended up in front of me and I think the ball went off my hip. It's hard to remember - those things happen so quickly." "When I started to throw it there was no question in my mind," Staubach said. "I knew it would be completed. But I took too much off. It wasn't a good throw. If you're casting blame, it's 50 percent my fault and 50 percent Jackie's. I know this: It wasn't for lack of experience because we're the two oldest guys on the team." The play was almost assuredly the last ball thrown to Jackie Smith, one of the finest receivers at tight end in pro football history. (4) FIELD JUDGE Fred Swearingen's crucial and highly controversial pass interference call on cornerback Barnes, a 33-yard ruling placing Pittsburgh at the Dallas 23. "Swann ran right up my back," Barnes said. "When I saw the flag, I knew it was on him. I couldn't believe the call Maybe he (Swearingen) needs glasses. Maybe he was for Pittsburgh. "I didn't even know how far behind me Swann, then I felt hands on me, then he tripped me. The ball was catchable between us. I had the right of way, I am told. The ball was just floating up there. "The official said I swung my foot back there to trip Swann. I have to see the films, but I didn't even see Swann." "The little man (Swearingen) with the short arm might have controlled the Super Bowl," Henderson said, softspoken most of the time but obviously annoyed at several calls. "Some of the calls he made were (bleeps), and he looked like he was enjoying it. Just because he's got stripes on and a yellow flag. I think he decided he was going to control the Super Bowl. An official shouldn't be able to control a Super Bowl. He called them and was almost a smart*** about it." PRESTON PEARSON, known as a restrained, controlled sort who normally does not lash out, was perhaps the most bitter of the Cowboys. "The officials were chicken (bleep)," Pearson said. "All of them about. How are you not going to call incidental contact on that play? Everybody saw it. The other officials saw it, too. It was obvious. We can't beat another team that's got 14 or more players out there. That call took it all away from us. "Now I've got to go back to Pittsburgh (where he resides in the offseason) and listen to all the (bleep) about them being the best. My (bleep). They aren't the best and they know it." A member of the Steelers before being waived and picked up by the Cowboys four years ago for $100, Pearson added, "The Steelers think they are hot (bleep). There's only one guy on that team I have respect for - Steve Furness." (5) RANDY WHITE'S fumble on the kickoff return. "We had it planned that if a kick was squibbed we would lateral the ball back to one of the deep backs," White said. "But it took me so long just to pick up the ball I had to go with it. When I started running, I fumbled the football. That's all there was to it. I just fumbled the damn football. I've handled a couple of kickoffs this year, but I dropped this one." OF COURSE, those five were not the only areas of concern to the Cowboys. Each will have his own reasons for why Dallas lost, why the Cowboys suddenly found themselves trailing, 35-17, with 6:51. Drew Pearson, somewhat set out to pasture this season and obviously not happy about it, caught four passes for 73 yards in the game's final 4 1/2 minutes. He had gone largely unnoticed until then and had no other receptions. "I'm not effective unless the ball is thrown to me," Drew said. "I have proved I can catch the ball in a crowd. I just started getting the ball a little too late. "I expected to have a big game today. It's disappointing to not catch anything until the last four minutes. I was open inside early. It was the same thing we had worked on in practice, to take advantage of their cutting off our outside routes, but we just didn't use it. If we had, I think it would have opened up our passing game more, particularly earlier on third-down plays. "I wanted to beat Pittsburgh so badly because everybody was belittling us," Drew Pearson continued. "We came in here as the world champions, but all everybody was talking about was how good Pittsburgh is. I was disappointed we didn't get the credit we deserved." SUPEREST OF the super hype leading up to the 13th Super Bowl was the attention given to linebacker Thomas Henderson, whose constant chatter gave him nationwide recognition. Before the game itself, this was as much his Super Bowl as anyone's. But Hollywood Henderson sat quietly in front of his locker. One report has it that, upon first sitting down, tears were streaming down his face and both hands were swollen. "As you can see," Henderson said, "I'm a little sad. I want to keep the competitive spirit of football and any time I don't, I'd get out. I didn't feel defeat until the game was over. Now I'm upset." HE LOOKED at his hands and said, "I was workin' out there. Right now I'm on the verge of a heart attack. I'm hurt we lost. I'm hurt I didn't make the big play to win the game." There were many plays not made here Sunday in the circus which is known as the Super Bowl. They will not be easily forgotten. Among the many Henderson quotes of the week was one concerning Bradshaw: "He couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the C and the A." But after the game when asked if he thought Bradshaw might be smarter than he anticipated, Hollywood responded, "I guess he is. He is the world champion."