The classic 1981 NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and The San Francisco 49ers is worth remembering not just because it was the San Francisco 49ers first NFC Championship win, or that it was the game that marked ‘The Catch,’ or that it had six lead changes, or that it pitted Bill Walsh and Tom Landry, but because a number of legends in that game are no longer with us.
Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, Freddie Solomon, Harvey Martin, and Ron Springs are the top names in that contest who have passed on. The most recent to do so was Freddie Solomon, the 49ers first effective split end wide receiver of the Bill Walsh era, who passed away at 59, and after a long battle with liver and colon cancer on February 13th 2011. Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ron Springs passed away last May 2011 of a heart attack at 54 years of age. Cowboys Defensive End Harvey Martin fell to pancreatic cancer at the age of 50 in 2001. He’s considered, to this day, the greatest defensive end in Cowboys history.
And of course, Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry left us due to leukemia in 2000 and Coach Bill Walsh also passed of leukemia, but in 2007.
Thanks to YouTube, you can see all of these and other greats in action. I’ve posted four videos, which contain the entire 1981 NFC Championship Game, as it was televised, live.