In a rematch of the previous year the Bills 14-4 coached by Marv Levy met the Dallas Cowboys 14-4 still coached by Jimmy Johnson in Super Bowl XXVIII played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in January of 1994.
The Bills who were appearing in their fourth consecutive Super Bowl, were led by Jim Kelly who passed for 3382 yards and 18 touchdowns but also had 18 interceptions and Thurman Thomas with 1315 rushing and 387 receiving yards for 1702 yards from scrimmage.Andre Reed with 854 receiving yards, Bill Brooks with 714 and Pete Metzelaars with 609 yards were the primary receivers.
The place kicker was Steve Christie who made 23 of 32 field goal attempts and the defense was led by linebackerDarryl Talley with 3 interceptions, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two sacks and 136 tackles.
Linebacker Marvcus Patton had 118 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.Defensive end Bruce Smith who led the team in sacks with 14, forced three fumbles and had one interception and linebacker Cornelius Bennett had 102 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles withcornerback Nate Odomes leading the team with nine interceptions.
Troy Aikman again piloted the Cowboys with 3100 yards passing and 15 TD’s with six interceptions. Emmitt Smith was their leading rusher with 1486 yards and with 414 receiving yards for a total of 1900 yards from scrimmage and ten TD’s, and their receivers were Michael Irvin 1330 yards, 7 TD’s, and Alvin Harper 777 yards, 5 TD’s with Eddie Murray the place kicker who converted 28 of 33 field goal attempts.
The defense was led by middle linebacker Ken Norton, Jr. who had 159 tackles and 2 sacks, strong safety Darren Woodson with 155 tackles and three fumblerecoveries and cornerback Kevin Smith with six interceptions.
The backup quarterback was Bernie Kosar who while he did not get into a Super Bowl with the Browns did make it with the Cowboys.
All of the scoring in the first quarter was on field goals as the Cowboys got two from Eddie Murray from 41 and 24 yards out, and Steve Christie kicked one for the Bills from 54 out and the score was 6-3 Cowboys after the first quarter.
The Bills did all of the scoring in the second quarter with a 4 yard TD run by Thurman Thomas and a 28 yard Steve Christie field goal and the score is 13-6 Bills at the half.
But the momentum of the game changed in the second half as safety James Washington forced a fumble from Thurman Thomas and ran the ball back 48 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 13-13.
From that point on Emmitt Smith took over the game as the Bills could not stop him and he scored two TD’s of 15 and 1 yards and Steve Christiekicked a fourth quarter field goal with the Dallas defense holding the Bills scoreless in the second half and win 30-13.
The difference was in the Dallas defense and in running back Emmitt Smith who got the game MVP rushing for 132 yards on 30 attempts while the Bills’ Thomas had only 37 yards on 16 carries and fumbled once.
For the Cowboys and Jimmy Johnson it was their second consecutive Super Bowl victory and for the Bills their fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss and they have not been back since that 1994 game although they are in contention this year and will play in the AFC Championship game against Kansas City
The Cowboys returned two years later against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It is worth noting that Jimmy Johnson was one of the few college coaches to succeed in the professional ranks. Pete Carroll won a Super Bowl but he had been an NFL head coach before he went to USC so we will see how Urban Meyer does in the pros. He is a person who likes a challenge and the 1-15 Jaguars will present that.
Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate