Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Defensive Day Off

01 Dec

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons clash on this week’s schedule, and for our Thursday Throwback we’ll feature a game played between these 2 teams in the Falcons’ inaugural season, on December 18, 1966. The Steelers were a suffering through a typical dismal season for them in the 1960s, while the Falcons, of course, were an expansion team still cutting their teeth. To properly gauge the moods of the 2 clubs going into this game, let’s look at where they were entering this final regular season game for both. Pittsburgh was 4-8-1 and closing out another losing year, while Atlanta was just beginning to build some momentum, having won 2 games in a row to raise their record to 3-10. They saw an opportunity to finish the year on the high of a 3 game winning streak.

The Steelers, however sorry of a team they were, reacted like a kid whose buddies bullied him, then some new kid moves in and tries to join in on the bullying. There was no way they were going to let that happen. As bad as the Steelers were in the 1960s, they at least always had a reputation for playing tough defense, even to the point of being dirty. That defense took a vacation day in this game, however,  as did the Atlanta defensive unit. It started out quietly enough as the only first quarter scoring was a pair of Mike Clark field goals for Piitsburgh. The Steelers then exploded in the second quarter. Quarterback Bill Nelsen hit Gary Ballman on a 12 yard touchdown pass and Amos Bullocks ran 13 yards for a score and suddenly the Steelers were up 20-0. Atlanta put together a drive to try and stay close, finishing it up with a 1 yard Junior Coffey touchdown run. Pittsburgh score again on a short run by Cannonball Butler, with Clark missing the extra point. Clark then redeemed himself with another short field goal and the Steelers had themselves a commanding 29-7 halftime lead.

There was another flurry of scoring in the third quarter. Falcon QB Randy Johnson connected on a 53 yard pass to running back Preston Ridlehuber for a TD to open the quarter, but the Steelers took over again from there. Buter scored again, winding up a drive with another touchdown. Then Nelsen took the longer, faster route by connecting with Roy Jefferson on a 68 yard touchdown bomb. When Clendon Thomas scooped up an Atlanta fumble and returned it 23 yards to the end zone, the Steel City club now found themselves ahead of the expansion bunch 50-14. Pittsburgh’s defense went back into vacation mode after that. Johnson and Ridlehuber connected again for a score, this time from 19 yards out, but the Steeler offense matched that when Willie Asbury scampered into the end zone from 2 yards out. Falcon coach Norb Hecker, who had been plucked from Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay staff to guide the new team, sent young Dennis Claridge in to mop up the game at quarterback. Claridge, who came from the Packers along with Hecker, lit up the scoreboard with a pair of touchdown throws, of 62 and 12 yards, to four year vet Taz Anderson, ringing up the final tally at 57-33 in favor of Pittsburgh.

It was a typical showing for a team wrapping up it’s inaugural season up against a perennial losing team trying to at least show it could bully somebody else instead of being bullied. Both Hecker and Steeler mentor Bill Austin would last until the 1968 season before being fired, while Claridge, despite showing promise in this game, never stayed in the league beyond the ’66 season.


Game program from Falcons/Steelers 1966 clash



NFL – Throwback Thursday: Coryell Sees His Future

24 Nov

On September 26, 1976 the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals met, and they play each other again on this week’s NFL schedule, with both clubs calling different cities home. We highlight this matchup as our Throwback Thursday feature because the Cardinals’ coach, Don Coryell, would find himself as the head man of the Chargers a couple of years later. It was week 3 of the ’76 season and both teams entered the contest unbeaten at 2-0. Coryell had a top quarterback leading his offense in Jim Hart, and Hart played a pretty good game, but it was San Diego’s young signal caller, Dan Fouts, who dominated the action. He led a drive that ended with a Don Woods touchdown run to start the scoring, but Hart brought the Cardinals back with a 14 yard touchdown toss to J.V. Cain and a field goal drive. Since the Chargers had missed their extra point St.Louis now led 10-6.

Fouts and the Chargers took command in the second quarter. Rickey Young’s short scoring run started a 27 point avalanche, with Fouts throwing 3 touchdown passes. He found Charlie Joiner for a 30 yard score, then threw twice to Dwight McDonald for touchdowns from 44 and 18 yards out. Another extra point was missed, but it hardly mattered. San Diego now led 33-10 at the half. When Hart hit Wayne Morris with an 11 yard TD it looked as though the Cards might have some life, but Fouts snuffed that out by leading another field goal drive and throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the day, a short 1 yarder to Pat Curran. Morris added another touchdown for St. Louis but the outcome had been decided by then. The final result was a 43-24 beatdown by San Diego.

