Defensively-Dominated Game Four With a Side of Tony Dorsett

Mark BrunswigContributor IDecember 28, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 4:  Running back Tony Dorsett #33 of the Dallas Cowboys rushes for yards during a 1985 NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams at Anaheim Stadium on January 4, 1996 in Anaheim, California.  The Rams won 20-0.  (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
George Rose/Getty Images

Let me fill you in a little bit on what I’m talking about here.  My best friend Steve and I play old school Strat-O-Matic football.  No computers involved except this part.  It’s all about rolling the dice, and guessing right at the right times.  We have a bunch of teams, old and new, totaling more than 200 card sets between us.  The teams were seeded on the cards as well as on prior game experience. 

There have been five previous tournaments also which helped decipher the ranking, that’s how the 1995 Pittsburg Steelers are such a high seed; they've won two of those tournaments.  At the beginning of each article I will recap the games we have played already.

For a complete look at the teams involved and a little more information on how the seeding was conducted I’m working that.  Got a few days maybe I can get it done.

Quick look back on what’s happened thus far is the field of 64.

Game One saw a tough battle between the No.7 '63 NY Giants get by the No.58 '96 Carolina Panthers in a classic thanks to Y.A. Tittle and Del Shofner, 22-19.

Game Two brought the first upset when the No.10 '63 Baltimore Colts got it all handed to them in a huge loss to the No.55 '96 Pittsburg Steelers, 37-3.

Game Three was another upset in a high scoring affair between Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana and future Hall of Famer Payton Manning.  The No.17 '84 San Francisco 49ers played host to the No.48 '04 Indianapolis Colts and fell 38-31 on a Dominic Rhodes 95-yard KO Return TD, with 30 seconds left.

Game Four, of what I'm calling the Ultimate Strat-O-Matic tournament, doesn't disappoint when you think of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and Ray Lewis.  It was a tough fought defensive matchup between the No.5 1978 Dallas Cowboys and Tony Dorsett, hosting Ray Lewis and the No.60 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

Trent Dilfer got the start for Baltimore but was pulled early in the first, after starting 5 for 11 with an interception, in favor of Tony Banks.  That was really an after thought once the game got going as both teams pitched shutouts in the first quarter.

The second quarter was an offensive explosion as the Ravens manage two FGs.  Meanwhile, Dallas did nothing until the final drive of the half when Tony Dorsett busted lose for 40 yards. Two plays later, Roger Staubach found Tony Hill deep for a go-ahead TD.

Baltimore received the opening kickoff of the second half but was unable to do anything, as the Cowboys defense was digging in deep against Jamal Lewis and Tony Banks.  The only true highlight for the Ravens for much of the game was Jermaine Lewis—8 punt returns for 196 yards.  Lewis' returns helped set up the only score of the third quarter, a 44 yard FG by Matt Stover.

The fourth quarter continued with a scoreless first 10 minutes until Mr. Tony Dorsett finally found some running room.  He had carries of 23, 21, and 21 to go along with receptions of 23, 7 and a TD.  Dorsett's TD reception proved to be the game winner as Tony Banks miss fired deep on the games final play, giving the Cowboys the win, 14-9.

Game Five will bring the No.1 1967 Baltimore Cots to the board as the take on the No.64 1978 Denver Broncos.