Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas on February 1, 1993 · 32
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas · 32

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Monday, February 1, 1993
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- i D4 Austin American-Statesman Monday. February 1, 1993 This section is recyclable Tho best end fho vcrct Vorst traffic And you thought Mopac at 5 p.m. was a mess. Five hours be fore kickotf, traffic already was beginning to stack up on the freeways and streets around the Rose Bowl. The 25-mlle trip from the NFL headquarters In Century City to the stadium took about an hour and 20 minutes. Best pregame coach's interview Jimmy Johnson's, by default. While the Dallas coach consented to answering questions from NBC's Will McDonough upon arriving at the stadium, Buffalo's normally accommodating Marv Levy declined McDonough's request for a brief on-air chat Best hats Not that there weren't a lot to choose from, but two especially eye-catching numbers were worn by Dallas fans. Using gray foam rubber, they fashioned headgear In the shape of shark fins to honor safety Kenny Gant's "The Shark" dance. Worst warmups Cowboy place-kicker Lin Elliott slipped and fell three times trying pregame field-goal attempts. Buf falo's Steve Christie, conversely, had no footing problems. But Elliott obviously had no problem In the game. His seven extra points were a Super Bowl record. An omen? Nope As part of NBC's pregame show, O.J. Simpson and Mike Ditka played a computerized football game. Simpson's Bills won 14-13 when Dallas' Elliott was wide right on a 34-yard field goal on the last play of the game. Could It have been the slippery footing on the field? Instant replay? No, Thurman Thomas didn't lose his helmet at the start of the game, as he did last year in Super Bowl XXVI. Most untimely penalty A defensive holding call on Dal las' Larry Brown gave the Bills new life in the first quarter, since It gave Buffalo a first down after Charles Haley had sacked Jim Kel ly on third down. Buffalo scored two plays later on Thomas 3-yard run. Thanks, James . . . Leon Lett needs to send a thank-you note to James Washington. Lett committed an unpardon able sin by roughing Kelly on a third-and-16 Incompletion late In the first period, giving Buffalo a first down at its 29. But Washing ton saved Lett two plays later with an interception that led to the tying touchdown. Thanks, Leon . . . Lett used his head a little later in the first half, unintentionally contributing to Dallas' second TD. After Haley blasted into Kelly near the Bills' goal line, the ball bounced off Lett's helmet and Into the hands of Jlmmie Jones for the touchdown. Best tandem Lett and Jones combined to wreak havoc on the Bills again late In the second quarter. After the Bills fell behind 21-10, Frank Reich, In for the Injured Kelly, swung a pass to Thomas in the right flat. Lett stripped the ball as Thomas tried to cut back, and Jones fell on It at the Bills' 18, setting up the score that put the Cowboys up 28-10. Best, oops, worst fumble return Lett the young man had a busy day was on his way to glo-' ry when he picked up a fumble late in the game and started running as fast as his 292-pound frame would allow. When he reached the Bills' 10, he held the ball out to his side in triumph, only to have It knocked out of his hands at the 1 by fast- , closing receiver Don Beebe. The ball rolled through the end zone and out of bounds for a touch-back, and the Bills got it back at the 20. Don't blink I The Cowboys' first two touchdowns came In a'15-second span. Super Cowl champions 1967 Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10 1981 1968 Qreen Bay 33, Oakland 14 1982 1969 N.Y. Jets 16, Baltimore 7 1983 1970 Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7 1984 1971 Baltimore 16, Dallas 13 1985 1972 Dallas 24, Miami 3 1986 1973 Miami 14, Washington 7 1987 1974 Miami 24, Minnesota 7 1983 1975 Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6 iseg 1976 Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17 1990 1977 Oakland 32, Minnesota 14 1991 1978 Dallas 27, Denver 10 . 