Golden Football Magazine
NFL Championship Games
1970: Super Bowl V - Dallas Cowboys vs Baltimore Colts
This series covers the history of the NFL through the prism of its yearly championship games.
Note: The gray boxes contain asides that provide interesting material but could be skipped
without losing the continuity of the article.
Part 1 - Pregame | Part 2 - 1st Half

Morton pitches to Thomas.

Morrall passes as Cole lunges.

Morrall passes as Lilly closes in.

Lilly and Pugh hit Morton.

Washington and Lilly leap at Morrall as he gets pass off.

O'Brien kicks 52y FG short.

Howley intercepts Morrall on first play of Q4.

Bulaich tackles Howley after INT.

Dave Edwards smashes Morrall.

Morrall passes as Pugh is blocked.

Morrall passes as Pugh tries to get past G John Williams.

Morrall throws as Pugh and Cole apply pressure.

Green stopped on safety blitz.

Havrilak sweeps left as Morrall gets into position for the flea flicker.

Hinton races downfield hellbent on scoring the tying TD.

Quarter 3
The defenses continued to dominate in the scoreless period, although the Cowboys came oh so close to scoring right away.
Duncan fumbled the kickoff after returning it 17y, and Richmond Flowers recovered for Dallas on the 31.
Duncan fumbles the opening kickoff when hit by Cliff Harris (43).
Thomas turned the corner at LE for 7y before Garrison burst over RT to the 15 for a 1st down. Thomas gained 2, then Garrison again for 6 to make it 3rd-and-2 on the 7. Thomas took a pitch around RE behind Ditka's block to the 2.

