Super Bowl XXVIII

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Super Bowl XXVIII
Super Bowl XXVIII logo.svg
DateJanuary 30, 1994 (1994-01-30)
Stadium Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
MVP Emmitt Smith, running back
FavoriteCowboys by 10.5 [1] [2]
Referee Bob McElwee
Attendance72,817 [3]
Current/Future Hall of Famers
Cowboys: Jerry Jones (owner), Jimmy Johnson (head coach), Troy Aikman, Charles Haley, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith
Bills: Ralph Wilson (owner), Marv Levy (head coach), Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas
National anthem Natalie Cole
Coin toss Joe Namath
Halftime show The Judds (feat. Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd), Clint Black, Travis Tritt and Tanya Tucker
TV in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy, O. J. Simpson and Will McDonough
Nielsen ratings 45.4
(est. 90 million viewers) [4]
Market share66
Cost of 30-second commercial$900,000
Radio in the United States
Network CBS Radio
Announcers Jack Buck and Hank Stram

Super Bowl XXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1993 season. The Cowboys defeated the Bills for the second straight year by the score of 30–13, winning their fourth Super Bowl in team history, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers for most Super Bowl wins. The game was played on January 30, 1994, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. Since the 1993 regular season was conducted over 18 weeks (two byes per team), the traditional bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl was not employed; the last time this had happened was before Super Bowl XXV.


This is the only time that the same two teams have met in consecutive Super Bowls. The defending Super Bowl XXVII champion Cowboys finished with a 12–4 regular season record, despite key players missing games due to injuries. The Bills were making their fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but still seeking their first title, after also finishing with a 12–4 regular season record, largely through the strength of their no-huddle offense.

After trailing 13–6 at halftime, the Cowboys scored 24 unanswered points in the second half. The Bills had built their lead off of running back Thurman Thomas' 4-yard touchdown run. But just 45 seconds into the third quarter, Thomas was stripped of the ball, and Dallas safety James Washington returned the fumble 46 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. From there, Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, largely took over the game. On Dallas' next possession, Smith was handed the ball seven times on an eight-play, 64-yard drive that was capped off with his 15-yard touchdown run. He later scored on a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Overall, Smith had 30 carries for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also catching 4 passes for 26 yards.


NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XXVIII to Atlanta, Georgia, during their May 23, 1990, meeting in Dallas. The Georgia Dome was under construction at the time of the vote.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys' journey to Super Bowl XXVIII proved more difficult than the previous season. Pro Bowl running back Emmitt Smith held out the first two regular season games over a contract dispute, and Dallas lost both of those contests, including a 13–10 loss at home to the Bills. Pro Bowl quarterback Troy Aikman, along with a few other key players, missed games due to injuries.

Following the loss to the Bills, Cowboys linebacker Charles Haley was so upset he slammed his helmet through a locker room wall, screaming "We'll never win with a fucking rookie running back, and we have the greatest one ever sitting at home watching TV!" in reference to Smith's replacement, Derrick Lassic. [5] Team owner Jerry Jones apparently agreed, quickly signing Smith to a contract that made him the highest paid running back in the NFL. Jerry Jones, who was in the locker room when the helmet was thrown, said that it missed him by about 2 feet.

With Smith back in the starting lineup and Aikman healthy, Dallas went on to win their next seven games, including a dominating 26–17 win over the San Francisco 49ers and a 23–10 win on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles in which Smith rushed for 237 yards, the 6th highest total in NFL history. Their winning streak was finally snapped against the Atlanta Falcons, with Aikman on the sidelines with an ankle injury, and Smith knocked out of the game after his first carry. They also lost their next game against Miami due to an infamous error by defensive lineman Leon Lett that enabled the Dolphins to kick a game-winning field goal, but then went on to win their remaining five games. In the season finale against the New York Giants, with the Cowboys desperately trying to clinch the NFC East title and a first-round bye in the playoffs, Aikman showed he was at full health, completing 24 of 30 passes with no interceptions, while for Smith it was his career signature game. He suffered a first-degree separation in his right shoulder during the first half, but still finished with 229 total yards (168 yards rushing, 10 passes caught for 61 yards, and the team's only touchdown) in a 16–13 overtime win which enabled Dallas to finish with an NFC-best 12–4 record.

Though not as dynamic as the previous year, Dallas' offense remained incredibly efficient, led by Aikman, who finished the regular season completing 271 out of 392 passes for 3,100 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Smith recorded 1,486 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, while catching 57 passes for 414 yards and another touchdown, earning him his third consecutive NFL rushing title and the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. Fullback Daryl Johnston was also a reliable backfield threat, scoring four touchdowns and contributing a career-high 50 receptions for 371 yards. Pro Bowler Michael Irvin was once again the team's leading wide receiver, catching 88 passes for 1,330 yards and seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Alvin Harper caught 36 passes for 777 yards and five touchdowns, while Pro Bowl tight end Jay Novacek had 44 receptions for 445 yards and one touchdown. Pro Bowlers Mark Stepnoski, Erik Williams, and Nate Newton anchored the offensive line. On special teams, rookie receiver Kevin Williams ranked seventh in the NFL with 381 yards on 36 punt returns, while also gaining 689 kickoff return yards and catching 20 passes for 151 yards.

The Cowboys' defense was anchored by such Pro Bowlers as lineman Russell Maryland, and Ken Norton Jr., and defensive backs Thomas Everett and Kevin Smith, who intercepted six passes during the season. Defensive end Tony Tolbert led the team with 7.5 sacks, while Charles Haley added 4 and Chad Hennings had 5.5.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills finished at the top of the AFC by clinching the conference's best regular season record, winning 7 of their first 8 games and finished the season at 12–4. Quarterback Jim Kelly once again led Buffalo's no-huddle offense by passing for 288 out of 470 regular season completions for 3,382 yards, 18 touchdowns, with 18 interceptions. Kelly was joining an elite class by starting his fourth Super Bowl. The only other quarterbacks to start four were Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, with John Elway, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning later doing so. Kelly is the only one to start four consecutive Super Bowl games.

Running back Thurman Thomas led the AFC with 1,315 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while also catching 48 passes for 387 yards. Running back Kenneth Davis rushed for 391 yards and six touchdowns, while also recording 21 receptions for 95 yards. Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Reed caught 52 receptions for a team-leading 854 yards and six touchdowns; wide receiver Bill Brooks had 60 receptions for 714 yards and five touchdowns; and wide receiver Don Beebe recorded 31 receptions for 504 yards and three touchdowns. Also, tight end Pete Metzelaars led the team with 68 receptions (a higher amount than his last four seasons combined) for 609 yards and four touchdowns. Pro Bowl offensive lineman Howard Ballard anchored the line.

Buffalo's defense was the team's weakness, ranking 27th (second-to-last) in the league, giving up 5,554 total yards. The defense did have a few good contributors, such as Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Smith (14 sacks, one fumble recovery), Pro Bowl linebacker Cornelius Bennett (five sacks, two fumble recoveries), linebacker Darryl Talley (101 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions) and cornerback Nate Odomes, who led the NFL with nine interceptions and one fumble recovery. Linebacker Marvcus Patton, who had moved up to the starting lineup to replace departed Pro Bowler Shane Conlan, was also an impact player, intercepting two passes and recovering three fumbles.


In the NFC, Dallas' first opponent in the playoffs was the Green Bay Packers, who were coming off a thrilling 28–24 win over the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Game, in which quarterback Brett Favre had thrown the winning touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe with only 55 seconds left in the game. In this game, the Packers scored first with a field goal, but Dallas stormed back with 17 consecutive points in the second quarter. First, Aikman threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Harper. Then with time running out the period, Dallas scored again on an Eddie Murray field goal. Green Bay then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, allowing the Cowboys to score again with Aikman's 6-yard pass to Novacek. The Cowboys went on to stave off an attempted Packers comeback in the second half and win the game, 27–17. Aikman finished the game with 28 of 37 completions for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions. Irvin recorded 9 catches for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns.

