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Chuck Howley: The Only Super Bowl MVP from a Losing Team in NFL History


The NFL Hall of Fame is bursting with legends of American Football, players that have transcended the norm to touch greatness. Claiming a place of honor in the HoF is not just a roll of the dice for NFL players, however, and getting there doesn’t come easy.

At an online casino, a single number can be backed on the roulette wheel, but the chance of success from that one spin is relatively slim. To boost chances, dedication to strategies need to be calculated, along with other factors like needing to learn the difference between live casinos and regular tables, and what the best odds and strategies for long-term skilled gameplay are.

Given the small percentage of players that are inducted into the Hall of Fame out of all NFL players, getting a nomination is tough. Like the one roulette spin, NFL players can’t rely on a single legendary moment of luck in their career to reach the Hall of Fame. Consistency over many seasons is the key, as consistency is the foundation of success. 

Who Is Chuck Howley?

Troy Aikman, Jerome Bettis, John Elway, Joe Namath, Jerry Rice, Emmit Smith – the names of superstars in the NFL Hall of Fame roll off the tongue. But another name, that of Chuck Howley, made it to Ohio after with a unique claim to fame.

Former linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, Chuck Howley accomplished something that no other player has ever managed to do. To this date, Howley is the only player to have earned the MVP award in a Super Bowl, but finished the championship match on the losing side.

That happened at Super Bowl 5 in January 1971 when, despite Howley’s two interceptions and a forced fumble in the match, the Cowboys lost out narrowly to the Baltimore Colts. Six of that Cowboys squad, including Howley, have gone on to make it to the NFL Hall of Fame.

It must have made for an awkward locker room moment, the Cowboys squad despondent after the defeat, but no doubt delighted for their teammate’s individual honor. The moment was likely a bit surreal for Howley himself, who became the first-ever defensive Super Bowl MVP as well, just one of ten to have achieved that at the time of his Hall of Fame inauguration in 2023.

Praised and Respected

Howley was a highly praised player who spent fifteen years at the top of the game. He is cited as being a phenomenal technician and the best pound-for-pound player in the NFL during his career, which spanned 13 years in Dallas after two with his first franchise, the Chicago Bears.

Whether acting as a pass rusher, a defensive lineman or his starring role as a linebacker, he had the complete skill set. It was as an integral part of esteemed coach Tom Landry’s ‘Doomsday Defence’ with Dallas that was Howley’s greatest time.

Howley received six Pro Bowl selections during his career and while he still holds the honor of being the only ever losing Super Bowl MVP, success wasn’t long coming for him. At Super Bowl VI, just twelve months after his deserved but strange Super Bowl V MVP award, he got his championship ring. Howley was part of a dominant Dallas team, who crushed the Miami Dolphins 24-3 to claim the franchise’s first-ever championship title. 

Hall of Fame Induction

25 years on from his retirement and 45 years after original eligibility, Howley made it to the NFL Hall of Fame. In August 2023, at the age of 87 and battling dementia, his name was officially recognised in the senior category.

For many NFL fans and peers of Howley, it is a greatly deserved accolade for a player who was something special on the field of play. Highly respected as a man and a player, perhaps his quirky record of being the only losing Super Bowl MVP is fitting for such a uniquely special player.

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