In his third season, Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach earned the starting job and NFL MVP honors by leading Dallas (14-3) on a season-ending eight-game winning streak that put the Cowboys in the Super Bowl. A multidimensional threat, Staubach threw for 1,882 yards and 15 touchdowns, was picked off only four times and ran 41 times for 343 yards.
2 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Aug. 16, 1971 SI Cover.
3 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
The Cowboys traded enigmatic running back Duane Thomas early in the season, but the Patriots promptly returned him for refusing to cooperate. Back in Dallas he racked up 793 yards and a league-leading 11 rushing TDs while maintaining a vow of silence with the media and his coaches. His relationship with head coach Tom Landry was particularly strained, with Thomas calling Landry "a plastic man ... no man at all."
4 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
A fedora-bedecked Landry got along better with Staubach as they guided the Cowboys to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance and their first win, a 24-3 domination of the Miami Dolphins.
5 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Roger Staubach was chosen the MVP of Super Bowl VI after a flawless, workmanlike performance (12 of 19, 119 yards, 2 TDs, no interceptions) against Miami.
6 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Running back Calvin Hill -- now better known as the father of Orlando Magic forward Grant Hill -- rushed for 463 yards and scored 11 TDs in 14 regular-season games, a prelude to his taking over for Duane Thomas as the Cowboys' main back in 1972.
7 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Fullback Walt Garrison added short-yardage toughness to the Cowboys backfield, picking up 429 yards on 127 carries. He was also Roger Staubach's favorite target, hauling in a team-leading 40 passes for 396 yards.
8 of 8Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Jan. 24, 1972 SI Cover.
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