"That was a jungle out there today," declared Roger Staubach after the champion Pittsburgh Steelers whipped the Dallas Cowboys, 14-3, in a Super Bowl rematch that saw both starting quarterbacks injured.
Staubach suffered a concussion 1:41 into the fourth quarter and did not return. Terry Bradshaw bruised his left arm in the second period and was knocked dizzy in the third. Both are expected to play next Sunday.
Bradshaw, however, was able to return today, and with the help of Franco Harris' two touchdowns and an awesome defense, guide the Steelers to their seventh win in nine games.
Dallas (7-2) retained its one-game lead in the NFC East because the Redskins and Eagles lost.
Staubach was sidelined twice, first with a bruised knee in the second quarter.In the fourth, he was knocked out when sacked by defensive end L.C. Greenwood.
"He suffered a moderate concussion," said Pat Evans, the Cowboy physician. "He was dazed. He was mentally affected for a few minutes.
"Apparently his helmet got twisted, because he has an abrasion behind his right ear, one behind his left ear and a bruise behind his left ear."
Bradshaw first hurt his left arm in the second quarter and, while his defense was on the field, he threw on the sideline to loosen up. He left the field in the third quarter with his left arm hanging limp and sat down for a while and Mike Kruczek warmed up, but Bradshaw didn't miss a play.He said afterward he had caught a "shot" to the jaw that left him "woozy" for a bit.
Anthony Yates, the Steeler physician, said, "He just got his bell rung." Bradshaw said a blow on his forearm had numbed it for a while.
Dallas running back Preston Pearson left the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter, although he said later he was not hit. He sprained a knee trying to make a cut and suffered bruised ribs on another play. He went home with his leg in an emergency cast. So much for the body count.
"The game showcased two good defenses," Bradshaw said.
He picked on Cowboy reserve defensive back Dennis Thurman, with passes to wide receiver John Stallworth for gains of 17 and 11 yards, during a 63-yard thrust that began in the first quarter. It ended with Harris scoring in the second period from a yard out for the first of two touchdowns en route to 102 yards. Harris' 48-yard run from scrimmage for a touchdown in the third quarter was all the Steelers needed, with their defense.
The Cowboys got down to the Pittsburgh 14-yard line in the second quarter, but linebacker Dennis Winston broke up a pass in the end zone to wide receiver Butch Johnson and Rafael Septien kicked a 32-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Staubach passed the Cowboys to the Pittsburgh 15, but Septien missed a 32-yard field goal.
On the first play from scrimmage following a Dallas punt midway through the third period, Harris burst through a hole off left guard, shook off Cowboy tackle Randy White, then faked past safety Cliff Harris on the 48-yard touchdown run that ended any doubt.
Pittsburgh's defense constantly kept the Cowboys in the hole in the fourth quarter and White was unable to rally his team. The three points were the fewest Dallas has scored since a 23-3 loss to the N.Y. Giants in 1972.
Staubach bruised his righ knee following through on an incomplete pass to Johnson while a Steeler defender was grasping the quarterback's ankle. Staubach limped off the field and Danny White replaced him for a few plays.
In the fourth quarter on a first down pass, Greenwood said his momentum caused his helmet to hit Staubach in the head. Staubach was down for about two minutes, was raised to a sitting position, then walked off the field, rubbing behind his left ear
He sat on the bench with an ice bag on his head, a towel over all, an ice bag on his knee, wearing a cold-weather coat.
"I've got a big lump behind my ear, he said in the dressing room. "That's the first time that happened to me. The lights went out temporarily, but they came back on. It'll heal in a couple days. I didn't know what happened. I got knocked out. I came to on the sidelined and in a few minutes I said I could go back in the game; I was in control But the doctor said no, because he didn't know then what the lump meant."
In addition to a numb forearm and that "shot in the jaw", Bradshaw said, "I got a leg hurt once when Randy White (of the Cowboys) accidentally kneed my behind my knee and caused a charley horse. It was a very emotional game."
The victory, Bradshaw said, "makes us feel good for next week (against the Redskins here).
"We beat the team with the best record in football.
"I don't think we'll have a big let-down after this big effort, because the hard part of the season is just beginning.The Redskins are playing well, they'll be tough, but good teams get us up."
Bradshaw completed only eight of 20 passes in the first half and three of five in the second half. Seven went to Stallworth for 98 of his 126 yards throwing. Staubach also threw 25 passes, completing 11.