The seasons went in opposite directions for these 2 teams after this game. San Diego would stumble to a 6-8 record. The Cardinals went 10-4 but still wound up third in the NFC East, and had the dubious distinction of being the only 10 win club to not qualify for the playoffs in the 14 game season era. It was the first time in 3 years that they missed the playoffs. Ultimately, the Cardinals fired Coryell and in the middle of the 1978 season San Diego fired their coach, Tommy Prothro, and replaced him with Coryell, who had cut his teeth as a coach at San Diego State in the 1960s and early ’70s. He took Fouts and Joiner and added pieces like Chuck Muncie, John Jefferson and Kellen Winslow and created the “Air Coryell” offensive attack that the Chargers used successfully for the 9 years that he coached there.


Future Hall of Fame QB Dan Fouts


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Flipping The Record Book

17 Nov

On November 26, 1989, an NFL contest was played between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, who also play on this week’s slate of games. We picked this matchup for our Throwback Thursday feature to highlight a record-breaking performance by a forgotten wide receiver from the Rams’ past, Willie Lee “Flipper” Anderson. The game was hotly contested but not really high scoring. It went into overtime and was decided by a 31 yard Mike Lansford field goal, 20-17 in the Rams’ favor. A couple of Saints’ players had good statistical games – Dalton Hilliard rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries and Eric Martin caught 5 passes for 107 yards and his team’s only 2 touchdowns. The Saints’ defense, for the most part, had a decent game, racking up 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. Their one problem was they had no answer for the passing connection of Jim Everett to Anderson. Everett threw for 454 yards, 336 of which went to the record-breaking Anderson. The connection befuddled the Saints. Los Angeles ran for only 57 yards in the game, but the passing attack enabled them to wipe out a 17-3 deficit and claim the overtime win.

One important running play in the Rams’ attack was a 5 yard touchdown by Buford McGee that cut the lead to 17-10, while Anderson caught a 15 yard scoring pass from Everett to tie the game in the waning moments of regulation. Flipper continued his dominance in the extra period by snagging a pair of passes to set up the winning field goal. The Rams finished up the year as a playoff team but were beaten by the powerhouse San Francisco 49ers when they got there. This was a memorable day for the franchise, however. Anderson’s record of 336 yards on 15 receptions still stands to this day, and only 5 receivers in NFL history have amassed 300 yards in a single game.


Flipper Anderson on his way to a record


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)



NFL – Throwback Thursday: Pop The Champagne!

03 Nov

It’s week 9 of the NFL season, and a matchup on this week’s schedule has the Miami Dolphins squaring off with the Chicago Bears. For our weekly Throwback Thursday feature we’ll land on a game played between these clubs on December 2, 1985. This was a magical season for the Bears. It culminated in a dominating Super Bowl win over New England and along the way introduced America to a wild cast of characters. There was brash coach Mike Ditka and his salty defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. There was the defiant punk quarterback, Jim McMahon, who taunted commissioner Pete Rozelle by wearing a headband with a corporate logo on it from Adidas, a violation of the league’s strict dress code. After being fined for the violation, he wore a headband that said “Rozelle” on it the next week. He also mooned a helicopter flying over a Bears’ practice during Super Bowl week. The defensive unit was loaded with crazy characters. They included wild-eyed middle linebacker Mike Singletary, future pro wrestler Steve McMichael, and most notably, the lovable William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a plump giant who captured the nation’s affection when Ditka lined him up on offense and allowed him to score touchdowns at the goal line. The players also made a video called the “Super Bowl Shuffle” in which they danced and rapped their way to a Grammy.

Chicago’s wild bunch finished the regular season with a dominating 15-1 record, then shut out 2 playoff opponents before demolishing the Patriots 46-10 in the big game. The game we’re featuring, on that December Monday night, was the only blemish on their record. The Dolphins, of course, are the only NFL team to ever accomplish the feat of going through an entire season undefeated, which they did in 1972 when they went 17-0 overall and won their first Super Bowl. On this night, there were members of that undefeated team on hand for the game, and of course, coach Don Shula, who orchestrated the perfect season, was still coaching the Dolphins. So in effect the Dolphins, and young third year quarterback Dan Marino, were protecting the legacy of the ’72 team in facing the 12-0 Bears.

