Fans talk about the Philadelphia rivalry with Dallas as if it goes back to the Stock Market Crash. This is not true. The tension began in the 11th Week of the 1979 season on one play. Philadelphia won six of their first seven games that year. The loss was to Atlanta and ironically stemmed from one play. The Eagles were leading 10 to 7 and had a fourth and one at the Falcons four late in the third period. Dick Vermeil figured a field goal would not cut it and tried for a first down; but the Atlanta defense crushed Wilbert Montgomery for no gain.
After getting that 6-1 start, Philadelphia lost three in a row. I personally had no complaint with the three losses. While the Atlanta loss hurt, in the other three dead fishes, to Cincinnati, Washington, and Cleveland, the better team won. The Eagles then came into Dallas for a Monday Night Game. Within the first minute, Dallas scored a touchdown. When the Eagles punted after a three and out, I could see another loss. Roger Staubach passed to Tony Dorsett for a first down and then TD fumbled. Philadelphia recovered and moved the ball to the Dallas 32.
Right there, the Eagles had a fourth and two. They need a shake up. A 49 yard field goal was risky and I figured a screen or outside rush. Ron Jaworski stepped back and threw 32 yards to Harold Carmichael for a touchdown. The Eagles won 38 to 21, breaking the slump. After three more wins, Dallas in broke the winning streaking with a 24 to 17 win on nation televised Saturday game at the Vet. The Eagles finished 11-5 in 1979 with the most wins since that great 1960 season.
Prior to 1979, the Philadelphia-Dallas games were a joke. From 1968 to 1978, the Eagles had a 2-20 record versus the Cowboys. The 79 win just mentioned was the Eagles’ first win at Dallas in 14 years. Only one of those 20 losses was close. Dallas won 20 to 17 at Veterans Stadium in 1975.