1992 ' 1979 Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31 1993 1980 Pittsburgh 31, LA Rams 19 Their second two touchdowns came in a slow-pokey 18-second span. They are the shortest two periods of time between touchdowns in Super Bowl history. Second-fastest transformation Almost as breathtaking as the Cowboys' final two scores of the half was the process that changed the Rose Bowl from a football game to a rock concert at half-time. It took only 4V4 minutes to transform the field into a huge stage for Michael Jackson's show. Best line Discussing the halftime extravaganza on the Dallas radio network, former Cowboy quarterback Babe Laufenberg dryly noted that If Jackson grabbed his crotch one more time, the show would have to be moved to cable TV. That kind of day When Andre Reed hauled in a pass midway through the fourth quarter, It was announced as his 21st career catch In Super Bowls, to break the record he had shared with San Francisco's Roger Craig. But the play was called back because of a Bills penalty, and Reed never caught another pass. So he still shares the record. Best hit It looked as if Kenneth Davis, the former Temple High School and TCU star, was going to score on a sweep around left end at the Dallas 1 early in the second quarter. But Cowboy linebacker Ken Norton Jr. charged up to stop Davis In his tracks. On fourth down, Kelly threw an Interception to Baylor ex Thomas Everett, and Dallas preserved its 14-7 lead. How'd he do that? When Kelvin Martin fielded a punt midway through the second quarter deep in his own territory, he got to the 20 before he was smacked head-on by Steve Tasker. The collision of the Pro Bowl's two special-teams representatives was won by Martin, who bounced away from Tasker and several other Bills and got to the Dallas 42 before he finally was brought down on a 30-yard return. Worst scoreboard It's not as if the Rose Bowl hasn't been the site of other big games, but the scoreboard operation Sunday was straight out of the bush leagues. There were snafus all day, including awarding Dallas the point after Buffalo's extra-point kick on the final play of the third quarter. Another time, the Cowboys lined up for a thlrd-and-goal play, and the scoreboard showed Dallas facing a third and 87. Best Hans and Franz imitation After Everett intercepted a Reich pass In the fourth quarter, he and Norton did their Impersonations of the muscle-bound madmen of Saturday Night Live fame. Worst hair Johnson's. What did the guy. comb It with, a rock? The Coiffed One was a disheveled wreck, but only after taking a celebratory sideline shower and getting his hair mussed by Emmitt Smith. Johnson, of course, was his typical combed-out self In time for the award presentation. Did anyone say, 'Houston?' In case anyone had forgotten, and the Houston Oilers assuredly haven't, the Bills trailed Houston 28-3 at halftime of their wild-card playoff game with Reich at quarterback. It got to 35-3 before Buffalo put together the greatest -comeback in NFL history. So what was the big deal about Sunday's 28-10 halftime deficit? As it turned out, it was a real big deal. Best precaution Even though the Bills kicked away, the Cowboys had their on-side kick return team on the field at the start of the second half. Too bad that didn't dawn on the Oilers on Jan. 3. It might have been an all-Texas Super Bowl. Randy Rlggs Oakland 27. Philadelphia 10 San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21 Washington 27, Miami 17 L.A. Raiders 38, Washington 9 San Francisco 38, Miami 16 Chicago 46, New England 10 N.Y. Giants 39, Denver 20 Washington 42, Denver 10 San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16 San Francisco 55. Denver 10 N.Y. Giants 20, Buffalo 19 Washington 37, Buffalo 24 Dallas 52, Buffalo 17 In their shiny silver armor, the Cowboys? be 1 . Staff photo by Karen Warren Dallas running back Emmitt Smith tries to shake free the Bills defensive end wins this battle of the Smiths, from the muscular grasp of Buffalo's Bruce Smith, but stopping the Cowboy for no gain during the first quarter. pairs lim3tatDGi Buffalo's blitz clears the air for Aikman, Irvin By Tom Friend New York Times News Service PASADENA, Calif. After Troy Aikman passed Michael Irvin two touchdowns Sunday night, he passed him his Most Valuable Player trophy. ' "Promise I won't drop it," Irvin said. 1 Aikman is the reticent one, who this week turned down Jay Leno so he could take a nap. Irvin is the bombastic one, who once said, "My biggest asset is my ego." i But on Sunday, they were the tag team that eliminated the Buffalo Bills. Within a ludicrously quick span of 18 seconds, the two hooked up on a pair of second-quarter touchdowns that helped turn Super Bowl XXVII into a 52-17 bore. Aikman said he had been squeamish early in the game. "Had to talk myself into relaxing," Aikman said. But the Buffalo defense had something to do with his anxiety. He said the Bills started in a two-deep zone defense, designed to make Irvin and his fellow wide receiver Alvin Harper disappear. "They were forcing us to go underneath," Aikman said. Underneath meant deliberate passes to tight end Jay Novacek. That was all the Dallas offense was for most of the first quarter dumps to Novacek, curls to Novacek, down-and-outs to Novacek. "The Bills felt they had to put some pressure on us at that point," Aikman said. "So they blitzed us." The express pass rushes from Cornelius Bennett and Darryl Tal-ley backfired, because running back Emmitt Smith had the courage to stick his stocky