In retrospect, Super Bowl VI can be seen as a contest between Miami coach Don Shula's overachievers, still a year away from greatness, and Dallas coach Tom Landry's team, which was ready to blossom. The Cowboys had talent, experience, and a new quarterback. Roger Staubach had warmed the bench behind Craig Morton in 1970; in 1971 he took his first steps toward the Pro Football Hall of Fame by earning the most-valuable-player award in Super Bowl VI.
In the opening quarter, Chuck Howley, the Super Bowl MVP of the previous year, recovered Dolphin Larry Csonka's fumble at midfield. Csonka did not fumble once during the regular season. Dallas turned it into a 9-yard field goal.
The Cowboys executed a dominating, 76-yard drive in the second quarter to increase their lead to 10-0. Only 1 of the 10 plays in the drive gained fewer than 5 yards. The touchdown came on a 7-yard pass from Staubach to Lance Alworth with 1:15 to go.
There was still enough time for Miami to tighten the score by driving 44 yards to Garo Yepremian's 31-yard field goal as the half ended. That also ended Miami's scoring for the day.
The Cowboys wrapped up the game by taking the second-half kickoff and driving 71 yards to another touchdown in 8 plays, 7 of them runs. Duane Thomas, Dallas's leading rusher for the day (95 of the Cowboys' 252 yards on the ground), scored the touchdown on a 3-yard dash.
The Cowboys shut down the Dolphins throughout the rest of the third quarter, allowing a mere 13 yards on 8 plays. Early in the final period, Howley intercepted Bob Griese's pass and returned it 41 yards to the Miami 9-yard line. Two plays gained two yards, and then Staubach passed 7 yards to Mike Ditka for Dallas's final touchdown.
After the game, Shula said, "My biggest disappointment was that we never challenged. They completely dominated."