Morton hands off to Thomas.
Next came a play that is one of the most famous - or infamous - in Super Bowl history. On 1st-and-Goal, Thomas smashed off LT but fumbled when hit just short of the goal line by Logan. The ball disappeared into a pile of players. DT Billy Ray Smith yelled Colts ball! Line judge Jack Fette, whose view was obscured by back judge Hugh Gamber, signaled that Baltimore had recovered even though C Jim Manders came up from under the pile with the ball. The official scorer awarded the recovery to CB Jim Duncan.
Still images from NFL Films' highlights of Super Bowl V
Thomas is hit just before he reaches the goal line from the right by Duncan (35).
Mike Curtis (32) comes in from the left to help dislodge the ball, which appears to be behind Thomas.
Does Duncan have the ball cradled in his right arm? Is that what the back judge saw?
Jack Fette signals Colts ball. But Dave Manders (51) has the ball. Did he steal it from Duncan orpick it up when Duncan released it to signal Colts ball as he's doing in the last frame?
Duncan after the game: I came up to meet the play, was knocked on the ground, and there the ball was. I was surprised as hell to see it lying there. I was fighting someone for possession of it, but I got there first. ... I owed one for fumbling the kickoff.
But Billy Ray Smith, the one who yelled "Colts ball" to the officials, also claimed recovery. All I know is that, when Ray May hit the ball carrier, the ball bounced loose and I fell on it. (Smith later admitted that he never had the ball. Also the pictures above show that Duncan and Curtis hit the ball carrier, not May, #56.)
Manders was adamant that he recovered the fumble. It rolled right under me, and I got up and handed it to the ref. I couldn't believe it when he said it was the Colts' ball.
G John Niland (#61): I know Manders recovered it. I was right there on the ground next to him. There was no way it should have been Baltimore's ball. Some official just came running in from left field and made the call.
Morton: Before they unpiled, Dave Manders was right on top of the ball. I screamed to the line judge on my side, "Call the first thing! Call it, you son of a bitch."
But Fette told them, One more word out of either of you, and you're both out of the game!
Manders: It was the most clean-cut recovery of a fumble I had ever been involved in for all my playing days. ... It is so frustrating because he (Fette) came in from the right side and could not see anything, and he makes that call in an instant. He was going on Billy Ray's "We got it. We got it!"
After the game, Bubba Smith said, We ought to give a game ball to Billy. He conned that official right out of the Super Bowl.
Just as St. Louis Cardinals fans always remember the name Don Denkinger, who made a bad call in the 1985 World Series, Dallas personnel director Gil Brandt always said his first memory of Super Bowl V is the name of the line judge, Jack Fette.
A decade after Super Bowl V, Niland told this story: I was in a restaurant in Dallas and looked across the room and there was Billy Ray Smith having dinner. I yelled over to him, "Hey, Billy Ray, you still wearing my ring?" He knew exactly what I was talking about. He raised his hand and showed me his Super Bowl ring.
Thomas went to the bench and cried. According to one reporter who got to know him, it was during that third quarter of Super Bowl V that Duane decided not to talk to the media.
Having dodged a major bullet but backed up to their goal line, the Colts drove past midfield. Nowatzke burrowed to the 3. Then he ran for 4, followed by 8.
Morrall hands off after fumble recovery.
On 1st-and-10 from the 15, Morrall fired toward Hinton at the 35, but Renfro broke it up. Next Earl went over the middle next to Havrilak to the 40. Nowatzke took a draw handoff for 6y. Then Havrilak gained 3 around the right side. On 3rd-and-1, Mitchell came in as a second TE. Bulaich also came back in and banged for 2 at RT to move the chains. Morrall tried to connect with Jefferson on the sideline, but Adderley defended well. After a timeout, the Cowboys went to a nickel defense with an extra LB and only three down linemen. With pressure up the middle, Morrall tossed to Bulaich for 5. On 3rd-and-5, Earl thew to WR Ray Perkins but Jordan almost intercepted. So O'Brien came in for a 52y FG try. It fell short and was downed by C Tom Goode at the 1 after Renfro chose not to field the ball. So the Colts had flipped the field from their 1 to the Dallas 1.
Renfro afterward: I can't second guess myself. I thought the momentum (of the kick) would take it into the end zone. On second thought, maybe I should have picked it up.
Following Morton's sneak for 2, Garrison ran left twice for only 1y. Widby punted 40y out of the EZ. Gardin returned 2y but the good field position was lessened by a 15y clipping penalty to the Baltimore 39.
Unitas, heavily taped after being x-rayed in the locker room, warmed up on the sideline. But McCafferty stuck with Morrall.
The Colt possession started strong. After Nowatzke gained 1, Morrall hit Mitchell in stride down the middle for 45y to the 15. Bulaich tried to turn the left corner but was tackled by Lilly at the 12. Morrall went back to pass but on a QB draw, ran for a yard.
END OF Q3: Cowboys 13 Colts 6
Many observers of Super Bowl V, especially those watching from the sidelines, acknowledged that the game was a Blunder Bowl (11 turnovers) but also said that they had never seen a game with such ferocious hitting from both teams.
Quarter 4
Facing 3rd-and-6 at the 11, Morrall saw Bulaich open momentarily in the EZ, but Howley intercepted for a touchback. That was the Colts' 5th turnover.
Howley: I was covering a down-and-in, and the ball was right there. I couldn't help but catch it. I was just having fun. That's what I did when I played the game.
Garrison broke loose for 19y to the 39. But the possession bogged down. Hayes dropped a pass just across midfield. On the next two snaps, Morton settled for swing passes to Thomas for 3 and, following a Dallas timeout, Reeves for 5. So Widby exercised his foot again, Gardin making a fair catch at the 18.

Morrall looks for a receiver as Hinton heads downfield.
Morrall started by trying Jefferson down the right sideline, but Adderley stayed with him step-for-step and the ball fell incomplete. Earl fumbled the next snap but recovered the ball, faded and overthrew Jefferson. On 3rd-and-10, a pass to Hinton failed to connect, but Renfro was called for interference to give Baltimore a 1st-down at the 31. The drive kept going when Jefferson, out wide to the right, snagged a pass for 23y to the Dallas 46. A draw play to Nowatzke that gained nothing and a 2y swing pass to Havrilak made it 3rd-and-8 on the 44. As on the previous series, Morrall threw a 3rd down incompletion in the face of a safety blitz but another penalty, this one for defensive holding, gave the Colts an automatic 1st down at the Dallas 39. Nowatzke finally found a hole up the middle and was stopped by Larry Cole on the 30. Then Baltimore tried a dipsy-do. In a reprise of a play he botched in Super Bowl III, Morrall handed to Havrilak running to his right. The converted QB stopped and turned to throw back to Morrall. But finding big Jethro Pugh in the way, Sam evaded Pugh, set himself, and threw down the middle to the 22, where both Mackey and Hinton were waiting for the ball. Eddie caught it in his breadbasket, turned, and set sail for pay dirt carrying the ball out from his body. Cornell Green lunged and raked the ball free at the 11. The pigskin bounced into the EZ, setting off a mad scramble for possession. But all the potential recoverers succeeded in doing was pushing the ball out of the back of the EZ for a touchback.
Hinton grabs pass just out of reach of Mackey, turns and starts for end zone. Green (34) leaps teammate to pursue.
Green catches Hinton, knocks ball loose. Scramble sends pigskin out of end zone.

Morton passes as Ray May heads into coverage.

Morton pitches out.

Nowatzke scores Colt TD.

Lilly in his stance

Morrall gets pass away as Andrie gets past Bob Vogel.

McCafferty gives instructions to Morrall with Unitas nearby.

Waters tackles Nowatzke.

Howley, Pugh, and Lilly tackle Bulaich in last minute.

Cowboys try to block winning kick.

Players follow the kick.

Morrall and O'Brien leap for joy.

"Lassie" did it.

Lilly throws his helmet.

Logan and Maxwell rejoice.

