1979 Playoffs Rams 21 Cowboys 19

An an easy victory is preferable to a very close one.  It’s easier on the fans.  Teams can rest regulars and  give the reserves valuable playing time.   But to me the biggest factor is in the immediate aftermath of the game.   A team often comes  from behind to win and  falls flat the following week.  

On the last regular season game of 1979,  the Dallas Cowboys defeated  the Washington Redskins 35 to 34. As per usual, Roger  Staubach led a great come from behind effort.   Look at a recent article called Roger Staubach Last Miracle.  On the first round of the playoffs,  Dallas hosted the Los Angles Rams.  All signs pointed to any easy win.  After all:

Dallas defeated the Rams 28 to 0 in the previous year’s NFC Title  game.  Earlier in the current year,  Dallas demolished the Rams  30 to 6. Dallas’ record in 1979 was 11-5, two games better than the 9-7 Rams.   As might be expected, the Rams’ competition  in the NFC West was way below Dallas in the NFC East.   Los Angeles did not even have to win their final game.   The system would looked really  bad with a  .500 team in the playoffs.

This game was about the most even as possible.

Los Angeles Rams-Vince Ferragamo completed only nine passes but three went for touchdowns.  In the final minute,  VF covered 54 yards in a touchdown pass to Billy Waddy that  put the Rams ahead for good.   Wendell Tyler rushed  for 82 yards and  caught a 4o yard touchdown pass.

Dallas Cowboys-In the final game of his career,  Roger Staubach completed 12 passes in 28 attempts for 124 yards and a touchdown.  Tony Dorsett carried 19 times for 87 yards.   Staubach, under a fierce  pass rush,  threw a pass to an interior lineman which drew a penalty and ended the game.







1966 St Louis-A Big Dive

Now for 1966

The Cardinals brought a 7-1-1 record into Pitt Stadium to play the Steelers who were 2-5-1. Pittsburgh used special teams and defense to get the victory.

–Paul Martha returned an interception 38 yards to the Eagle 10. Ron Smith threw a touchdown pass to John Hilton on the next play.
–Andy Russell blocked a punt from Jacky Smith and returned it for a touchdown.
–D Hoak, on a pass option play, threw a touchdown for 38 yards to Roy Jefferson.

The Steelers denied St. Louis a touchdown on this game. Final Steelers 30 Cardinals 9

The very next week, with an oddity, the Pittsburgh Steelers went to St. Louis. This was a bitterly fought game full of penalties, turnovers, and sacks. The Cardinals gained 228 yards to just 80 yards for the Steelers. St Louis got two field goals and the Steelers got one. Final. Cardinals 6 Steelers 3.

The victory gave the Cardinals a 8-2-1 record and in contention for the title. However, they lost the final three games to finish 8-5-1. Among those three losses was a 16 to 10 embarrassment to the first year Atlanta Falcons

1979 Rogers Staubach’s Last Miracle

The last weekend of 1979 saw a tight situation in the NFC East.   Three teams the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins, and the Philadelphia Eagles,  had 1o-5 records.  As the math revealed, the Eagles had the Wild Card  and could do no better or worse.  The winner of the Cowboys and Redskins game would be in first place  heading into the post season.  The loser would have to plan for 1980.  A few weeks earlier at Washington, the Redskins  defeated the Cowboys 34 to 21.

At Dallas, the Redskins got off to a quick start leading 17 to 0.  The Cowboys came back and it was a back and fourth game until the fourth quarter.   With seven minutes left in the game the Diesel, John Riggins, went 66 yards for a touchdown  and a 34 to 21 lead for DC.   After a 7-1 start, Dallas had been floundering and few thought that Dallas would win. Then came Roger Staubach throwing  two touchdown passes-26 yards to Ron Springs and  eight yards pass to Tony Hill.  Only eight seconds remained in the game and the crowd went wild.

Joe Theisman had a good game but he was no match for Roger Staubach.  RS completed 24 of 46 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns.  Tony Hill caught eight of these passes for 113 yards  and three touchdowns.   John Riggins kept the Redskins in the game by carrying 22 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns.  This was the last of the Staubach lead come from behind victories.

The Eagles, on the road, defeated the Houston Oilers 26 to 20.