One week later, Dallas faced the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game for the second year in a row in what was, at the time, the last NFL game to air on CBS. The 49ers had the NFL's highest scoring offense with 473 points, 97 more than the runner-up Cowboys. The last time the two teams played for the NFC title, Dallas won when Aikman thwarted an attempted 49ers comeback with a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. But this time, the game was extremely one-sided. The Cowboys scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half possessions. By the end of the half, Dallas had a commanding 28–7 lead. Aikman completed 14 of 18 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, while also rushing for 25 yards, but was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the third quarter. Then San Francisco scored a touchdown, making the score 28–14 with plenty of time left for a comeback. However, their hopes were soon dashed as backup quarterback Bernie Kosar, who had already played in three conference championship games and was unable to advance to the Super Bowl each time, led the Cowboys 82 yards to go up 35–14 on his 42-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Harper. Murray then put the finishing touches on San Francisco with a 50-yard field goal, while all the 49ers could do was score a useless touchdown in "garbage time" to make the final score 38–21. Smith rushed for 88 yards, caught seven passes for 85 yards, and scored two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Dallas defense held 49ers running back Ricky Watters, who rushed for over 100 yards and scored 5 touchdowns in the divisional round, to just 37 yards on 12 carries.

Buffalo's first opponent was the Los Angeles Raiders, led by quarterback Jeff Hostetler, who had led the New York Giants to victory over the Bills in Super Bowl XXV three years earlier. The Raiders had also edged out the Bills 25–24 in week 14 of the regular season. In this game, the Raiders built up a 17–13 halftime lead, but Buffalo stormed back with 16 second half points. First, they scored on Kelly's 25-yard touchdown pass to Brooks. Then on their next drive, kicker Steve Christie kicked a 29-yard field goal to give the Bills a 23–17 lead. Los Angeles managed to respond with an 86-yard scoring strike from Hostetler to receiver Tim Brown, but Buffalo stormed right back with Brooks' 22-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. The Bills ended up winning the game 29–23, having scored 16 points in a span of 6:18 in the second half. Kelly threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

One week later, the Bills took on the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC title. Led by 4-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Montana, Kansas City had defeated the Bills 23-7 during the regular season, and were coming off thrilling narrow wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Oilers in the playoffs. In the days leading up to the game, many sports writers and fans were eager for the possibility of a Super Bowl in which Montana took on the San Francisco 49ers led by Steve Young, who had replaced Montana as their starting quarterback, or the Dallas Cowboys, who had displaced the 49ers to become the most dominant team in the NFC. However, Buffalo quickly crushed this prospect, burying Kansas City with a dominating 30–13 victory in the AFC Championship Game. Thomas rushed for 186 yards and three touchdowns, and caught two passes for 22 yards. On defense, the Bills limited Montana to just 9 of 23 completions for 125 yards and no touchdowns, with one interception. In addition, Kansas City's future Hall of Fame running back, Marcus Allen, was held to just 50 rushing yards on 18 carries.

Both Dallas and Buffalo were the top seeded teams in their respective conferences, earning home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Until the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts qualified for Super Bowl XLIV, this was the last time that both number one seeds advanced to the Super Bowl. [6]

Pregame news

Many sportswriters and fans were a bit upset that the Bills advanced to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl. They were distressed with Buffalo having lost the three previous Super Bowl games and did not want to see them lose again. Some Bills fans appeared to be defensive about their team's presence in the game; during Buffalo's victory in the AFC Championship Game a week earlier, one fan displayed a banner defiantly proclaiming, "We're back; deal with it, America!" [7] [8]

Therefore, the Super Bowl hype was more focused onto Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson. Although the two rebuilt the team with young talent that eventually won the previous year's Super Bowl, both men had huge egos that conflicted with each other. Both had different ideas on the future personnel plans for the Cowboys, and both wanted equal credit for the team's recent success (eventually, Johnson would leave the team after the season).

This was the fourth rematch in Super Bowl history, and the first time that both teams met in consecutive years. [9] Both the Bills, as the designated home team in the AFC/NFC annual rotation, and the Cowboys wore the same uniforms as the previous year, with the Bills donning the home blue jersey/white pants set and the Cowboys wearing the white jersey/silver pants set.

Before the game, the Super Bowl became the target of protests over the Georgia state flag, which at the time included the Confederate battle flag and was seen as offensive by the African-American community. Several high-profile Georgia politicians got involved, including state senator Ralph D. Abernathy. The NFL tried to duck the issue, with spokesman Greg Aiello stating, "We're not a political-advocacy group. It's not our role to get involved in political issues that have nothing to do with the Super Bowl." However, the NFL had cancelled plans to hold the Super Bowl in Phoenix three years earlier after a referendum to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day an Arizona state holiday was defeated. [10] Ultimately, the flag was not flown inside the Georgia Dome, but was mounted on a pole outside the stadium.

Vice President Al Gore attended the game. [11]


The game was broadcast in the United States by NBC, with play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg and color commentator Bob Trumpy. Jim Lampley hosted all the events with the help of analysts Mike Ditka and Joe Gibbs and sideline reporters O. J. Simpson (on Buffalo's sideline) and Will McDonough (on Dallas' sideline). While Lampley was busy covering the trophy presentation, Bob Costas (who also interviewed Dallas head coach Jimmy Johnson and Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones together prior to the game) covered for Lampley at the host and analysts' desk (and signed off the broadcast for NBC).

It was the first (and, to date, only) time a single network had held consecutive Super Bowls outright. The five-year NFL contract signed in 1989 had a provision where the last Super Bowl in the contract (XXVIII) would not be rotated, but would go to the highest bidder. NBC, which had held XXVII (according to the original rotation, NBC would have had XXVI and CBS XXVII, but the NFL allowed the networks to switch the two games in order to allow CBS a significant lead-in to its coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympics), was the only network to bid on XXVIII. Less than two weeks before the game was aired, NBC aired a Peanuts special, You're In the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown , in which the character Melody-Melody wins the Punt, Pass & Kick contest wearing a Dallas Cowboys uniform. For this game, NBC introduced a new theme for NFL broadcasts by composer John Colby that would be retained for the 1994 season.

Previously, the league alternated the Super Bowl broadcast among its television networks, except for Super Bowl I in which both NBC and CBS televised it simultaneously. CBS broadcast Super Bowl II, then the league rotated the broadcast between CBS and NBC until 1985 when ABC entered the rotation when they broadcast Super Bowl XIX.

NBC aired the fifth episode of The Good Life and the premiere of The John Larroquette Show following the game. [12]


Pregame ceremonies

The pregame show held before the game was titled "Georgia Music Makers" and featured performances by the rap music duo Kris Kross, the rock band The Georgia Satellites, country musician Charlie Daniels, and the Morehouse College Marching Band.

The United States Trampoline Association (USTA) performed on 4 trampolines during "Jump" performed by Kris Kross.

Later, singer Natalie Cole, accompanied by the Atlanta University Center Chorus, sang the national anthem with elements of America the Beautiful.

To honor the 25th anniversary of the New York Jets' upset win in Super Bowl III, that game's MVP, former Jets quarterback Joe Namath joined the coin toss ceremony.

Halftime show

The halftime show was titled "Rockin' Country Sunday" and featured country music stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, and Wynonna Judd. The show's finale included a special appearance by Naomi Judd, who joined Wynonna in performing The Judds' single "Love Can Build a Bridge", to which everyone eventually joined in.

This was the first Super Bowl halftime show in which the main stadium lights were turned off for the performance. The show included dancers with yard-long light sticks.

Game summary

Though the Bills had a lead at halftime, Super Bowl XXVIII would have an identical outcome to the three preceding Super Bowls and end with a Buffalo loss.

First Quarter

Dallas kick returner Kevin Williams returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Buffalo 48-yard line. The Cowboys began the drive with quarterback Troy Aikman's 20-yard pass to wide receiver Michael Irvin. But on third down and six from 24-yard line, Aikman threw an incomplete pass, and the Cowboys had to settle for kicker Eddie Murray's 41-yard field goal.

The Bills then responded with a 7-play, 43-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Jim Kelly's 24-yard pass to running back Thurman Thomas advanced the ball across the Dallas 40-yard line. After a 3-yard run by running back Kenneth Davis, however, Kelly threw two straight incompletions. The Bills then tied the game, 3–3, with Steve Christie's 54-yard field goal, the longest field goal in Super Bowl history.

Buffalo then forced Dallas to punt, but on the first play of the Bills' ensuing possession, Dallas safety James Washington forced Thomas to fumble, and safety Darren Woodson recovered the ball at midfield. Aided by wide receiver Alvin Harper's 24-yard reception, the Cowboys drove to the Bills' 7-yard line, but once again were forced to settle for a field goal; a 24-yarder by Murray to regain the lead, 6–3.

After receiving Murray's kickoff, the Bills could only reach their own 41-yard line before being forced to punt. However, Dallas cornerback Dave Thomas was penalized for running into punter Chris Mohr on the play, giving Buffalo a first down.

