The Super Bowl is just 24 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 24 years ago to honor this not that significant occasion!
Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXVIII on January 30, 1994. The game pitted the defending World Champion Dallas Cowboys against the three-time defending AFC champion Buffalo Bills. It was a Super Bowl rematch that turned out to be a mismatch.
Dallas Cowboys 24 Years Ago
The Cowboys lost their first two games, including one at home to Buffalo. Emmitt Smith’s hold out demonstrated just how valuable he was to his team. He came back after week two and put together an outstanding campaign. One of the most remarkable performances in NFL history, his grit and toughness in the season finale vs. the Giants was on prominent display. The winner would get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Smith separated his shoulder early in the ball game. It was explained to him that nothing could be done. Sit it out or play through the pain. He chose the latter. All he did after that was rush for 180 yards and catch 10 passes. The win was vital. Dallas cruised in their two home playoff games. Although Troy Aikman suffered a concussion in the NFC title game, he would be good to go for the Super Bowl.
Buffalo Bills 24 Years Ago
Buffalo’s 1993 season was remarkable. Marv Levy was at his best motivating his squad to get back to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl. The offense was sharp as always. Two veterans emerged with surprisingly outstanding seasons: Bill Brooks and Pete Metzelaars.
The defense was an enigma. They were ranked 27th in yards, but 5th in points allowed. So, Walt Corey’s unit offered the true definition of ‘bend, don’t break.’ They put that defensive style to the test in frigid Orchard Park. In the divisional round, the Raiders, led by a familiar foe in Jeff Hostetler, gave the Bills all they could handle. However, Steve Tasker’s huge kickoff return and two Kelly-to -Brooks’ touchdowns gave Buffalo a 29-23 win. In the championship game, Buffalo received an outstanding production from the great Thurman Thomas. They also took advantage of several Chiefs’ mistakes. The final: Buffalo 30; Joe Montana and the Chiefs 13. It was on to Atlanta and a date with Dallas.
Tale of Two Halves
The Bills played a nice first half. They implemented a short, possession-based passing attack. They controlled the line of scrimmage and allowed Dallas to convert very few big plays. Steve Christie set a Super Bowl record by kicking a 54-yard field goal.
Late in the first half, Buffalo led 10-6 when they forced Aikman into throwing an interception to Nate Odomes. The pick resulted in a late field goal and a 13-6 haltime lead. Would this be the year? No.
Dallas totally and completely smothered the Bills in the second half. The bashing started immediately. Thomas fumbled and James Washington weaved his way in for a score. The three and outs kept coming for Buffalo. The sustained Emmitt-led drives kept coming for Dallas. It was genuinely heartbreaking for Bills’ fans. Buffalo’s fourth straight Super Bowl loss would be their last appearance in the big dance. Since then, Bills’ fans have dealt with a brutal stretch, going 17 seasons without a playoff berth.
On the other hand, Dallas deserved this championship. When it comes to the best teams in the history of the NFL, the 1992-93 two-time champion Cowboys are not discussed enough. Their offense was run magnificently by Norv Turner, and their defense possessed speed that may have been unparalleled. After the season, Jimmy Johnson departed. But, the Cowboys under Barry Switzer had two more amazing seasons. One ended up in the Super Bowl; the other ended in San Francisco!
Brandon Fazzolari is a Super Bowl expert…@spot_Bills