Super Bowl XXVIII Review: Cowboys vs. Bills
By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Date: January 30, 1994
Site: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Point Spread: Dallas Cowboys -10.5/Buffalo Bills +10.5
Score: Dallas Cowboys 30, Buffalo Bills 13
MVP: RB Emmitt Smith
This would be the first time two teams met in a Super Bowl rematch in consecutive seasons. The fervor was not there as one would imagine in a Super Bowl rematch. For the Bills, they had already lost three consecutive Super Bowls and were now facing a team that wiped them out 52-17 the previous year. But it wasn’t that bad. In fact, Buffalo led at the half. But like the year before, they couldn’t stop Dallas in the second half.
Losing 4 straight Super Bowls just sounds bad. Then again, credit is due for the only team to make it to 4 straight Bowls, which is quite a testament to Buffalo’s greatness during the early-90’s, where they effectively controlled the AFC. Buffalo was 12-4 in 1993. Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas were still there putting up numbers.
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A fine Buffalo pass-catching crew, with Andre Reed, Don Beebe, and TE Pete Metzelaars were still at the top of their game. But despite having Bruce Smith, a good linebacking crew, and CB Nate Odomes leading the league in picks, the Bills had the worst defense in the league. It was Jim Kelly’s clutch play, his many weapons, and the difficult no-huddle offense that led to Buffalo’s success.
The Cowboys lost their first two games, with Emmitt Smith in the middle of a contract dispute. After getting Smith back, the Cowboys went 12-2. Despite the time missed, Smith still almost had 1500 yards rushing and caught 57 balls. With a trio of Pro-Bowlers on the offensive line and a robust defense, the Cowboys were better than double-digit favorites to repeat in Super Bowl 1994.
Buffalo emerged again from the AFC with wins over the Raiders, 29-23, and a 30-13 beating of the Kansas City Chiefs in the conference title game. The Cowboys were in fine form in the playoffs. In the divisional playoff, they beat the tough Packers 27-17. In the NFC Championship, Dallas made surprisingly easy work of the following year’s superbowl champion San Francisco 49ers in a 38-21 win.
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First Half: The first play was ominous for the Bills, as a 50-yard kickoff return put the Cowboys in good field position. They could only manage a mini-drive, however, and were forced to settle for an Eddie Murray field goal.The Bills came right back and a nice pass completion to Thomas gave kicker Steve Christie a look, as he boomed a Super Bowl record 54-yard kick to even the score at 3-3.
Buffalo got the ball right back, but a Thomas fumble gave the Cowboys possession with good field position. They got inside the 10-yard line, but were forced to settle for another Murray field goal to take the lead again at 6-3. Dallas then shot themselves in the foot with a roughing the kicker penalty that extended a Buffalo drive. To begin the second quarter, Thomas ran it in from 4 yards out and took a 10-6 lead. Near the end of the half, Buffalo’s CB Nate Odomes picked off Aikman and returned it to midfield. With time running out, Christie kicked another field goal to make it 13-6.
Second Half: The question facing Buffalo was whether they could contain the Dallas offense in the second half. It was their own offense, however, that betrayed them in the first minute of the half, as Dallas safety James Washington ran back a Thurman Thomas fumble 46 yards for a touchdown to tie it at 13-13. Super Bowl Sunday got worse for the Bills when after punting on their next drive, Dallas marched down the field and scored on an Emmitt Smith 14-yard run to make it 20-13.
In the 4th quarter, Washington continued his disruption of the Buffalo offense with an interception of Kelly. Smith, who Dallas had been relying on heavily, ran it in on 4th down to cap the drive and put Dallas up 27-13. Dallas got the ball back and ate up most of the clock, culminating in another Murray field goal to make it 30-13.
For the Bills, it was tough--going scoreless in the second half after being ahead to end up getting blown out for their 4th straight Super Bowl loss. For the Cowboys, it was another pillar in their dynasty--their 4th Super Bowl ring and second consecutive win in the big game. Smith, who won the Super Bowl MVP, was a horse--running for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns.