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.