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1970 Dallas Cowboys season

1970 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coach Tom Landry
Home field Cotton Bowl
Results
Record 10–4
Division place 1st NFC East
Playoff finish Lost Super Bowl V (Baltimore)
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1969 1971 >

The 1970 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 11th in the National Football League.

The Cowboys scored 299 points and allowed 221 points. For the fifth consecutive season, the Cowboys finished first in their division. In 1970, the club made its debut on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 38–0. The Cowboys made it to their first Super Bowl and lost to the Baltimore Colts.


NFL Draft

Pick # NFL Team Player Position College
23 Dallas Cowboys Duane Thomas Running Back West Texas State

Regular season

The Cowboys had to overcome many obstacles during the regular season. Fullback Calvin Hill, the team's second leading rusher with 577 yards and 4 touchdowns, was lost for the year after suffering a leg injury late in the regular season. And wide receiver Bob Hayes was benched by head coach Tom Landry for poor performances on several occasions.

Most significantly, the Cowboys had a quarterback controversy between Craig Morton and Roger Staubach. Morton and Staubach alternated as the starting quarterback during the regular season, but Landry eventually chose Morton to start Super Bowl V because he felt less confident that Staubach would follow his game plan (Landry called all of Morton's plays in Super Bowl V).[1] Also, Morton had done extremely well in the regular season, throwing for 1,819 yards and 15 touchdowns, with only 7 interceptions, earning him a passer rating of 89.8. In contrast, Staubach, although a noted scrambler and able to salvage broken plays effectively, threw for 542 yards, and only 2 touchdowns compared to 8 interceptions, giving him a 42.9 rating.

Hayes was the main deep threat on the team, catching 34 passes for 889 yards (a 26.1 yards per catch average) and 10 touchdowns, while also rushing 4 times for 34 yards and another touchdown, and adding another 116 yards returning punts. On the other side of the field, wide receiver Lance Rentzel recorded 28 receptions for 556 yards and 5 touchdowns.

However, the main strength on the Cowboys offense was their running game. Rookie running back Duane Thomas rushed 151 times for 803 yards (a 5.1 yards per carry average) and 5 touchdowns, while adding another 416 yards returning kickoffs. Fullback Walt Garrison, who replaced the injured Hill, provided Thomas with excellent blocking and rushed for 507 yards and 3 touchdowns himself. Garrison was also a good receiver out of the backfield, catching 21 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. Up front, Pro Bowl guard John Niland and future Hall of Famer tackle Rayfield Wright anchored the offensive line.

The Cowboys had their lowest regular season (6–2 vs. Cleveland Browns) and playoff (5–0 vs. Detroit Lions) scoring games in franchise history.

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
1 1970-09-20 at Philadelphia Eagles W 17–7 Franklin Field
59,728
2 1970-09-27 New York Giants W 28–10 Cotton Bowl
57,236
3 1970-10-04 at St. Louis Cardinals L 20–7 Busch Memorial Stadium
50,780
4 1970-10-11 Atlanta Falcons W 13–0 Cotton Bowl
53,611
5 1970-10-18 at Minnesota Vikings L 54–13 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
6 1970-10-25 at Kansas City Chiefs W 27–16 Municipal Stadium
51,158
7 1970-11-01 Philadelphia Eagles W 21–17 Cotton Bowl
55,736
8 1970-11-08 at New York Giants L 23–20 Yankee Stadium
62,938
9 1970-11-16 St. Louis Cardinals L 38–0 Cotton Bowl
69,323
10 1970-11-22 at Washington Redskins W 45–21 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
50,415
11 1970-11-26 Green Bay Packers W 16–3 Cotton Bowl
67,182
12 1970-12-06 Washington Redskins W 34–0 Cotton Bowl
57,936
13 1970-12-12 at Cleveland Browns W 6–2 Cleveland Stadium
75,458
14 1970-12-20 Houston Oilers W 52–10 Cotton Bowl
50,504

Game summaries

Week 1

</th> </tr>
1 234Total
• Cowboys 0 773 17
Eagles 7 000 7
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Playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result
Divisional Dec. 26, 1970 Detroit Lions W 5–0
Conference Jan. 3, 1971 at San Francisco 49ers W 17–10
Super Bowl V Jan. 17, 1971 Baltimore Colts L 16–13

Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys 10 4 0 .714 5–3 7–4 299 221 W5
New York Giants 9 5 0 .643 6–2 6–5 301 270 L1
St. Louis Cardinals 8 5 1 .615 5–3 6–5 325 228 L3
Washington Redskins 6 8 0 .429 3–5 4–7 297 314 W2
Philadelphia Eagles 3 10 1 .231 1–7 1–9–1 241 332 W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Postseason

NFC Divisional Playoff

Dallas Cowboys 5, Detroit Lions 0
1 2 34Total
Lions 0 0 000
Cowboys 3 0 025

at Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

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  • Scoring
    • DAL – field goal Clark 26 DAL 3–0
    • DAL – Safety, Andrie tackled Landry in end zone DAL 5–0

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NFC Championship Game

Dallas Cowboys 17, San Francisco 49ers 10
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 0 3 14017
49ers 3 0 7010

at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco

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  • Scoring
    • SF – field goal Gossett 16 SF 3–0
    • DAL – field goal Clark 21 3–3
    • DAL – Thomas 13 run (Clark kick) DAL 10–3
    • DAL – Garrison 15 pass from Morton (Clark kick) DAL 17–3
    • SF – Witcher 26 pass from Brodie (Gossett kick)DAL 17–10

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Super Bowl V

Dallas Cowboys 13, Baltimore Colts 16
1 2 34Total
Colts (AFC) 0 6 01016
Cowboys (NFC) 3 10 0013

at Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

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  • Scoring
    • DAL – field goal Clark 14 DAL 3–0
    • DAL – field goal Clark 30 DAL 6–0
    • BAL – Mackey 75 pass from Unitas (kick blocked) 6–6
    • DAL – Thomas 7 pass from Morton (Clark kick) DAL 13–6
    • BAL – Nowatzke 2 run (O'Brien kick) 13–13
  • BAL – field goal O'Brien 32 BAL 16–13

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Chuck Howley became the first defensive player, and only member of a losing team to be the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

Roster

Dallas Cowboys 1970 roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
44 Active, 0 Inactive

Awards and records

  • Chuck Howley, Most Valuable Player, Super Bowl V
  • Mel Renfro, Pro Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player

References

  1. Bill McGrane, "A Mad, Mad, Mad Super Bowl," The Super Bowl: Celebrating a Quarter-Century of America's Greatest Game. Simon and Schuster, 1990 ISBN 0-671-72798-2
  2. Pro-Football-Reference.com