Onward with Michael Uhlhorn's next entry in the (so-far) well received series titled '25 Memorable Games from 25 Steelers Legends'. The premise is to highlight individual games that Steeler Nation will always remember their career by, and not necessarily a countdown of the 25 best Steelers ever. Not surprisingly, and just as Michael and I had hoped would happen, you all have offered some outstanding additions to the conversation. Our next addition to the list was a terror along the defensive line that, like Andy Russell, played a big role in helping the Steelers win their second of four Super Bowls in the '70s.. - Michael B. -
17) L.C. Greenwood – Defensive End (1969-1981)
Ah, the era where players spent their entire careers with one team. L.C. Greenwood is an incredibly underrated member of the Steel Curtain. While he waits to be inducted into Canton, he symbolizes the best of the Steelers, saying once that he would not be upset if he were not inducted into the Hall of Fame because the other players there represent the whole Steeler team, not just themselves.
L.C. Greenwood won 4 Super Bowls; made the Pro Bowl 6 times; and was selected to 2 All-Pro teams, and is a member of the All-Time Team for the Steelers.
Statistics: 4 sacks (Unofficial Super Bowl Record) and 1 forced fumble.
The first meeting in the Steelers-Cowboys rivalry might have been the most exciting. This game is considered by many to be the greatest Super Bowl ever, and the Steelers entered the game as the reigning champions and the most feared team in football, but the Cowboys were quickly becoming the darlings of America and had saved their best football of the year for December. It appeared that mojo might continue from the very first play of the game. The Cowboys ran a reverse on the opening kickoff and claimed an NFL-record 48-yard return, starting their first drive at the Pittsburgh 44.
Lesser defenses would have been on their heels wondering what had just happened, but not the Steel Curtain. On Dallas’ first play from scrimmage, L.C. Greenwood sacked Roger Staubach, forcing a fumble. The Cowboys recovered the fumble, but not the momentum, which had swung back where it belonged: to the Black & Gold. The Cowboys punted two plays later and the Steelers were on their way. This play alone made this Greenwood’s best game as a pro because it staunched the Dallas’ momentum before they ever got a chance to fully establish it; however, Greenwood wasn’t satisfied with just one game-changing play.
The Cowboys would go up 7-0 after a fumble by Punter Bobby Walden and a quick touchdown pass by Staubach. Even though the Cowboys scored the first 1st Quarter touchdown of the season against the Steel Curtain, this didn’t rattle the boys in Black & Gold. Then, the offense went out and stuck to their game plan, running the ball to set up the pass. Eventually, Bradshaw hit Lynn Swann with a great pass for 32-yards & the Steelers scored shortly after, settling the score at 7 apiece.
Dallas would net a field goal to go up 10-7, and, while the Steelers moved the ball well, they failed to score and gave the Cowboys a chance to spread the lead. After driving the ball to the Pittsburgh 25, the Cowboys proceeded to lose 25-yards in 3 plays. HYPERLINK "http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/12/26/2662405/steelers-greatest-players-steel-curtain-defense-andy-russell" Andy Russell (#18 on my list) led it off with a stop on a rush for a 3-yard loss. The next play, Greenwood secured his 2nd sack of the game, netting a 12-yard loss. Finally, Dwight White got in on the action by sacking Staubach again for a 10-yard loss. Dallas was pushed out of field goal range, and punted, keeping the game 10-7 Dallas.
The game turned on those two sacks. Greenwood effectively ended two potential scoring drives, and since all the Cowboys needed were 5 points for the win, those sacks turned out to be a major difference in the game. The Steelers would go on to score 14 points in the 4th quarter, and L.C. Greenwood would finish with two more sacks, but the first two set the tone that day. By preventing Dallas from maintaining any momentum, Greenwood was the defensive MVP on a day that saw the Steelers record 7 sacks on the day.
Check out the video below for the recap of one of the greatest games in Steelers history.