Second Quarter

Taking advantage of their second chance, the Bills marched down the field with runs by Thomas and short completions by Kelly. Thomas eventually finished off the 17-play, 80-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run, giving the Bills a 10–6 lead early in the 2nd quarter.

Dallas started out their ensuing drive with a 15-yard reception by Irvin and a 13-yard run by running back Emmitt Smith to get to midfield. They were eventually forced to punt, but Cowboys defensive end Matt Vanderbeek downed John Jett's 43-yard punt at the Bills' 1-yard line. A 19-yard completion from Kelly to receiver Andre Reed moved Buffalo out from the shadow of their own end zone, and they eventually reached the Cowboys 46-yard line, but they too were forced to punt. However, Mohr matched Jett's feat with a 45-yard punt that was downed at the Dallas 1-yard line by Buffalo special teams expert Steve Tasker.

As the Bills had done, Dallas managed to get out of their own territory and advance to the Buffalo 47-yard line. However, Bills defensive back Nate Odomes intercepted a pass intended for Irvin, and returned it 41 yards to the Dallas 47-yard line with 1:03 left in the half. After a 1-yard run by Thomas, Kelly completed a pair of passes to Thomas and Reed for gains of 12 and 22 yards, respectively, to move the ball to the Cowboys 12-yard line. But the Dallas defense tightened up on the next three plays, as Kelly threw a 3-yard completion to Thomas, an incomplete pass, and a completion to Thomas for no gain. Christie then kicked his second field goal as time expired in the half, increasing Buffalo's lead to 13–6.

Third Quarter

Buffalo's command over the game proved short-lived, as the Cowboys dominated the second half. After 45 seconds had elapsed from the third quarter, Leon Lett forced a Thomas fumble, which Washington returned 46 yards for a touchdown to tie the game, 13-13.

Bills receiver Russell Copeland then returned the ensuing kickoff 22 yards to the Buffalo 37-yard line, but on third down, Cowboys linemen Jim Jeffcoat and Charles Haley shared a 13-yard sack on Kelly to force the Bills to punt. The Cowboys then scored on an 8-play, 64-yard drive in which Smith carried the ball on seven of the eight plays, gaining all but 3 of the 64 yards himself, and finished the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run to give Dallas a 20–13 lead.

Fourth Quarter

Meanwhile, Dallas' defense continued to stop Buffalo's offense throughout the second half. Washington intercepted a pass from Kelly on the first play of the 4th quarter and returned it 12 yards to the Bills 34-yard line. A false start penalty on the next play moved the ball back to the 39, but on the next three plays, Smith ran twice for 10 yards and caught a screen pass for 9. Aikman then completed a 16-yard pass to Harper, giving Dallas a first and goal at the 6-yard line. The Bills managed to prevent a touchdown on the next three plays, but on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, Smith ran into the end zone for the score, giving the Cowboys a 27–13 lead.

The Bills started their ensuing drive from their own 22-yard line and managed to reach their own 36. Cowboy defensive lineman Jimmie Jones made two key plays, however; a second-down tackle on Thomas for a one-yard loss and a 13-yard sack on third down to push the ball back to the 22-yard line and force Buffalo to punt; a poor, 29-yard kick which the Cowboys recovered at their own 49-yard line. Dallas then put the game away with a 9-play, 49-yard scoring drive that took 4:10 off the clock. On the sixth play of the drive, Aikman completed a 35-yard pass to Harper to the Bills 1-yard line. After a false start penalty pushed them back to the 6-yard line, the Cowboys ran the ball on their next three plays to force Buffalo to use up all of their timeouts. Murray then kicked a 20-yard field goal with 2:50 left in the game, increasing the Cowboys' lead to 30–13, and effectively ending any chance of a Bills comeback.

"This one is the worst," Reed said after the game, referring to the Bills' streak of four consecutive Super Bowl losses. "We should have won. Then they come up with 24 unanswered points. That last fumble was once in a million. These things always happen to the Bills. It rips the heart out of you." "Dallas didn't wear us down in the second half," added Thomas. "I fumbled. I cost us the game." However, center Kent Hull managed to find some consolation. "In the immediate future we'll be thought of as losers," he said. "But one day down the road, when I'm no longer playing, they'll say, 'Wow, they won four straight AFC championships. They must have been good.'"