Hinton: Oh, that end zone was just right there in front of me, and I figured all I had to do was step in. Man, I sure didn't know anyone was around me. That guy (Cornell Green) just came up behind me and punched the ball out of my hands. I couldn't believe it. I could have made the recovery, too, but someone was on top of me, and I couldn't get up.
On the Colts sideline, LB Curtis was discouraged. That one really hurt. After that, I figured it was all over for us.
One writer wondered if Casey Stengel, probably watching the game at home in California, didn't turn to his wife and ask, Can't anybody here play this game? - the same question he asked as manager of the expansion Mets in the first year of their existence.
Garrison gained 3, then Morton, passing quickly to beat a blitz, overthrew Thomas. Disaster struck the Cowboys on the next play. Morton faded back and threw downfield for Garrison. But with Hilton jumping in front of him, Craig threw too high. Walt leaped and got his hands on the ball but it deflected into the arms of Rick Volk, who caught it at knee level on the dead run at the 33. He leapt over a prone teammate and raced to the 3 where Rucker pulled him down from behind.
Volk gathers in deflected pass and heads for end zone as Rucker (88) catches him.
Volk: We were in a zone defense as usual, and I was just playing my area. ... We had all their wide receivers covered. Garrison came out of the backfield and down the middle. ... There's a lot of luck involved in those tips. And all day I was thinking we didn't have any luck on our side, but I've changed my mind now.
Hilton, whose hard rush caused the errant throw: I got a good rush on Morton. I thought I should have slapped the ball down, but he threw high to get it over my arms.
Just like that, the Baltimore defense gave their inept offense an opportunity to tie the game. After Nowatzke gained 1 on 1st down, he powered through LT into the EZ. O'Brien booted the PAT. Cowboys 13 Colts 13 (7:35)
Harris took O'Brien's kick on the bounce at the 17 and sped back 18y. Calvin Hill gained 1 before Morton rolled left and threw to Garrison who scampered to midfield. Thomas barely made it back to the line of scrimmage as Billy Ray Smith, making the best of his last game, made the stop. Next, Morton tried a pass but DT Fred Miller got a paw on it and it fell short of the receiver.
Miller talked afterwards about his opponent, G John Niland: As he got tired and I got tired, I started to give him some moves.
The incompletion made Craig 9-of-22 for the afternoon. Trying to keep the drive alive, he again had to settle for a short completion to Garrison over the middle to the Colt 45. Not close enough to try a FG, the Cowboys punted. Gardin let Widby's boot go, and Harris downed it at the 5.
With neither offense able to mount a sustained drive, many of those at the game and watching on TV started thinking about overtime. One guy in the press box exclaimed, My God, if this goes into overtime, we'll be here till Monday.
Playing conservatively deep in their own territory, the Colts ran the ball three times: Nowatzke 4, Nowatzke 1, and Bulaich 0. That took them to the two-minute warning. With overtime looming, Lee punted 38y to Hayes, who went out of bounds as he caught it at the Colt 48.
With a tie seemingly in their back pocket, the Cowboys tried to take advantage of their excellent field position to get into FG range. Thomas took a pitchout to the right, but Bubba Smith pulled him down for a 1y loss. Then Miller broke through and sacked Morton for a loss of 9. However, a holding penalty was called on Dallas. Preferring to put the Cowboys further away from FG range even though they would get the down back, McCafferty took the penalty to put the ball on the 27. That made it 2nd-and-31. Rather than run out the clock and go to OT, Dallas tried to get back into Colt territory. Morton faded back and threw downfield for Reeves. But with Hinton looming over him, Earl threw a little high. The ball went through the hands of the leaping Reeves and into the waiting arms of Mike Curtis, who returned 13y to the Dallas 28 with 0:59 on the clock. Just that quick, the Colts were in position to kick the winning FG.
Morton rolls right and throws to Reeves. Ball deflects to Curtis, who returns into FG range.
Landry revealed after the game that Morton called the play that resulted in Curtis's INT. With so little time remaining, there was no opportunity to work the tight end-shuffle to send in the next call. However, Tom said he thought Craig made the right call because we were in our two minute drill at the time. ... We were not thinking about running out the clock. We were going for the win. I'd hate to think that we had a minute to go and not go out to win the game. ... I wanted him to throw the one pass and, if it was complete, throw another. If incomplete, we run the ball on third down, punt, and take our chances in sudden death.
Curtis explained how he was in the right place at the right time. We put the defense in several weeks ago. I drift back and play along side the safeties and look for crossing patterns. When Jerry(Logan) saw Reeves come into his zone, he went for the tackle. ... The ball came off Reeves' hands and just hung up there. When I grabbed it, I almost squeezed the air out of it. The first thing I thought about was a fumble. I didn't want to be the goat. I gave 'em my old fullback moves.
Taking no chances, Morrall ran Bulaich twice for a total of 3y. In today's football, Dallas would use its timeouts to give itself some time to retaliate should Baltimore kick the FG. Instead, the Colts let the clock run after the second down play to 0:09 and called timeout. O'Brien, who won the opening game of the season with a FG on the last play, had a chance to do it in the final game. First, though, Dallas finally took a timeout.
As the final minute wound down, O'Brien said his teammates kept telling me not to be nervous, to stay calm. They said the score was tied, and that even if I missed, we'd beat them in sudden death. Jim didn't like kicking on artificial turf. He said the day before the game: When I kick a football, I like to take a divot, and on artificial turf you can't get one. Your foot kind of gets jammed up. It doesn't feel right as you kick.
Colts PR director Ernie Accorsi had a haunting memory. The day before the game, we were practicing and he was having trouble kicking on the turf. He said, "I hope they're not counting on me tomorrow." Well, who else are we going to count on?
During the Colts timeout, Morrall, the holder for FG kicks, went to the sideline. McCafferty grabbed me. "Talk to him, Earl," he said, motioning toward Jim O'Brien. "Keep him calm"
O'Brien was in a frenzy. "Let's go, Earl," he said. "Let's get out there."
"O'Bie," I said, "we've got plenty of time."

