|Duration||September 19 – December 19, 1971|
|Start date||December 25, 1971|
|AFC Champions||Miami Dolphins|
|NFC Champions||Dallas Cowboys|
|Super Bowl VI|
|Date||January 16, 1972|
|Site|| Tulane Stadium,|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Date||January 23, 1972|
|Site||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum|
The 1971 NFL season was the 52nd regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl VI when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins 24–3 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. The Pro Bowl took place on January 23, 1972, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; the NFC beat the AFC 26–13.
The 1971 NFL Draft was held from January 28 to 29, 1971 at New York City's Belmont Plaza Hotel. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected quarterback Jim Plunkett from Stanford University.
Three referees--Walt Fitzgerald, Bob Finley and George Rennix--retired following the 1970 season. Bob Frederic, Dick Jorgensen and Fred Wyant were promoted to fill those vacancies. Rich Eichhorst, a back judge in 1970, resigned to concentrate on officiating college basketball; he was replaced by Don Orr, who officiated in the league through 1995.
Starting in 1970, and until 2002, there were three divisions (Eastern, Central and Western) in each conference. The winners of each division, and a fourth “wild card” team based on the best non-division winner, qualified for the playoffs. The tiebreaker rules were changed to start with head-to-head competition, followed by division records, record against common opponents, and records in conference play. More tiebreakers were provided in 1971 because, in 1970, reversing just one game’s outcome would have led to a coin toss between Dallas and Detroit for the NFC wild card berth.
|1||3 teams||1–0–0||2 teams||1–0–0||2 teams||1–0–0||3 teams||1–0–0|
|2||2 teams||2–0–0||Chicago||2–0–0||Atlanta||1–0–1||2 teams||2–0–0|
|3||Washington||3–0–0||4 teams||2–1–0||San Francisco||2–1–0||5 teams||2–1–0|
|4||Washington||4–0–0||Chicago*||3–1–0||Los Angeles||2–1–1||3 teams||3–1–0|
|6||Washington||5–1–0||Minnesota||5–1–0||Los Angeles||4–1–1||4 teams||4–2–0|
|1||2 teams||1–0–0||2 teams||1–0–0||San Diego||1–0–0||2 teams||1–0–0|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
|Dec. 26 – Candlestick Park|
|Jan. 2 – Texas Stadium|
|Dec. 25 – Metropolitan Stadium|
|Jan. 16 – Tulane Stadium|
|Dec. 26 – Cleveland Stadium|
|Super Bowl VI|
|Jan. 2 – Miami Orange Bowl|
|Dec. 25 – Municipal Stadium|
|Most Valuable Player||Alan Page, Defensive tackle, Minnesota|
|Coach of the Year||George Allen, Washington|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Alan Page, Defensive tackle, Minnesota|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||John Brockington, Running back, Green Bay|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Isiah Robertson, Linebacker, Los Angeles|
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