Marino and the Dolphins never appeared intimidated at all by the vaunted Chicago defense. Marino opened the scoring with a 33 yard touchdown pass to veteran Nat Moore. The Bears then tied the game when quarterback Steve Fuller, who started in place of McMahon who was nursing a shoulder injury, ran in from a yard out. Miami’s defense held the Bears to a field goal while racking up 24 points prior to halftime to lead at the break by an astonishing 31-10. The scoring outburst included a field goal, a pair of 1 yard runs by Ron Davenport, and another Marino to Moore touchdown pass, this time a short 6 yarder. Fuller valiantly tried to bring his team back into the game in the third quarter. He scored himself on another 1 yard run and threw a 19 yard scoring pass to Ken Margerum, but Marino countered those with a 42 yard bomb to Mark Clayton for his third touchdown pass of the game. The scoring ended after the third quarter, and Miami’s 38-24 lead held up as the final score.

The Dolphin defense did a number on Fuller and the Bears with 6 sacks and 3 interceptions, but the real surprise of the night was the ease with which Marino was able to carve up the Bear defense. The loss didn’t faze the Bears much as they didn’t lose another game the rest of the season, but on this night, Shula and the rest of those proud 1972 Dolphins were able to pop the champagne bottles and celebrate, as their mark of the only club to attain perfection remained intact.


Marino throws avoiding Bears’ Richard Dent


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Friendly Fire

27 Oct

It’s already week 8 of the NFL season, and in contrast to our post from a couple of weeks ago that featured a game from just 8 months prior, this week our Throwback Thursday time machine will travel a long way back into the league’s history, to November 4, 1945 for a contest played between two Pennsylvania clubs, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, who also are matched up on this week’s schedule. The explanation of why this game is significant requires some historical background. In 1943, in the midst of World War II, a lot of NFL players enlisted in the military to serve the country. As a result, the Eagles and Steelers found themselves in a position of lacking enough players to field teams. The owners of the 2 franchises made the mutual decision to combine rosters and field a single team, temporarily for the ’43 season, that the league record book would officially deem the “Phil-Pitt Combine” but would take on the unofficial moniker as the “Steagles”.

That takes us back to this week’s featured contest. The November, 1945 game would be the first time the clubs met as separate rivals again after their combined efforts a couple of seasons earlier. The Eagles were a contending franchise in the ’40s, and played in 4 title games later in the decade, winning a pair. As for most of their existence prior to the 1970s, the Steelers were awful. Ben Agajanian, whose career would stretch all the way into the 1960s with the AFL, put Pittsburgh on the board first with a field goal, but that’s all they would muster on the day. Eagle QB Roy Zimmerman zipped a pair of touchdown throws to end Jack Ferrante of 26 and 65 yards, and Philly was up 13-3 at halftime. The Eagles came out determined in the second half also, and took control of the game. Future Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren scampered 20 yards for a score and Zimmerman found Fred Meyer from 27 yards out to up the lead to 26-3 entering the final quarter. With the comfortable lead in hand, Philadelphia coach Greasy Neale turned to his running game. The result was 3 rushing TDs from 3 different backs. Jack Banta scored from 22 yards out with Mel Bleeker following up with a 14 yard jaunt. Abe Karnofsky added the icing to the cake with a 19 yard run for the final score, and the Steelers left town with their tails between their legs, on the wrong end of a 45-3 rout.

Despite the one-sided score, the players on each side must have still had a little love and respect for each other, as the entire 60 minutes was played without a single penalty being assessed on either side.


The Phil-Pitt “Steagles” from 1943


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Joe Cool’s Revenge

20 Oct

It’s week 7 of the National Football League’s schedule, and a key matchup between AFC and NFC clubs will take place, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Joe Montana, who guided the Niners to 4 Super Bowl titles, didn’t finish his career in the city by the bay, however. He was traded to Kansas City to open up the starting quarterback position for Steve Young. On September 11, 1994, Montana and the Chiefs hosted Joe Cool’s former team for the first time since the trade took place, and that is the game we will highlight for this week’s Throwback Thursday post.