For the Cowboys, Troy Aikman completed 19 out of 27 for 207 yards with 1 interception, while Alvin Harper was the team's top receiver with three catches for 75 yards. Emmitt Smith, still suffering the effects of a shoulder injury during the regular-season finale, became just the second player in Super Bowl history to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back Super Bowls (the other being Larry Csonka, who did it in Super Bowls VII and VIII). He also became the fourth player to rush for touchdowns in back-to-back Super Bowls (joining Franco Harris, John Riggins and Thomas). Smith also became the first player to lead the league in rushing yards, win the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, and win Super Bowl MVP all in the same season. He was also the fourth player, after Bart Starr (1966), Terry Bradshaw (1978), and Joe Montana (1989) to win both the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP during the same season. Defensively, James Washington, who began as the nickel-back to counter Buffalo's "no-huddle" and frequent use of three wide receivers, had a phenomenal game with his 46-yard fumble return touchdown, an interception, forcing a Thurman Thomas fumble that Darren Woodson recovered, and collecting 11 tackles. Washington had only started in one game for the Cowboys during the season, but finished this one just a few votes short of earning the MVP award.

For the Bills, wide receiver Andre Reed finished the game with 6 receptions for 75 yards to lead Buffalo, with Don Beebe catching 6 passes for 60 yards and returning 2 kickoffs for 63 yards. Thomas was limited to just 37 rushing yards, but he also caught 7 passes for 52 yards (Thomas became the first player in Super Bowl history to score touchdowns in four Super Bowls: he scored one touchdown in each of the Bills' four straight appearances, XXV-XXVIII). Kenneth Davis was the Bills' top rusher with 38 yards. Kelly finished the game completing 31 of 50 passes for 260 yards and 1 interception. His 31 completions was a then-Super Bowl record. Kelly became the only player ever to throw 50 passes in two Super Bowls. In addition to his 50 passes in this game, he threw a Super Bowl-record 58 passes in Super Bowl XXVI.

Box score

Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys 30, Buffalo Bills 13
Cowboys (NFC)60141030
Bills (AFC)3100013

at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: January 30, 1994
  • Game time: 6:22 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 72 °F (22 °C), played indoors, domed stadium [13]
Scoring summary
QuarterTime Drive TeamScoring informationScore
Plays Yards TOP DALBUF
112:415242:19DAL41-yard field goal by Eddie Murray 30
110:198432:22BUF54-yard field goal by Steve Christie 33
13:557434:02DAL24-yard field goal by Murray63
212:2617806:29BUF Thurman Thomas 4-yard touchdown run, Christie kick good610
20:007381:03BUF28-yard field goal by Christie613
314:05DALFumble recovery returned 46 yards for touchdown by James Washington, Murray kick good1313
38:428644:32DAL Emmitt Smith 15-yard touchdown run, Murray kick good2013
49:509345:03DALSmith 1-yard touchdown run, Murray kick good2713
42:5010494:10DAL20-yard field goal by Murray3013
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football.3013

Final statistics

Sources: Super Bowl XXVIII, Super Bowl XXVIII Play Finder Dal, Super Bowl XXVIII Play Finder Buf

Statistical comparison

Dallas CowboysBuffalo Bills
First downs2022
First downs rushing66
First downs passing1415
First downs penalty01
Third down efficiency5/135/17
Fourth down efficiency1/12/3
Net yards rushing13787
Rushing attempts3527
Yards per rush3.93.2
Passing – Completions/attempts19/2731/50
Times sacked-total yards2–32-20
Interceptions thrown11
Net yards passing204227
Total net yards341314
Punt returns-total yards1–51–5
Kickoff returns-total yards2–726–144
Interceptions-total return yards1–121–41
Punts-average yardage4–43.85–37.6
Penalties-total yards6–501–10
Time of possession34:2925:31

