By Will Martin
The Dallas Cowboys were once tenants inside the Cotton Bowl along with the Dallas Texans now better known as the Kansas City Chiefs.
On the 4th anniversary date of Miles Austin’s 250 yard game I am reminded in the 53 years the Cowboys have battled another team with the Indian moniker you have had some doozies in Dallas/Irving/Arlington and DC/Maryland.
It just so happens that Sunday night’s meetup on NBC at 7:30 will also be a birthday for Jerry Jones, his 71st. For anyone who is wondering if this has happened before with the Redskins and Cowboys the answer is YES! It was in 1997 the Washington Redskins gave Jerry Jones an unhappy birthday with a 21-16 home win over the Silver and Blue.
Twice these teams have met in the NFC Championship game for the right to go to the Super Bowl 12/31/72, and again 1/23/83. Two defeats for the Cowboys 26-3 and 31-17. Both times Washington had a date with the Dolphins for an even split.
Opening Night meetings? Where to begin? How about that September 5th 1983 opener when Dexter Manley referred to the Cowboys as ‘America’s Punks’. Washington would jump out to a 23-3 lead…only to lose to the merits of Danny White and an improbable 31-30 Cowboy victory. The same game when Howard Cosell made ‘that little monkey’ comment about Alvin Garrett.
Old timers might remember a Monday Nighter circa 1973 when Walt Garrison would get a late game score in a tight matchup. How many of you remember the touchdown run in November 1980 on a catch by Dallas defenseman Larry Cole off Joe Theisman that bounced off his helmet and Cole ran it in. Dallas won that day 14-10.
Does anybody remember Clint Longley? November 28th 1974 one of the rare games where Roger Staubach got knocked out with a concussion on a TD run. Got his lights knocked out by Harold McClinton. A 23-10 Redskin lead was lost in the final minute when Clint Longley found Drew Pearson in the end zone for a dramatic 24-23 victory. Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier dressed up as a Cowboy and Indian.
Speaking of 1974 I also remember three weeks earlier a Billy Kilmer led Washington to a 28-0 lead at RFK. Dallas and Roger Staubach would threaten with 21 unanswered points until the final bell.
American discovered who Emmitt Smith was on Turkey Day 1990. One year removed from a 1-15 season the Cowboys would roll in a 27-13 victory en route to a 7-9 season that year.
RG3 with his memorable return to AT&T Stadium last Thanksgiving as a Redskin starter and running wild alongside Alfred Morris for a 38-31 win over the Cowboys. Tony Romo to Dez for 85 yards one memorable moment in that defeat.
The games always tend to be close, and sometimes pretty ugly. My first year here in 2001 both teams played on Monday Night in Irving with identical 0-4 records. Three field goals was all the Cowboys could muster in a 9-7 win. Maybe you flash back to two years ago on a Monday Night when Tony Romo played with a punctured lung. He wasn’t too effective yet was able to coax six field goals and get an 18-16 win on Washington.
Tom Landry, George Allen, Jack Pardee, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Campo, Mike Shanahan, Jason Garrett, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs, Richie Petitbon, Chan Gailey, and Wade Phillips amongst the many coaches who have been a part of this great rivalry.
With Sunday night’s 107th meeting between the combatants know that Dallas leads the overall series 62-42-2. The games have been rather streaky. From 1998 to 2002 Dallas won ten straight meetings in addition to two six game win streaks 1968-1970 and 1979-1982.
Only once have the Redskins won four in a row from 1986-1988. Only once have the Redskins run off three in a row 1983-1984.
One unseasonably warm 12/26/04 day I was able to watch this matchup in Irving Texas. A yawner of a game that Dallas won 13-10. A tsunami overseas was the bigger story that day. Sunny and 75 degrees for Vinny Testaverde to do his thing.
As I type this I just remembered the heartbreak suffered in Irving on a Monday Night 9/19/05. Bill Parcells has a 13-0 lead with 3:55 to go and then…Mark Brunell to Santana Moss twice burning Roy Williams. Skins win 14-13.
If you were to ask me the greatest game between these two teams for sheer drama I give it to the season finale 12/16/79. Roger Staubach’s last regular season game. John Riggins with a 66-yard run. An early 17-0 Redskin lead. Dallas got the next 21 points. 17 more for Washington.
Then in the final two minutes Roger Staubach made magic with a final toss to Billy Joe Dupree and a 35-34 win. The Redskins were driving one final time when a quick clock and an uncalled time out for Joe Theisman still burns in the memory of old timers.
Wasn’t there also an opening day in 1999 that went to overtime with an exciting 41-35 Dallas victory?
As for Sunday night rest assured that special teams will be factor and the game should be close. I’ll take Dallas 22-20. One ballplayer who is ready to have at it: Miles Austin! He could be a factor.
Happy Birthday Jerry Jones!