On Pittsburgh’s first possession Dallas almost blocks another Bobby Walden Punt. Staubach is then intercepted by JT Thomas who returns it 35 yards to the Dallas 25. Pittsburgh is
energized. Bradshaw overthrows Swann at the goal line and the drive stalls at the 16. Gerela again hooks a 33 yard field goal to the left. The pugnacious Cliff Harris mocks Gerela by patting Gerela on the head. Steelers’ middle linebacker Jack Lambert grabs Harris by his
helmet and shoulder pads throwing him to the ground. Lambert would later say in a post-game interview:
“I felt we were intimidated a little. We aren’t supposed to be intimidated. We’re supposed to be the intimidators.”
Cliff Harris’ Big Mistake
Cliff Harris’ taunt of Roy Gerela was one of the biggest gaffes of Harris’ career. Until this point Dallas seemed to be in control of the game even though Pittsburgh had greatly out-gained them. Harris’ disrespect fired up the Steelers defense and in particular Jack Lambert and came at a time when Pittsburgh was deflated after blowing 2 straight scoring opportunities. On Dallas’s next possession Lambert wastes Dallas running back Preston Pearson. L.C. Greenwood blows up Dallas Running back Robert Newhouse. Both are
thundering hits clearly heard throughout the stadium. Staubach escapes another sack from Steve Furness and is under constant pressure the rest of the game. Lambert is on almost every tackle and is highly agitated and animated. Summerall says the Steelers defense is beating up on the Cowboys. Brookshier calls the Steelers defense “ferocious”. The Steelers defense would dominate Dallas until late in the 4th quarter. However Dallas still led at the end of the 3rd quarter 10-7.