"Which way's the wind?"
"There's no wind."
"Should I kick it to the left post or the right?"
"Just boot it hard and down the middle."

When the Cowboys called timeout, Earl told the other nine guys on the FG unit to stay away from the young kicker so as not break his concentration.
Morrall: As we lined up and I knelt to hold the ball, the Cowboys started screaming and yelling to rattle O'Brien. "He's going to choke," one guy was shouting. "He's going to miss," yelled another.
"Let's go! Let's go!," O'Brien shouted. "Put the ball down!" ...
Kneeling there, I turned to O'Brien. "We're O.K., O'Bie," I said. "There's plenty of time."

The snapper, veteran Tom Goode, had been acquired by the Colts late in the year for just such an occasion. This would be the last game of his career.
Goode's snap was perfect as was Morrall's placement. Obie booted the 32-yarder straight through the uprights. Colts 16 Cowboys 13 (0:05)

Washington, who blocked extra point earlier, just misses O'Brien's boot.

O'Brien and the Colts exult.
Morrall: I watched him (Goode) grip the ball. I watched it right into my hands. I put it down. O'Brien's foot boomed through. I could tell by the sound that it was a solid hit. I lifted my head to watch. I swear my heart had stopped beating. It was no hard end-over-end kick; it kind of sailed, traveling a crazy path, first heading for the right post, but then looping back toward the middle to clear the bar by several feet. I was frozen. I couldn't move. I just knelt there for a second or two. Then I saw O'Brien jumping up and down and the realization of what had happened hit me. ... We had won the Super Bowl. I leaped into the air.
O'Brien said the yelling didn't bother him. I was accustomed to such things because in practice Billy Ray Smith does the same sort of things to help improve my concentration. He screamed louder than the Cowboys did.
On the kick: I knew it was good when it came off my foot. You could tell by the way it felt. When I looked up there, it was a little to the right (of center). It was the most beautiful picture I ever saw.
Morrall: Jimmy hit it good. It would have gone through from at least 10 more yards out. It started to drift right a little at the start, but then it came back again. It was darn near perfect, I'd say.
DT Bob Lilly ripped off his helmet and sent it flying halfway down the field.
In his autobiography, Lilly wrote this about hurling his helmet. I was just so disgusted with the way we had played, and to lose in the final seconds was the straw that broke the camel's back. I just lost it. What made matters even worse is that a rookie from the Colts brought my helmet back to me and said, "Mr. Lilly, here's your helmet." I felt about an inch tall.
O'Brien squibbed the kickoff to LB Kiner, who returned 2y to the 40. With one second on the clock, Dallas called time to set up a desperation play. With the Colts in their prevent defense, Morton threw long to Garrison, but Logan intercepted at the 29 and ran back 14y to seal the improbable victory. It was a fitting way for the error-plagued game to end.
In the press box, famous Brooklyn sportswriter Dick Young commented, I'm not sure if I just saw the greatest football game or the worst.
FINAL SCORE: Cowboys 16 Colts 13

Cowboy despair: Ray Renfro sits dejected.
Final statistics
  • Time of possession: Colts 28:36 Cowboys 31:24
  • First downs: Colts 14 Cowboys 10
  • Rushing: Colts 31-69 Cowboys 31-102
  • Passing: Colts 25-11-3/260 Cowboys 26-12-3/113
  • Return yardage: Colts 9-102 Cowboys 6-43
  • Fumbles-Lost: Colts 5-4 Cowboys 1-1
  • Penalties: Colts 28:36 Cowboys 31:24
  • Punting average: Colts 28:36 Cowboys 31:24
  • Attendance: 79,204
Dallas LB Chuck Howley won the Sport Magazine MVP award, a new car, for his two INTs and a fumble recovery - the first time a defensive player copped the award and still the only time it has been given to a member of the losing team.

