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1966 NFL Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Green Bay Packers 14 7 7 6 34
Dallas Cowboys 14 3 3 7 27
Date January 1, 1967
Stadium Cotton Bowl
City Dallas, TX
Referee Tommy Bell
Attendance
TV/Radio in the United States
TV Network CBS
TV Announcers Jack Buck, Ray Scott, Frank Gifford

The 1966 National Football League Championship Game determined the NFL's champion, which would meet the AFL's champion in Super Bowl I, then formally referred to as the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The NFL Championship Game was held at the Cowboys' home stadium, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, even though the Green Bay Packers had a superior regular season record. As of the 1975 season, playoff sites were determined by regular season record, rather than a rotational basis.

Background

It was the first NFL title game played after the AFL-NFL Merger was announced in June 1966. The game was played on January 1, 1967, the second consecutive year that the NFL season ended in January, rather than December. It was the 34th annual NFL championship game since the league began a championship game after the 1933 season.

This was seventh season for the Dallas Cowboys and their first winning record since entering the league in 1960. They were champions of the NFL's Eastern Conference with a 10-3-1 record. The Packers won the Western Conference with a 12-2 record, their eighth consecutive winning season under head coach Vince Lombardi.

The final score was Green Bay 34, Dallas 27. Two weeks later, Green Bay went on to easily defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I in Los Angeles.

Game summary

1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 14 7 7 6 34
Cowboys 14 3 3 7 27

The seasoned Green Bay Packers, defending champions of the 1965 season, were favored by a touchdown over the talented, but young Cowboys team, who had no players with championship experience and only one player over 30, linebacker Chuck Howley. The game was expected to be a shootout, and as wary as the Packers were of Cowboys wide-out Bob Hayes, the fastest man in football at the time, Packers Coach Vince Lombardi made the decision before the game not to put double-coverage on the former Olympic sprinter. It proved to be a good gamble, as Herb Adderley and Bob Jeter held Hayes to only one reception for one yard.

Green Bay took an early 14-0 lead on two first-quarter scores; a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bart Starr to Elijah Pitts and a 17-yard return by Jim Grabowski of a Mel Renfro fumble on the ensuing kickoff, all before the Cowboys' first play. Before the end of the first quarter, though, they tied the score with two touchdowns.

Starr broke the tie in the second quarter with a bomb to Carroll Dale over the head of Warren Livingston. After Dallas had cut the lead to 21-20 in the third quarter, Starr's fourth touchdown pass of the game gave the Packers a 34-20 lead with 5:20 left in the game, but the Cowboys responded with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Don Meredith to Frank Clarke. Dallas advanced to the Green Bay 22-yard line on their next drive, when a pass interference penalty gave the Cowboys a first down at the Packer 2-yard line. Dan Reeves gained a yard on first down. A false start put the Cowboys back on the Green Bay 6, and halfback Dan Reeves dropped a pass in the flat on second down. Meredith found tight end Pettis Norman on third down to bring Dallas back to the two-yard line, but a questionable play call by Meredith on fourth down won the game for the Packers. In a quarterback rollout, Meredith threw the ball under heavy pressure, and Green Bay's Tom Brown intercepted the pass in the end zone as the intended receiver, Hayes, was surrounded by Packers defenders.

"I don't know, we haven't played Alabama yet." -- Vince Lombardi after being asked what it felt like to be the greatest football team in the world just after winning the '66 Super Bowl.

With the win, the Packers earned their 10th NFL championship. It was their second in a row and fourth in six seasons under Lombardi.

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Scoring summary

  • GB - Pitts 17 pass from Starr (Chandler kick) 7-0 GB
  • GB - Grabowski 18 fumble return (Chandler kick) 14-0 GB
  • DAL - Reeves 3 run (Villanueva kick) 14-7 GB
  • DAL - Perkins 23 run (Villanueva kick) 14-14 TIE
  • GB - Dale 51 pass from Starr (Chandler kick) 21-14 GB
  • DAL - FG Villanueva 11 21-17 GB
  • DAL - FG Villanueva 32 21-20 GB
  • GB - Dowler 16 pass from Starr (Chandler kick) 28-20 GB
  • GB - McGee 28 pass from Starr (kick blocked) 34-20 GB
  • DAL - Clarke 68 pass from Meredith (Villanueva kick) 34-27 GB
Preceded by
NFL Championship Game, 1965
NFL Championship Game
1966
Succeeded by
NFL Championship Game, 1967

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