On the first play Pittsburgh safety Glen Edwards stepped front of a Staubach pass intended for tight end Jean Fugett but dropped the 90 yard coast to coast touchdown. Dallas kicker Tony Fritsch converted a 36 yard field goal putting Dallas ahead 10-7. Dallas had just scored on 2 straight possessions. Pittsburgh continued to run the ball well and went for it on a 4thand 1 from the Dallas 36. Franco Harris was wide open for a big gain but dropped the perfectly placed pass from Bradshaw.
Dallas took over and continued to move the ball aided by Staubach escaping 3 sacks from Steve Furness, Dwight White and L.C. Greenwood. When Staubach escaped the grasp of L.C. Greenwood he scrambled around the pocket ala Ben Roethlisberger before finding Doug Dennison for a 15 yard gain to the Steelers 23. Dallas was threatening again, 4th offensive series, 4th time in Steelers territory but back to back sacks by L.C. Greenwood and Dwight White for a total loss of 23 yards took Dallas out of field goal range. A Mitch Hoopes punt went out-of-bounds at the Pittsburgh 5 yard line.
On a 3rd and 5 from their own 10 and desperately needing a first down Bradshaw threw deep to Lynn Swann who made his famous “Levitating Leap” catch. What was incredible about the catch is that Swann began his jump at the Pittsburgh 46 and when he landed with the possession of the ball he was at the Dallas 44 yard line. Swann only touched the ground once with one leg in the 10 yards that he traveled (30 feet). Bradshaw then badly under-throws a wide open Swann at the 5 that would have been an easy touchdown. After the 2 minute warning, as Roger Staubach had done minutes before, Bradshaw scrambles in the pocket (Ala Ben Roethlisberger) completing a pass to tight end Larry Brown at the Pittsburgh 20. Brown fumbled the ball but the official blew the play dead giving Pittsburgh possession. The Dallas team was incensed and had every right to be. It is the second time in the quarter a Pittsburgh receiver fumbled the ball but the play was whistled dead. (Stallworth fumbled earlier in the quarter but was ruled down by contact). This set up a 36 yard field goal that Roy Gerela hooked badly to the left. Gerela was a perfect 15 for 15 during the year from the 37 yard line in. A deflating blow to Pittsburgh heading into half time.
CBS halftime consisted of Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Phyllis George sitting in a makeshift booth built-in the stands surrounded by fans. Irv Cross’s analysis of the first half:
“The 10-7 score doesn’t indicate the excitement of this game.”
Brent Musburger view on the first half:
“Never again will they say a dull Super Bowl. The 2 catches by Lynn Swann alone were more exiting than 4 quarters of some Super Bowls.”