Each Colt earned $15,000 while each Cowboy took home $7,500.

Hall of Famers in Super Bowl V:
Cowboys: Herb Adderley, Mike Ditka, Bob Hayes, Coach Tom Landry, Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, GM Tex Schramm, Roger Staubach, Rayfield Wright
Colts: Ted Hendricks, Johnny Unitas


Colts Locker Room

  • McCafferty cited the two tipped INTs. Both were big plays, giant plays actually, but you have to call Curtis's interception the turning point. That's the one which won it for us.
    On his decision to go for it on 4th-and-Goal at the end of the 1st half: If we had lost, it would have been the worst call I made this year. If it had worked, I would have been a hero.
    On Morrall finishing the game: I knew Unitas was available, but I stuck with Earl because Earl was doing a fine job and I saw no reason to change.
  • Morrall admitted he wasn't sure he would lead his team to victory. I just kept wondering if it was going to be 1968 all over again. All those missed opportunities. ... Without question our defense won the game for us. But when you consider everything that was riding on that kick, you have to give a lot of credit to Jim. That's a lot of pressure for a rookie to be under ... Heck, that's a lot of pressure for anyone to be under, including me, and I've been around a long time.
    Morrall in his autobiography: Some people say my experience in the 1972 Super Bowl suggests great irony, or that it represents sweet atonement, or at least poetic justice. I guess any one or all of these could apply. ... My wife says it's like the ending of a fairy tale. It is - but it's more. Someone upstairs played a big part in it.
  • Unitas: I'm happy for Earl. He did a fine job. I did not mind not going back in the game. That was the coach's decision. Earl was down in the dumps after our other Super Bowl, and it was great that he could come back.
  • The Colts awarded one game ball to Coach McCafferty and the other to O'Brien, who carried it around with him wherever he went, even putting a clear towel over it. On his winning kick: It made me cry, and I usually don't cry very much. He said he hit the ball solid - in fact, it was the only solid kick he had all day. Asked about feeling pressure, he answered: You know I really didn't think that much about the kick. ... I knew I might get myself in trouble if I did. Of course, it was obvious that we were going to run the clock down and go for the field goal so that last minute could have been a long one if I started worrying about it. Jim also mentioned something that happened Saturday night. I spoke to my mother last night, and she said I couldn't lose. She said we'd win, but it would be by a close margin. She's an astrologer, and she has told me a lotta things before that turned out right. But you know, there was a time there when we kept fouling up when I began to think maybe - just maybe - she might be wrong. O'Brien also talked about a dream he had the week before. I mentioned it to a number of people. I told them I dreamed that somebody was going to kick a field goal, and it would decide the game. When someone asked if he knew he was going to kick the winning field goal, he said, Oh no, I didn't dream who kicked it. I must've woke up before I did. It could have turned out to be Mike Clark.
  • Billy Ray Smith, the one who nicknamed Jim O'Brien Lassie because of his long hair, praised the rookie. That kid sure ain't no dawg. He may wear his hair a bit funny, but he's a winner, that's for sure.
    On his retirement: It's all over now. I just won $15,000. And see this blood on my pants? You ask me whose blood this is? My blood. This is my last game. What can I possibly do after this - come back here and have the coaches run me out?
  • Miller: We were ready for overtime, even expected it, but knew we were holding the high cards. It's been like this all year and just climaxed today. We have had to struggle, but we refused to give up.
  • Curtis made an admission. Man, I didn't think there was any way we would win this game. Maybe I shouldn't say that, but the way things were going, that's the way I felt. But then this epitomizes our entire season. ... I mean it's appropriate that we should win the big one in a game like this because this is the way we've played all season. There have been so many times that I couldn't tell you how we won, but we did it ... just like today.
  • Logan summed up his feelings this way. I've been here three times, and it is about time I come away with one of them (titles).
    Years later, John Mackey said, The best team I ever played on lost the Super Bowl. The worst team I ever played on won it.