Individual leaders

Cowboys Passing
Troy Aikman 19/272070177.2
Cowboys Rushing
Emmitt Smith 301322154.40
Kevin Williams 16066.00
Troy Aikman13033.00
Daryl Johnston 10000.00
Bernie Kosar 1–10–1–1.00
Lincoln Coleman 1–30–3–3.00
Cowboys Receiving
Michael Irvin 5660208
Jay Novacek 526097
Emmitt Smith4260105
Alvin Harper 3750354
Daryl Johnston2140112
Kevin Williams00001
Bills Passing
Jim Kelly 31/502600167.1
Bills Rushing
Kenneth Davis 9380114.22
Thurman Thomas 1637162.31
Jim Kelly212086.00
Bills Receiving
Bill Brooks 7630159
Thurman Thomas7520247
Andre Reed 67502210
Don Beebe 66001811
Kenneth Davis3–5075
Pete Metzelaars 18081
Keith McKeller 17073
Russell Copeland 00001

1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted

Records Set

The following records were set in Super Bowl XXVIII, according to the official boxscore [14] and the ProFootball game summary. [15]
Some records have to meet NFL minimum number of attempts to be recognized. [16] The minimums are shown (in parenthesis).

Player Records Set [15]
Passing Records
Most attempts, career145Jim Kelly
Most completions, game31
Highest completion
percentage, career, (40 attempts)
Troy Aikman
Other Records
Most receptions, career27Andre Reed
Longest field goal54 yds Steve Christie (Buf)
Records Tied
Most points scored, career24Thurman Thomas
Most touchdowns, career4
Most rushing touchdowns, career4
Most interceptions thrown, career7Jim Kelly
Most rushing touchdowns, game2Emmitt Smith
Most fumbles recovered, career2 Kenneth Davis (Buf)
Most fumble returns for touchdowns, game1 James Washington (Dal)
Team Records Set [15]
Most Super Bowl appearances7Cowboys
Most consecutive Super Bowl appearances4Bills
Most consecutive Super Bowl losses4
Most passes completed31
Records Tied
Most Super Bowl victories4Cowboys
Most consecutive Super Bowl victories2
Most Super Bowl losses4Bills
Fewest points, second half0 pts
Fewest passing touchdowns0Bills
Records tied, both team totals [15]
Most field goals made532
Fewest passing touchdowns000
Fewest punt returns, game211

Starting lineups

Source: [17] [18]

Hall of Fame‡

Alvin Harper WR Don Beebe
Mark Tuinei LT John Fina
Nate Newton LG Glenn Parker
John Gesek C Kent Hull
Kevin Gogan RG John Davis
Erik Williams RT Howard Ballard
Jay Novacek TE Pete Metzelaars
Michael IrvinWR Andre Reed
Troy AikmanQB Jim Kelly
Emmitt SmithRB Thurman Thomas
Daryl Johnston FBWR Bill Brooks
Tony Tolbert LE Phil Hansen
Tony Casillas LTNT Jeff Wright
Leon Lett RTRE Bruce Smith
Charles HaleyRELOLB Marvcus Patton
Robert Jones MLBLILB Cornelius Bennett
Darrin Smith RLBRILB Mark Maddox
Darren Woodson DBROLB Darryl Talley
Kevin Smith LCB Mickey Washington
Larry Brown RCB Nate Odomes
Thomas Everett SS Henry Jones
James Washington FS Mark Kelso
Special Teams
Eddie Murray K Steve Christie
John Jett P Chris Mohr


Source: [17]

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Super Bowl XXV was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1990 season. The Giants defeated the Bills by the score of 20–19, winning their second Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXVI 1992 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1991 season. The Redskins defeated the Bills by a score of 37–24, becoming the fourth team after the Pittsburgh Steelers, the now Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers to win three Super Bowls. The Bills became the third team, after the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos to lose back-to-back Super Bowls. The game was played on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first time the city played host to a Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXVII 1993 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1992 season. The Cowboys defeated the Bills by the score of 52–17, winning their third Super Bowl in team history, and their first one in 15 years. This game is tied with Super Bowl XXXVII as the third-highest scoring Super Bowl with 69 combined points. The Bills became the first team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls, and just the second team to play in three straight. The game was played on January 31, 1993 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the seventh Super Bowl held in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and the last until Super Bowl LVI in 2022.

