NFL – Throwback Thursday: Battle Of The Icons

10 Nov

The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers face off on the NFL’s week 10 schedule this Sunday, and for our Throwback Thursday feature we’ll wander back to November 11, 1960 for a game played between the 2 franchises. It pitted 2 former co-workers, Dallas coach Tom Landry and Packer head man Vince Lombardi, in their first meeting since both were top assistants with the New York Giants in the 1950s. The future icons were at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the development of their respective teams. Lombardi was in his third season rebuilding what was a sad sack franchise when he took over in 1958, and the Packers would advance to the NFL title game in this season. Landry, on the other hand, had taken charge of an expansion team that year, and was still sorting out pieces of a roster that included a lot of older washed up veterans, the only type of players who were made available in expansion drafts back then.

Green Bay entered the game with a healthy 4-2 record, while the Cowboys were winless at 0-7. The game proceeded exactly like expected between a club starting to grow into a perennial title contender and a first year team trying to find an identity. Lombardi attacked the Cowboys with the style of play his teams would become known for – a relentless ground attack. Fullback Jim Taylor ripped off touchdown runs on 28 and 6 yards to start the scoring, and rough and tumble linebacker Ray Nitschke got the defense involved when he returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown to put the Pack ahead 21-0. Paul Hornung added a pair of field goals and by halftime the game was essentially over as Green Bay led 27-0.

The Taylor show continued in the third quarter as the future Hall of Famer scampered 23 yards for his third touchdown, and Hornung joined the party again with a 4 yard touchdown run to wrap up Green Bay’s scoring. Don Meredith, one of 3 Dallas quarterbacks to see action in the game, scraped up a little pride for his sorry team by connecting with Walt Kowalczyk on a 14 yard scoring pass. The final gun ended the misery for Landry and the Cowboys, with the Packers earning a 41-7 win. Five Dallas turnovers contributed to the lopsided score, but in the end Landry’s unit of mismatched expansion team parts were no match for Lombardi’s fine-tuned club. The two legendary coaches would meet up again in the future in some classic title games, including the 1967 “Ice Bowl”.



Packers, Cowboys at the line of scrimmage (Green Bay Press Gazette photo)



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