Cowboys Locker Room

  • According to a Baltimore writer who went to the Dallas locker room: There was no gnashing of teeth ... and no one wept openly. None of the players threw a helmet against the wall or shouted obscenities. This was a scene the Cowboys have played over and over again and they are masters at it. Only Craig Morton seemed visibly shaken, and he had a right to be.
  • Looking like he had aged several years overnight, Landry said he didn't say much to the players when they arrived in the dressing room after the game. I tried to say something, but there's not much you can say. It was all there, and we lost it. ... There was never a point where we didn't think we were going to win it. That's what makes it so tough to take. ... We beat ourselves. The fumble and two interceptions killed us. ... This hurts pretty bad. We fought awfully hard to get here. You couldn't play defense any better than we were playing today. We've been playing like that for weeks, and everything went right for us. But this time we did, and it still wound up wrong. ... Although we weren't hitting passes, we were moving the ball. ... We were moving fine in the third quarter until Thomas fumbled on the 1. If we had gone in to score then, we came out with a 20-6 lead. They would have had an awful lot of catching up to do. Asked if this loss hurt worse than the losses to Green Bay for the NFL title in '66 and '67, Tom replied: They may take it harder, but I can't see them letting down. They came back a long way to get here. We fought as hard as we know how, but we just didn't put it together at the right times today.
    On the play of his QB: I never considered taking Morton out for Staubach. We seemed to be controlling the ball and felt no reason to change.
  • Morton spoke so softly, reporters had to strain to hear him. When you are down like I am, what do you do? I guess you just have to start all over again next year. ... This game was a great challenge for me. People had been critical of my performances in the past, and here was a great chance to answer that criticism. But I just didn't do it. I thought we had the game under control, and we did what we wanted to do. I probably should have completed a few more passes. ... We just made too many mistakes. Their defense didn't do anything we didn't expect. They shut down our run. In the second half, I didn't know what they did, though maybe they changed up front. ... I wasn't the worst QB on the field. Look at what happened to Unitas. They were lucky to win or he would have been the goat.
  • Reporters wanted to talk to Duane Thomas, especially about the crucial fumble at the goal line, but he dressed quickly and left before the press was let in.
    Decades later, Thomas still resented being cast as the scapegoat. Tom got on me about losing the game. How about Dan Reeves? He tipped the damn ball into Mike Curtis's hands for the interception. At least I scored a touchdown in the game.
  • Howley: I'm glad we won the Most Valuable Player award because it's a tribute to the entire defensive team. It's a great honor, but I would much rather we be world champions. ... I'm not a sarcastic guy, but something like all this sure leaves you shaking your head. I guarantee you I thought we were ready to go right on winning when we got here. All week long we were loose and happy, just like we had been in our last seven games. We really felt good. And nothing really changed when we took the field today. We went into the game, and it went just like we thought it would. We were well prepared for the Colts. We forced them into errors and had it going our way. We could have had it all locked up earlier, but we also could have won it at the end by getting a couple of first downs and kicking a field goal. ... What can you say? It's not much to be the left-overs. ... Freak plays beat us. In fact, I don't feel like we were beat. I feel like we won, but they got the title.
  • Jordan on the tipped pass to Mackey for a TD: I hate bad enough to lose on things they do to your defense but to give up a touchdown on something like that is incredible. ... We played well ... but we had the breaks go against us. When you play to win and it doesn't work out, all you can do is get ready for next year. ... I don't have any complex about this game, and I'm not going to take any lip about it. We're coming back. I hate to tell 'em, but we are.