frame in front of those linebackers. And by blitzing, the Bills were leaving Ir- Jones' recovery sparks Associated Press PASADENA, Calif. Jimmie Jones imagined he would make a big play in the Super Bowl. And when the time came, he jumped at the chance. Jones, a backup defensive lineman, plucked a deflected fumble out of the air and high-stepped 2 yards into the end zone for the touchdown that sent the Dallas Cowboys on their way to a 52-17 rout of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. "I visualized it all week making an interception. I visualized the run being longer," he said. Actually, it was a fumble, but Jones didn't seem to mind. The Cowboys caused nine turnovers, none of them bigger than the one that turned the game in their favor. Dallas had just scored late in the LniLni V . !!) v2ft Dallas Cowbovs -si Quarterback Attempts Completions Yards touchdowns Interceptions 30 22 273 4 0 Source: NFL AP vin in single coverage. ; "Can't do that," Irvin said. I The first touchdown came on a first-and-10 from the Buffalo 18 yard line. Cornerback Nate Odomes handed Irvin an 8-yard cushion, so Irvin ran straight at him, spun him with an outside fake and then found himself alone in the middle and waiting for the score. "Simple slant route," Irvin said. ,- Seconds later, Thurman Thomas fumbled for Buffalo, and ; from the Bills' 19 Irvin ran an ; ordinary down-and-out pattern. ; "I'd come to the sideline and . told a coach, They're one-on-one with me,' " Irvin said. "So I faked F him inside and went out" Cornerback James Williams was first quarter to tie it at 7. On the kickoff, Buffalo was penalized back to its 10 because of an illegal block. On first down, Jim Kelly faded back to pass and was hit from the blind side by Charles Haley. The ball popped loose, hit Dallas' Leon Lett in the helmet and ricocheted to Jones at the 2-yard line. Jones, a 6-foot-4-inch, 276-pounder, leaped at the loose ball, caught it and bounded into the end zone. The touchdown came only 15 seconds after Troy Aikman hit Jay Novacek for a touchdown pass and put Dallas ahead for good. ( Jones said he hadn't scored a touchdown since his junior year in high school, when he was a tight end. He later played at the University of Miami under current Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson, and he has been in the NFL for three years. t Vs7 r' i fooled. Irvin caught the Aikman pass and swung by Odomes for the score 28-10 in favor of the Cowboys just before halftime. . , . . Aikman was more subdued than Irvin after the game. His agent, Leigh Steinberg, wants him to hit the banquet circuit, to finally sit in with Leno. tTH go," Aikman said. "I don't know how 111 handle all this. But it's a nice thing to be worrying about. I've done all right so far. I said, 'I'm going to Disney World on cue.' "This means everything to me. A tremendous weight is off my shoulders. No matter what happens, I can say I took a team to the Super Bowl and won it." Strangely, Irvin the Cowboys' most prolific receiver had not scored a postseason touchdown until Sunday. Earlier in the week, he had said, "No touchdowns this postseason? Why bring that up? "Well, I'm waiting for the perfect game, see, and now it's here," he said. He has 16 brothers and sisters, so the question was: Who would he give the touchdown balls to? "Really," . he said. "I've had everybody ask me, Tf you score, keep me the ball, bring me the ball, bring me the ball.' I say, 'Yeah, OK.' I tell everybody, Tfeah, OK.' So I've got to score 50 touchdowns to help everybody out.' " He ended up with only two, so he said they are both going to charity. Earlier in the week, Irvin also had gushed, "Let me say this: We win this game, the Super Bowl, and I'm complete. If God called me the day after we win the Super Bowl, 111 go shake his hand and say, 'Thank you. I've done it all.' " And he stood by that statement Sunday night. "I've got good hands," he said with a smile. "I came real close to scoring before." Jones said he was going one-on-one with the Buffalo center while Haley put pressure on Kelly for the big play. "I was beating the center; the ball was in the air, I caught it and ran it in," Jones said. "We work at catching the ball in practice all the time. I was just trying to beat the center. Once I came by, the ball was in the air." Haley's quickness paid off on the key play. - "I think it was a screen away," he said. "The tackle stuck his head down, and I was gone. I tried to grab (Kelly's) right hand, and he dropped the balL" The turnover was one of five by '' the Bills in the first half. The Cowboys had none. Little wonder it was 28-10 at halftime. f Cowboys The Super Bowl misery continued. for . 1 f I I ..a 1 :f Buffalo's Pete Metzelaars holds onti despite the prying hand of Cowboy) x V 17

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