It was early in the ’94 season, week 2 to be exact, and both teams were coming off opening day wins. Montana gave the Chiefs an early lead when he found Joe Valerio open from a yard out for the only score of the first quarter. In the second quarter Montana’s replacement, Steve Young, found his rhythm and guided the Niners on a pair of touchdown drives. The first culminated on a 5 yard Young to Brent Jones TD toss, with Marc Logan finishing off the other with a one yard run. Kansas City gained a bit of momentum before the half ended when they pinned the 49ers deep in their own territory. The Chiefs’ All Pro linebacker, the dangerous Derrick Thomas, trapped Young in his own end zone for a safety, cutting the San Fran lead to 14-9.

The Chiefs’ defense carried that momentum into the second half as they shut down Young and the 49er offense in the third quarter. Montana, as he was always sure to do, came out hot in the second half. He engineered 2 third quarter scoring drives. The first ended with Joe Cool finding tight end Keith Cash for an 8 yard touchdown. He then completed a 2 point conversion pass to J.J. Birden to put the Chiefs up 17-14. Another future Hall of Famer, running back Marcus Allen, upped the K.C. lead to 24-14 with a 4 yard run for a score. Both defenses stiffened in the final stanza, with the only scoring coming on a Doug Brien field goal for San Francisco. That left Young on the short end of a 24-17 final tally, giving Montana a small measure of revenge on the club that traded him to open up the starting job for Young.

The long NFL season took different turns for these clubs as the year progressed. Montana managed to push the Chiefs into a second place AFC West finish and a wild card berth, only to lose that wild card game to Miami. Montana decided to retire after that game. San Francisco had better luck. They plowed through the rest of their schedule, winning the NFC West title and sweeping their playoff matchups all the way to the Super Bowl XXIX, where Young won the game’s MVP award with a dominating performance in a 49-26 thrashing of the San Diego Chargers.



Young, Montana meet as rivals


NFL – Throwback Thursday: An Instant Classic

13 Oct

Our Throwback Thursday posts here on Rayonsports span the decades of classic NFL games, but every once in awhile we are compelled to take short trips back in time to find a gem to highlight. That is the case this week, week 6 of the NFL schedule, as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Buffalo Bills. We travel back a short distance in time, only a matter of months in fact, to the epic AFC Divisional playoff game the 2 franchises staged on January 23  of this year.

The game was a rematch of the previous season’s AFC Championship game, and the Bills had somewhat avenged that defeat by beating the Chiefs in the regular season. This was a win or go home scenario, however, and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is tough to beat in those situations. Buffalo struck first on a 1 yard Devin Singletary run, but Mahomes answered that with a pair of scoring drives, scrambling 8 yards to the end zone to finish off the first one, then finding Byron Pringle from 2 yards out to give the Chiefs a 14-7 lead. In a portent of things to come, Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen threw an 18 yard touchdown pass to Gabe Davis to tie the score at halftime.

The Chiefs took control in the third quarter. Harrison Butker kicked a field goal and speedster Mecole Hardman took a jet sweep 25 yards to paydirt, and after Butker missed the extra point K.C. had a 23-14 lead. Allen and the Bills were far from finished, however. The fiery Bills’ leader immediately launched a perfect 75 yard rainbow into the waiting arms of Davis for a score that shortened the deficit to 23-21. Butker opened the fourth quarter scoring with another field goal, but Buffalo then took the lead as Allen and Davis hooked up again, this time from 27 yards out. A successful 2-point try gave the Bills a shocking 29-26 lead and the shootout was clearly on. Doing his part to advance his club to the AFC title game, Mahomes answered with a drive ending on a 64 yard catch and run with the “Cheetah”, wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Hill took a short pass and whizzed past the bewildered Bills’ secondary to retake the lead at 33-29 with a little over a minute left. The game appeared over, but Allen had other ideas. Coming off a near perfect outing in the wild card round against New England in which he guided 7 touchdown drives in 7 possessions, the rising star from Wyoming calmly led the Bills downfield and hit Davis again to put Buffalo ahead 36-33 with only 13 seconds left on the clock.


