Super Bowl XII

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Super Bowl XII was an American football game played on January 15, 1978 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion following the 1977 regular season. It was the first Super Bowl played inside a domed stadium.

The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys (15-2) defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos (14-3), 27–10. The Cowboys defensive team dominated most of the game, forcing 8 turnovers and allowing only 8 pass completions by the Broncos for just 61 yards.

For the first and only time, two players won Super Bowl MVP honors: defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin. For White, the honor was won on his 25th birthday. This was also the first time that a defensive lineman was named as the Super Bowl MVP.

Contents

Background

Staubach v. Morton

The main storyline surrounding Super Bowl XII was Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach versus Broncos quarterback Craig Morton. Morton began his career playing for Dallas in 1965. After Staubach joined the Cowboys in 1969 after spending 4 years of service in the United States Navy, however, both quarterbacks competed for the starting job. During the 1970 season, both Morton and Staubach started for about half of the regular season games. Morton was ultimately selected to lead the team through the playoffs and eventually to their Super Bowl V loss to the Baltimore Colts, 16-13. He is the first quarterback to start a Super Bowl game for two different franchises (Kurt Warner being the second with St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals). The next year, Staubach won the starting job and eventually led Dallas to defeat the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, 24-3. Staubach was also named Super Bowl MVP during that game, essentially assuring him the starting spot in the future. Morton was relegated to backup status until he left the team in 1974 to join the New York Giants.

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