The 1970 Dallas Cowboys had an up and down season with lowest point coming in a 38-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in front of a national television audience. After the Cardinals loss which left them at 5-4 the Cowboys reeled off 7 consecutive victories before losing to Baltimore in Super Bowl V on a last second field goal. Among the losses was 54-13 blowout loss to Minnesota in October and two losses to division rival St. Louis. The Cowboys who split with the surprising New York Giants during the regular season with each team winning at home. The season came down to the last day of the regular season as New York needing to defeat Los Angeles to win the division but lost 31-3 at home to miss the playoffs while Dallas hammered their in state rivals Houston 52-10 at the Cotton Bowl.
In the playoffs in a defensive struggle with the Wild Card Detroit Lions the Cowboys won the lowest scoring playoff game in NFL history 5-0. The only scoring was a Mike Clark field goal and George Andre safety. In the NFC Championship game played in San Francisco the Cowboys jumped out to a 17-3 third quarter lead before holding off a 49ers rally for a 17-10 victory. In Super Bowl V played in Miami the Baltimore Colts rallied to a 16-13 victory over Dallas. Dallas would lose all three of its Super Bowls in Miami’s Orange Bowl while Baltimore got redemption winning in a place in which it had lost the Super Bowl two years before.
The offense was led by quarterback Craig Morton who eventually beat out Roger Staubach for the starting position by being more consistent during the season. While the running was led by rooking running back Duane Thomas and second year back Calvin Hill while veteran Walt Garrison also contributed to the attack. Bob Hayes was the deep threat and Lance Rentzal was the other wide out for most of the season. Till Rentzal had to take a leave of absence towards the end of the season for personal reasons. Rookie Reggie Rucker who would go onto later fame with Cleveland filled in. By the standards of today the passing game Dallas wasn’t as pass happy.
The defense was anchored on the front four by defensive tackle Bob Lilly who along with Larry Cole, Jethro Pugh. and George Andrie formed and imposing front four. While the linebacking corp featured veterans Lee Roy Jordan in the middle and Dave Edwards and Chuck Howley on the outside. Ironically Howley named Super Bowl V Most Valuable Player despite being on the losing team. Future Hall of Fame cornerbacks Herb Adderley and Mel Renfro anchored the outside. Veteran Cornell Green and rookie Charlie Waters played the safety position,
Duane Thomas was the primary kick return man while Bob Hayes and Mel Renfro handled the punt returns. Ron Widby was the punter and Mike Clark handled extra points and field goals. To show how the game has changed in relation to field goal kicking Clark hit only 18-35 field goal attempts in 1970 compared to a kicker of today. While the kickers of today kick soccer style he was a striaght ahead kicker that was still in vogue.
The draft in 1970 featured key contributors Duane Thomas, Charlie Waters, John Fitzgerald, and Mark Washington. Other players who contributed was Steve Kiner, Pat Toomay, and Pete Athas among the players in this draft. Zenon Andrusyshyn would go on to have long career in the Canadien Football League before playing for the 1978 Kansas City Chiefs as a punter. Future Cowboys starting safety Cliff Harris was signed as an undrafter free agent.
The Cowboys of 1970 also featured several Hall of Fame players such as cornerback Herb Adderley who finished his career in Dallas after a stellar career in Green Bay. Additonal players who are in Canton are cornerback Mel Renro, tight end Mike Ditka, wide receiver Bob Hayes, and quarterback Roger Staubach. Other Hall of Fame players include defensive tackle Bob Lilly and offesive tackle Rayfield Wright. In addition to linebacker Chuck Howley and defensive back Cliff Harris who certainly deserve Hall of Fame consideration. Head Coach Tom Landry and defensive coach Ernie Stautner are also enshrined in Canton.
Unfortunately the Cowboys had to wait another year before they could claim the elusive Super Bowl when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI. Instead of Craig Morton behind center it was Roger Staubach who took over at mid season and led the Cowboys to ten consecutive victories. The Cowboys in 1970 had finally got over the hump when they beat San Francisco in the NFC Championship game but made to many mistakes against Baltimore to reach their ultimate goal. This was another excruciating playoff loss to go along with losses to Green Bay and Cleveland the previous four seasons.
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