  • Reeves blamed himself for the killer INT that set up the winning FG. The ball simply went through my hands. How high was it? High enough to catch. I got no excuse. You get paid for catching the hard ones. I don't remember anything ever hurting so much or costing so much. What hurts is having your defense play as great as ours did and lose. But I'm sure our defensive players would tell you we're a 40-man team. We got here as a team and we've been winning as a team and we lost as a team. ... This was the biggest game we ever played. I just wish we could have won it. What hurts most was giving up points on two tipped plays. ... It's bad enough to lose, but to just give it to them. Well ...
  • Lilly: I really don't have any feelings right now. I wish I didn't even have to go to the West Coast for the Pro Bowl. I'm so fed up. I wish I didn't even have to think about football anymore. ... We were hurt by three deflected passes. They picked off two of ours to set up their last 10 points, and they got their first six on a ball tipped by their own guy. ... But that's football. But Bob didn't think any of the tips were the biggest plays. When Thomas fumbled on the 1, it cost us pretty heavily. If he had held the ball, and we scored another touchdown, it would have been a different game from then on. I really couldn't see them getting a lot of touchdowns the rest of the way. I figured 17 points would win it before the game. As it turned, it would have.
    Lilly had considered retiring if the Cowboys won Super Bowl V. A pal gave him a Cuban cigar to enjoy after winning the championship. When Dallas lost, Bob brought the cigar back to Dallas and kept it on ice for safekeeping in hopes that he could light it after Super Bowl VI.
  • OG Niland praised the defense. They did a terrific job. But in the final analysis, this game is a team effort, and it's a team loss. ... We got field goals when we should have had touchdowns. Overall, our offense didn't do well. We had some good plays at time, but we were erratic. I really don't think the Colts defense really built up any momentum. A mistake here and a mistake there gave them a lift That's momentum going against you, but it really wasn't created by them.
  • Waters thought Dallas got the raw end of the officiating. We made our breaks, and the officials made theirs (the Colts'). Every time we would stop them, we would be called for interference. Every time we started moving, we would get called for holding. I just can't accept that.
    Years later, Ray Renfro recalled an incident on the bus ride back to the hotel. You know when I got really angry at Craig? On the bus ride back to the hotel. My wife and I were sitting there crying our eyes out, and I looked back, and he was back there goosing his girlfriend and laughing. ... That's when I got angry at Craig.
    Reflecting on Super Bowl V years later, Walt Garrison said, Our goal at the start of the season (1970) was to go to the Super Bowl, and we did. But I think we wasted all our energy on the playoffs and then relaxed and forgot what we were doing there.
A few days after the game, an AP article announced that Super Bowl V attracted the largest television audience ever to watch a single sports event. According to NBC, the game was seen in 31,670,000 homes by an audience of 64 million people.
The NFL office in New York received more than 500 complaints about the officiating in the Super Bowl, and many fans began suggesting that instant replay be used to review calls.
Later that January, Lee Roy Jordan gave the talk at a January football banquet in Alabama where he played for Bear Bryant. We had to play against sixteen men. One official made five or six calls against us himself. I was very upset with the officiating. In the second half, every time we broke up a pass or made a long gain on third down, I looked up and saw a flag.
References: Comeback Quarterback: The Earl Morrall Story, Earl Morrall and George Sullivan (1971)
Super Bowl: Of Men, Myths and Moments, Marty Ralbovsky (1971)
The Dallas Cowboys: Winning the Big One, Steve Perkins (1972)
God's Coach: The Hymns, Hype, & Hypocrisy of Tom Landry's Cowboys, Skip Bayless (1990)
America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation, Michael MacCambridge (2004)
Game of My Life Dallas Cowboys: Memorable Stories of Cowboys Football, Jean-Jacques Taylor (2006)
Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas, John Callahan (2006)
A Cowboy's Life, Bob Lilly with Kristine Setting Clark (2008)
The Ultimate Super Bowl Book, Bob McGinn (2009)
The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America: Joe Nick Patoski (2013)
The NFL, Year One: The 1970 Season and the Dawn of Modern Football, Brad Schultz (2013)
The NFL in the 1970s, Joe Zagorski (2016)