Super Bowl XXVII took place in January 1993 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California between the Buffalo Bills 14-5 and the Dallas Cowboys 15-3 coached by Jimmy Johnson who after the 1988 season had been lured away from thecollegiate Miami Hurricanes where he had piloted them to two National titles and a tie for a third by then and still Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.
Buffalo returned basically the same team from the previous year with quarterback Jim Kelly leading the offense with 3457 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, running back Thurman Thomas with 1487 rushing and 626 receiving yards for 2113 all-purpose yards and 12 TD’s and running back Kenneth Davis who rushed for 614 yards and 6 TD’s.
Kelly’s prime receivers were Andre Reed 913 yards, James Lofton 786, 6 TD’s and Don Beebe with 554. Steve Christie was their new place kicker and converted on 24 of 30 field goal attempts.
The defense was anchored by Darryl Talley with 106 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, Henry Jones 8 interceptions, 92 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, future Hall of Famer Bruce Smith 89 tackles and 3 forced fumbles and Cornelius Bennett 81 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Nate Odomes had five interceptions and free safety Mark Kelso had seven.
The Cowboys were directed by Troy Aikman who threw for 3445 yards and 23 touchdowns, Emmitt Smith who rushed for 1713 yards with 18 TD’s and added 335 yards receiving for 2048 total yards from scrimmage.
Aikman’s main receivers were Micheal Irvin with 1396 yards and seven TD’s, tight end Jay Novacek with 630 yards and six TD’s and Alvin Harper with 562 yards and four TD’s.
The place kicker was Lin Elliott who made 24 of 35 field goals attempted.
The defense was led by Ken Norton, Jr., the son of former WBC heavyweight champion Ken Norton, Sr., with two forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and 120 tackles, Robert Jones with one fumble recovery and 108 tackles and James Washington and Kenneth Gant with three interceptions apiece.
All of the first quarter points were scored off of turnovers as Buffalo scored on a two yard rushing touchdown after the Bills recovered a blocked punt by Steve Tasker.
Dallas scored twoTD’s as Aikman found Jay Novacekfor a23 yard score after Dallas had intercepted Jim Kelly. And Kelly was sacked at the Bills’ ten yard line and fumbled with defensive end Jimmy Jones recovering the fumble and running it in for a TD and the score is 14-7 after the first quarter.
The Bills’ problems continued in the second quarter as Kelly again was intercepted, this time in the end zone to stop a scoring drive. Later in the quarter he was hit by Ken Norton, Jr and had to leave the game not to return.
Backup Frank Reich led them down the field for a 23 yard field goal but Dallas scored TD’s on passes of 18 and 19 yards from Aikman to Michael Irvin and the score is 28-10 Cowboys at the half.
The scoring slowed down in the third quarter as Dallas scored on 20 yard Lin Elliott field goal and Frank Reich completed a TD pass for 40 yards to Don Beebe and the score is 31-17 after three quarters.
Turnovers again plagued Buffalo in the fourth quarter. After Aikman passed 45 yards to Alvin Harper for a TD, the Cowboys forced two fumbles and scored on a ten yard Emmitt Smith run and a return of a fumble by Ken Norton, Jr. from nine yards out. The Cowboys win 52-17.
Aikman got the game MVP with 22 of 31 passing for 273 yards for four TD’s no interceptions and was sacked once.
By comparison Kelly and Reich combined for 22 of 38 passing, 1 TD, four interceptions and were sacked four times. For the second year in row turnovers prevented the Bills from being competitive in the game but they would return for a fourth consecutive Super Bowl the next year against the same Cowboys.
Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate