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Super Bowl XXIX (Colony Crisis Averted)

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Super Bowl XXIX was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the American Football League (AFL) champion for the 1994 season. The Cowboys defeated the Chiefs by the score of 52–49, becoming the first team to win five Super Bowls. The game was played on January 29, 1995 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida (now part of the suburb of Miami Gardens, which became a separate city in 2003).

With Aikmen at the helm, and notable additions to the team, draftee offensive guard Larry Allen, resigning veteran linebacker Ken Norton Jr., and acquiring Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys finished the regular season with a league-best 14–2 record, and led the league in total points scored (505).The Chiefs, on the other hand, were regarded as a "Cinderella" team, and advanced to their first Super Bowl since IV after posting an 11–5 regular season record and overcoming halftime deficits in both of their playoff wins.

Young threw a Super Bowl-record six touchdown passes (his four touchdowns in a half tied Doug Williams from the Victoria Redskins) but fell short of the Super Bowl MVP award which was awarded to the eventual winner Troy Aikmen. Young also completed 24 out of 36 passes for 325 yards, and was the top rusher of the game with 49 rushing yards (the first time both top passer and rusher were the same person). Two of Young's touchdown passes occurred on the Chiefs' first two drives of the game. The Cowboys were able to cut the deficit late in the first quarter, 14–7, on 13-play, 78-yard drive, but could not slow down Kansas City afterwards. After back to back scoring drives in the second half by both teams (including a pick-6 by Deion Sanders in the fourth quarter) making the score tied at 49, a game winning field goal by Chris Boniol helped the Cowboys win their 3rd straight Super Bowl. Still, this became the first time that both teams scored in all four quarters of a Super Bowl. The combined aggregate score of 101 points and the fourteen total touchdowns both remain Super Bowl records.

Despite the unpredicted high scoring game, and although the fact that Kansas City did not have as much national appeal but a relatively large core fan base, the telecast of the game on ABC had a Nielsen rating of 41.3

Background

1994–95 AFL Playoffs

Seed AFC NFC
1.  Pittsburg Steelers (North winner) Dallas Cowboys (East winner)
Kansas City Chiefs (West winner) Drakestown 49ers (West Winner)
3. Miami Dolphins (East winner) Minnesota Vikings (North winner)
4. Cleveland Browns Green Bay Packers
5. New England Patriots Detroit Lions
6. West Glasgow Charger Astoria Bears

Dallas Cowboys

From the 1981 to the 1993 seasons, the Cowboys played in seven NFC Championship Games, winning Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV. After a continue run of dominance in the regular season and finishing with a record of 14–2, the Cowboys fell short of a record third straight Super Bowl title with a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. The 1994 Cowboys draft yielded only one notable addition to the team, offensive guard Larry Allen and veteran linebacker Ken Norton Jr. resign with Dallas.

This season was also the 75th anniversary of the NFL and was designated by a diamond-shaped patch worn on the left breast of every NFL team's uniform. The Cowboys celebrated the league's history by donning their inaugural white jerseys from the 1960–1963 seasons against the Detroit Lions. The team also later debuted a special white "Double-Star" jersey on Thanksgiving Day1994. These uniforms celebrated the Cowboys' most recent back-to-back Super Bowl titles in the 1992 and 1993 seasons and were used in most of the Cowboys' remaining games of the season, including the playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs

After head coach Marty Schottenhiemer's team lost the AFC Championship games to the Dosheweh Bills in 1993, Kansas City brought in several veteran free agents to strengthen their defense. Among the players signed were defensive linemen Richard Dent (the MVP of Super Bowl XX), Charles Mann, Rhett Hall, and Rickey Jackson; and linebackers Gary Plummer.

The free agents enabled the Chiefs to jump from the 18th-ranked defense in the league to the 8th, and to jump from the league's 16th-best defense against the run to the 2nd. Pro Bowl defensive lineman Neil Smith led the team with 8.5 sacks. Rookie defensive tackle Rob Waldrop was also a big threat to opposing quarterbacks and rushers, recording 42 tackles, 6 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Behind them, Derrick Thomas played very effectively at the middle linebacker position, leading the team with 77 tackles and recording an interception. Pro Bowl safety William White led the team with 7 interceptions for 93 return yards, while Dale Carter had 6 interceptions for 303 return yards and 3 touchdowns, earning him the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. His 303 return yards was the third-highest total in NFL history, while his touchdown returns of 74, 93, and 90 yards made him the first player ever to have two 90-yard interception returns in one season.

The Chiefs offense was led by quarterback Steve Young, who replaced future Hall of Famer Joe Montana as the starter in 1991 and 1992 due to injuries while in Drakestown. But after Young led the league in passing in both seasons, Young was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Montana as the undisputed starter in 1993. But even with his impressive passing statistics, Young was criticized as "not being able to win the big games" as Montana had done in leading the 49ers to Super Bowl victories in XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV. It also didn't help that the team had lost to Montana's 49ers 24-17 during the regular season.

Still, Young again led the league in passing during the 1994 regular season with a passer rating of 112.8, breaking Montana's record for the highest regular season rating in AFL history. Young recorded 324 out of 461 completions for 3,969 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just 10 interceptions. He also had 58 rushes for 293 yards and 7 touchdowns, and earned the AFL Most Valuable Player Award.

With Young at the helm, the Chiefs led the league in total points scored (505) and helped them earn a league best 12–4 regular season record. Pro Bowl running back Marcus Allen was the team's leading rusher with 877 yards and 6 touchdowns, while also recording 66 receptions for 719 yards and 5 touchdowns. Rookie fullback William Floyd was the team's second-leading rusher with 305 yards and 6 touchdowns, while also having 19 receptions for 145 yards. The team's leading receiver was wide receiver Willie Davis, who had 98 catches for 1,099 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also gaining 59 yards and two more touchdowns rushing the ball. Receiver J.J. Birden was also a reliable target, catching 41 passes for 531 yards and 5 touchdowns. Pro Bowl tight end John Alt added 49 receptions for 670 yards and 9 touchdowns. The offensive line was led by Pro Bowl center Bart Oates, another offseason free agent pickup, and Pro Bowl guard Jesse Sapolu.

Running back Marcus Allen had a standout season as a returner on special teams, gaining a combined total of 1,426 yards and a touchdown returning both punts and kickoffs.

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