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From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, January 8, 1968
IN THE GELID CONFINES OF LAMBEAU FIELD, on the coldest New Year's Eve in the cold history of Green Bay, the Packers won the right to move south to Miami. There, on Jan. 14, they will meet the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl.
Marshaled into something resembling a hot streak by quarterback Bart Starr, the Packers shook off more than two quarters of almost total ineffectiveness and in the final frozen moments toiled 68 yards in four minutes and 37 seconds to score on the brave Dallas defenders. Thus, with only 13 seconds left to play, Green Bay won 21--17 to take the National Football League championship for the third straight year.
The Packers had started off as though the temperature of 13 below was as comfortable for them as the gentle breezes of Miami Beach. They scored the first time they got the ball, marching 82 yards in a typical, methodical drive that took 16 plays. In the second quarter Starr lofted a long pass to Boyd Dowler for a 57-yard touchdown to make the score 14--0.
The Cowboys got one touchdown back later in the second quarter when the very quick Dallas defensive line, which punished Starr most of the afternoon—he was dumped eight times while attempting to pass—threw him for a 19-yard loss. End Willie Townes hit Starr and forced a fumble; the other end, George Andrie, picked up the ball and scored with it.
A little later the usually sure-handed Packer Willie Wood dropped a punt on the Green Bay 17, and Phil Clark recovered for Dallas. Danny Villanueva kicked a 21-yard field goal just before halftime, and the Cowboys left the field trailing only 14--10.
Neither team scored again until the first play of the fourth quarter, when Dallas quarterback Don Meredith, working from his own 45, handed off to Dan Reeves, who had played quarterback at South Carolina. Reeves swept to his left and launched the ball to Lance Rentzel, who made the catch at the 20 and scored, putting Dallas ahead 17--14.
The next two times the Packers got the ball, they gained a total of 21 yards, with 14 of those coming on an interference penalty. So when Dallas punted with five minutes left to play, and Green Bay gained possession on its own 31 with 4:50 to go, most of the frozen crowd of more than 50,000 had almost decided to go home, warm up and drown their sorrows with a sad New Year's Eve celebration. "We went out for the huddle," Starr said, "and decided that if we were going to do it, it had to be now."
The Cowboys had been double-covering the Packers wide receivers—Dowler and Carroll Dale—so Starr threw a short pass to running back Donny Anderson to open the series. Then fullback Chuck Mercein skittered outside right end for seven more yards. To remind the Dallas defense that he had not forgotten his wide receivers, Starr hit Dowler over the middle with a 13-yard pass for a first down. Anderson lost nine yards on what was meant to be an option pass, but Starr came back to him with a dinky toss over the head of an onrushing lineman, and Anderson gained 12. On the next play Anderson caught a nine-yard pass for a first down on the Cowboys' 30-yard line. There were two minutes left.
For the fourth time in the drive Starr threw to a back, but now it was Mercein who took Starr's short pass, eluded one tackle and ran 19 yards. Mercein shot through a hole on the following play to the Dallas three, and then Anderson took the ball to the one-yard line for a first down.