Jackie Smith-HOF Tight End; Steeler Nemesis

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Dallas Cowboys  in Super 13 at Miami-Pittsburgh  caught a big break  in the third quarter when Jackie Smith dropped a  sure touchdown pass from the Steeler eight yard line.  Roger Staubach jumped in frustration.   The Cowboys were trailing 21 to 14 and rather than tying they kicked a field goal and the score was 21 to 17.  Pittsburgh finally won the game 35 to 31.  Jackie Smith was the most downcast man guy in America.  He played 15 years, 1963 to 1977,  with the St. Louis Cardinals .  He signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1978 and no doubt wishes he had retired.  The irony was that Smith always played well against the Steelers.

Jackie Smith was not only was one of the great tight ends in the  history of the NFL but he also was very versatile.  In his career,  JS caught 480 passes for 7,918 yards and 40 touchdowns.  From the End Around, he carried 38 times for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Smith was the Cardinals’ punter from 1964 to 1966 kicking 127 times for a 39.1  average.   Jackie Smith was a five time Pro Bower and entered Canton in 1994.

Here was the damage he did to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 60s.

1963 at St Louis.  Caught nine passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns.  The Steelers blew a 20 to 3 halftime lead.  This turned out to be the game that kept the Steelers from winning the Eastern Conference Title.   This, to me, was the toughest loss the Pittsburgh ever had.  Cardinals 24 Steelers 23.

1964 at St. Louis. Caught four passes for 56 yards.  Pittsburgh trailed 34 to 16 early in the fourth quarter.  Coach Buddy Parker pulled Ed Brown at quarterback and inserted second year man Bill Nelson.  Nelson capped two drives with touchdown passes to Dick Hoak and Gary Ballman.  Defensive halfback Jimmy Hill ended the third drive with an interception at the Cardinal five. Pittsburgh lost 34 to 30.

1964 at Pittsburgh.  Caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.  Pittsburgh lead 20 to 7 midway in the fourth period but Cardinals came from behind to win.  This was Steelers’  toughest loss of the season.  The final score was 21 to 20.

1965 at Pittsburgh. Caught five passes for 74 yards. The Cardinals won 20 to 7.

1966 at Pittsburgh.  The Steelers got a measure of revenge against Jackie Smith.  Andy Russell blocked one of his punts and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.  But Jackie Smith did get five receptions for 106 yards.  The Steelers won 30 to 9.

1968 at St Louis.  Caught five passes for 105 yards.  Pittsburgh blew a 21 to 0 halftime lead and the game was a tie at 28.

1968 at Pittsburgh.  Scored a touchdown on a 34 yard end around play.  Caught seven passes for 99 yards. Great day.  The Cardinals won 20 to 10.

As you can see, Jackie Smith played well against Pittsburgh.  nevertheless, the dropped pass in the End Zone is the one play we remember.


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