Replacing a Legend-Danny White in 1981

As in 1981, Danny White had another fine season with the Cowboys going 12-4.  This time the record merited the NFC East Championship and the BYE week for the playoffs. Danny completed 223 passes; had a 57% completion rate; gained 3,098 yards; and threw for 22 touchdowns.  Here are the big points in the year.

Game 4 at New England Patriots

White completed 24 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns.  The Cowboys won 35 to 21.

Week 6 at San Francisco

Turnovers were big and the 49ers demolished the Cowboys 45 to 14

Week 8 Miami at home

The presence of Roger Staubach mysterious seemed on the field.  The Cowboys were behind 27 to 14 with five minutes left.  Danny White moved the Cowboys for two touchdowns, throwing a pass for one,  and a 28 to 27 win.

Then there were the two games with the Eagles and the first one really hurt.

Week 9 at Philadelphia.

Ron Jaworski had just thrown an 85 yard touchdown pass to Harold Carmichael for a 14 to 3 Eagle lead after three periods.  After that came two bad memories.

–The Cowboys went through a limp Eagle  defense scoring two touchdowns, one with a pass from Danny White.

–Philadelphia rallied and moved ball to the Cowboy 15.  Jaworski hit Rodney Parker at the goal line right between the numbers and Parker dropped the ball.

–Place kicker Tony Franklin missed a 32 yard field goal attempt.

This 17 to 14 loss was the biggest dud in the Dick Vermeil era.  Had the Eagles won, they would have been NFC Champs and had a BYE week for the playoffs.

Week 15 Philadelphia at home.

The Eagles were leading 10 to 0 with two minutes remaining in the first half.  John Sciarra foolishly fielded  a punt at his own ten yard line.  He fumbled amd the Cowboys got a quick touchdown.  The Eagles did nothing after that and lost 21 to 10.  This loss was not as critical as the previous game at Veterans Stadium.


Dallas defeated Tampa Bay 38 to 0 in the first round of the playoffs.  San Francisco won 28 to 27 over Dallas in the NFC Chamiopnship Game.  Dwight Clark’s late touchdown catch from Joe Montana is now part of the 49ers folklore.  For the second straight year, the Dallas Cowboys fell one step short of the Super Bowl.  Nevertheless, Danny White had a fine season Replacing a Legend.


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