Orange was undoubtedly the NFL's most popular color during the 1977 season, but after the Dallas Cowboys swept past the Denver Broncos 27-10 in the first Super Bowl played indoors, the game's most vivid scenes had been painted in a solid shade of black and blue.
Most responsible for this setting were the imposing members of the Cowboys' defensive line--safety Randy Hughes notwithstanding--as they ripped away at the left side of Denver's offensive line and pressured quarterback Craig Morton into a miserable performance.
Morton, the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year, completed as many passes to the Cowboys as his own teammates, unintentionally entering his name into the less-distinguished portion of the Super Bowl record book.
In addition to his four interceptions, the game featured the most Super Bowl penalties ever by both teams (20 for 154 yards) as well as the most fumbles by both teams (10).
Thanks, however, to the Pokes' inablility to capitalize on more than a few scoring opportunities in the first half, as well as Bronco head coach Red Miller's decision to replace Morton with Norris Weese with 6:40 left in the third quarter, the game was kept from becoming a Super Bore.
Four plays after Hughes snatched a Morton pass on the Denver 29, Tony Dorsett's three-yard sprint off the left tackle put the Cowboys on the scoreboard first with 10:31 gone in the first quarter.
Efren Herrera's 35-yard field goal following another interception finished up the first period scoring, and he also provided the second quarter's only score with a 43-yarder after blowing three straight field goal attempts.
Jim Turner's 47-yarder that barely made it over the crossbar gave the Broncos their first score early in the third quarter, but the Cowboys extended their lead to 20-3 after a stunning 45-yard TD reception by Butch Johnson as he dove across the goal line to snare QB Roger Staubach's pass.
With Weese adding much needed mobility to the Denver attack, the Broncos scored their first TD of the game on Rob Lyle's one-yard plunge, one play after ex-Cowboy Jim Jensen galloped 16 yards with a Weese pitchout.
But the game's second exceptional TD reception--Golden Richards' 29-yard, over-the-head catch of Robert Newhouse's option pass while rolling left-- made sure the Cinderella Broncos would turn back into a normal old orange pumpkin, at least until next year.
For the first time in Super Bowl history, co-winners were selected as MVP's--White (5 tackles, one assist) and DE Harvey Martin (2 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 deflection).
And while Staubach called a clever game, emphasizing a counteraction passing attack away from Denver's pursuit toward the middle, Dallas' Doomsday defense--and all those black and blue marks--really told the story.