The Washington Redskins' 26-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys was the first time in 37 years that a Redskins coach has won in his first trip to Dallas. The previous occasion came in 1971 when George Allen took his team to the Cotton Bowl and came out with a 20-16 win.
The parallels don't end there:
- The Redskins came into both games playing well (they were 2-0 in '71) but flying well under the radar nationally.
- That game would be the last time the Redskins would play in the Cotton Bowl. Yesterday was their last trip to Texas Stadium.
- In both games, Dallas got a late score to make the final score deceptively close.
- After both games, coaches Allen and Zorn led a three cheers for the Redskins with a "Hip-Hip Hooray!"
Since many of you weren't around for that '71 contest (leave a comment if you were around, or if you have any awareness of this game), here's the recap from the pages of The Redskins From A to Z.
Cotton Bowl--Dallas had beaten the Redskins six straight times, a streak spanning three Washington head coaches, but things appeared to be different here right off the bat. On the second play from scrimmage, fullback Charley Harraway took a pitch on a weak side sweep, followed textbook blocks by Larry Brown, Walter Rock, and Roy Jefferson and rolled all the way, 57 yards for a touchdown. Washington was in the lead to stay.
Dallas tried to respond and mounted a promising drive, taking 15 plays to move upfield to the Washington 41. The promise died, though, when Mike Clark's field goal attempt from 48 yards was partially blocked and it stayed 7-0.
Clark did have a successful field goal attempt in the second quarter, but the Redskins had the response. Jefferson took advantage of a slip by his defender and caught a 50-yard TD bomb from Billy Kilmer. The Redskins were up 14-3 and, although Dallas did get two more field goals before halftime, the impression was that the visitors were clearly in the driver's seat.
That impression proved to be accurate. Washington kept the ball on the ground—Kilmer attempted only 10 passes all day, getting over half of his 94 passing yards on the one TD to Jefferson—and set up two Curt Knight field goals to extend the lead to 20-9. Harraway rushed for 111 yards on the day and Larry Brown pitched in another 81.
The defensive highlight was Bill Brundige's long sack of Roger Staubach. A stunt allowed Brundige to take advantage of Diron Talbert's pressure that flushed Staubach out of the pocket. "Roger the Dodger" reversed his field for a second time, but Brundige had Staubach in his crosshairs and nailed him 29 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Calvin Hill scored a touchdown on a one-yard run with 3:08 left in the game to get Dallas within four. After that, though, Brown rushed for one first down and Harraway for another and the Redskins killed the clock.