Super Bowl XXIX

Super Bowl XXIX was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion San Diego Chargers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1994 season. The 49ers defeated the Chargers by the score of 49–26, becoming the first team to win five Super Bowl championships. The game was played on January 29, 1995 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Super Bowl XXX 1996 edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXX was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1995 season. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers by the score of 27–17. The game was played on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, the first time the Super Bowl was played in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1999 season began on January 8, 2000. The postseason tournament concluded with the St. Louis Rams defeating the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, 23–16, on January 30, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1998 season began on January 2, 1999. The postseason tournament concluded with the Denver Broncos defeating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34–19, on January 31, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1996 season began on December 28, 1996. The postseason tournament concluded with the Green Bay Packers defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, 35–21, on January 26, 1997, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1995 season began on December 30, 1995. The postseason tournament concluded with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, 27–17, on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1994 season began on December 31, 1994. The postseason tournament concluded with the San Francisco 49ers defeating the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX, 49–26, on January 29, 1995, at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1993 season began on January 8, 1994. The postseason tournament concluded with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII, 30–13, on January 30, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1992 season began on January 2, 1993. The postseason tournament concluded with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII, 52–17, on January 31, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1991 season began on December 28, 1991. The postseason tournament concluded with the Washington Redskins defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, 37–24, on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1980–81 NFL playoffs NFL seasonal playoff games

The National Football League playoffs for the 1980 season began on December 28, 1980. The postseason tournament concluded with the Oakland Raiders defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV, 27–10, on January 25, 1981, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The 1993 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 34th season in the National Football League and was the fifth and final year of the franchise under head coach Jimmy Johnson. During Johnson's tenure, the Cowboys made two of their three Super Bowl appearances between 1992 and 1995 and won back-to-back Super Bowl titles. The season is notable for seeing the Cowboys become the first team to start 0–2 and still reach the Super Bowl. The following off-season was marked by the surprising resignation of Johnson, who departed the Cowboys due to a dispute with owner Jerry Jones of who deserved more credit of the back-to-back Super Bowl wins. This would be Johnson's last head coaching job until 1996, when he became the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins to replace the retiring Don Shula, who served as their head coach since 1970.

1996 Carolina Panthers season NFL team season

The 1996 Carolina Panthers season was the franchise's 2nd season in the National Football League and the 2nd under head coach Dom Capers. They improved upon their 7–9 record in 1995, and made it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

The 1990 Buffalo Bills season was the 31st for the franchise and the 21st in the National Football League. The team finished the year with a record of 13 wins and 3 losses, and first in the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. They were 8–0 at home for the second time in their franchise history. On the road, the Bills were 5–3. Buffalo qualified for their first Super Bowl appearance.

The 1992 Buffalo Bills season was the 33rd season for the team in the National Football League. The Buffalo Bills finished the National Football League's 1992 season with a record of 11 wins and 5 losses, and finished second in the AFC East division. The Bills qualified for their third straight Super Bowl appearance, but lost to the Dallas Cowboys 52–17.


Specific citations
  1. DiNitto, Marcus (January 25, 2015). "Super Bowl Betting History – Underdogs on Recent Roll". The Linemakers. Sporting News . Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  2. "Super Bowl History". Vegas Insider. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  3. "Super Bowl Winners". National Football League. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  4. "Historical Super Bowl Nielsen TV Ratings, 1967–2009 – Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  5. Brenner, Richard (1996). The Complete Super Bowl Story. ISBN   978-0943403311.
  6. "Top Seeds". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  7. Murray, Jim (January 25, 1994). "SUPER BOWL XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys : It's Tough to Deal With It". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  8. Warner, Gene (January 24, 1994). "The Bills go fourth!". The Buffalo News . Retrieved January 8, 2016.[ permanent dead link ]
  9. The Dolphins and Redskins met twice (VII and XVII), as did the Steelers and Cowboys (X and XIII) and 49ers and Bengals (XVI and XXIII). The Steelers and the Cowboys would also meet again, in Super Bowl XXX.
  10. "Archives -".
  11. "Vice President Mike Pence will attend the Super Bowl". The Associated Press. February 3, 2017.
  12. "Best & Worst: Post-Super Bowl TV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  13. "Super Bowl Game-Time Temperatures". Pro Football Hall of Fame . Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  14. "Super Bowl XXVIII boxscore". Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  15. 1 2 3 4 "Super Bowl XXVIII statistics". Pro Football Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  16. "2016 NFL Factbook" (PDF). NFL. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  17. 1 2 "Super Bowl XXVIII – National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). National Football League. January 30, 1994. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  18. Neft, David S., Cohen, Richard M., and Korch, Rick. The Complete History of Professional Football from 1892 to the Present. 1994 ISBN   0-312-11435-4
General references