Walter Payton was the star of the team as he led the entire NFL in rushing (1,852 yards), 275 of those 1,852 came on a November 20 game against their division rivals the Minnesota Vikings and he did it despite coming down with a flu and a dark rainy day at Soldier Field.
A week after the Dallas playoff loss, Coach Pardee stunned the team by resigning to take the head coaching position of the Washington Redskins (George Allen having been fired after the Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs by a Bears overtime victory over the New York Giants in the last game of the regular season).
Safety Charlie Waters led the Cowboys to a 37–7 victory by setting an NFL playoff record of 3 interceptions. Dallas built a 17–0 halftime lead, with the aid of running back Doug Dennison’s 2-yard touchdown run and quarterback Roger Staubach’s 28-yard scoring pass to tight end Billy Joe Dupree. In the second half, running back Tony Dorsett recorded two rushing touchdowns and Efren Herrera added two more field goals. The Bears were limited to 224 total yards and did not score until the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.