Bills’ Gabe Davis torched the Chiefs’ secondary


Those 13 seconds will live in infamy in Buffalo Bills’ lore for the utter failure the team produced in that short span of time. Inexplicably, they kicked off into the end zone for a touchback rather than put the ball into the field of play to force the Chiefs to use a few precious seconds. They then employed a very questionable defensive strategy as they played soft and had their cornerbacks protecting the sideline even though Kansas City had all 3 time outs left. This left the middle of the field wide open and Mahomes deftly exploited it, moving his club easily into field goal range, where Butker connected on a 49 yarder to tie the game at 36-36 and send it into overtime. The Chiefs won the coin toss and Mahomes shredded the Bills’ defense, moving his team downfield and hitting All Pro tight end Travis Kelce for the winning score from 8 yards out. The touchdown ended one of the greatest games played in NFL history as K.C. prevailed 42-36. The fallout from this classic battle caused a fury of backlash about the league’s overtime rules, as Buffalo and Allen never had a chance to answer the Chiefs’ drive. Ironically, Mahomes lost to Tom Brady and the Patriots in the same manner a couple of years prior. The resulting anger from fans and even rival GMs led to a rule change beginning in the 2022 season that allows both teams to possess the ball in overtime. Also, the 13 second gaffe resulted in the Bills’ special teams coach, who supposedly didn’t relay the message to his kicker not to boot the ball into the end zone, to quietly leave the organization for a lateral job in Jacksonville.

Lost in the craziness of the game’s ending was the record-breaking performance of Davis, who caught 8 passes for a massive 201 yards and 4 touchdowns. Helped by the extra attention the Chiefs paid to star receiver Stefon Diggs, Davis’ four scores set an NFL playoff record.


A forlorn Josh Allen after the final gun


NFL – Throwback Thursday: Lombardi Goes Home

06 Oct

In past NFL history, the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, two of the oldest NFL franchises, have met in some memorable games. They play each other again on this week’s NFL schedule, so we will travel back in time to highlight a game they played against each other. Although they have clashed multiple times in the league championship game in the 1930s, ’40s, ’60s and ’90s, our featured game is a regular season meeting, played on November 1, 1959. The significance? It marked the first game that Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi, a Brooklyn native and former Giant offensive assistant, returned home to face his former team.

Giants/Packers program from 11/1/59


In the mid to late 1950s the Giants were an NFL juggernaut under head coach Jim Lee Howell. They reached the title game 3 times and won it in 1956 over the Chicago Bears. Howell’s main offensive assistant was Lombardi, and the architect of the defense was Tom Landry, who was destined to move on and become the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in their inaugural season in 1960. Howell, keenly aware of the combined genius of his top 2 aides, used to joke that his job was to just roll out the footballs to the team and then get out of the way.

That, of course, was an exaggeration, and on this day it was proven that Howell deserved a lot of credit also for the success of his team. New York limited the Packers to just 9 first downs and 160 total yards as they pounded out a 20-3 win over Lombardi’s troops. The Giants’ offense didn’t exactly shine either, but fullback Alex Webster, who would go on to coach the team in future years, had a respectable day to lead the club. He totaled 90 yards combined rushing and receiving, and scored the game’s only 2 touchdowns on runs of 3 and 7 yards. Future broadcasting legend Pat Summerall completed New York’s scoring with two 49 yard field goals. The Giants had one big advantage over the Packers in the game. Their quarterback was Charlie Conerly, a veteran who had guided them to a title. Green Bay’s signal caller was journeyman Lamar McHan. Bart Starr was on the team’s roster but hadn’t yet convinced the coach he was ready to lead the team. That would change later in the season, and Starr would then go on to take the Pack to 6 championship games in 8 years, winning the last 5. Included in the title run were 2 victories over the Giants, in 1961 and 1962.


Lombardi strolls the Packer sideline




NFL – Throwback Thursday: The Alternating QB Experiment

29 Sep

As the NFL enters week 4 of it’s 2022 schedule, the always entertaining NFC East rivalry between Dallas and Washington is on the menu. For this week’s Throwback Thursday feature we’ll reach way back to November 4, 1962 for a matchup between the 2 clubs. It was week 8 of the season, and both the Cowboys and Redskins were competitive in the NFL’s tough Eastern Division. The New York Giants and Cleveland Browns were dominant forces in the division, and even the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers were playing well that season. Washington came into the contest with only a single defeat at 4-1-2 (ties were common in those days with no overtime) while Dallas was still in it’s infancy, in only their third season under coach Tom Landry. Still, Landry had guided them to a respectable 3-3-1 mark.

Landry, always the innovator, implemented a system on his offense in which he alternated his quarterbacks, something that would be scoffed at in today’s game considering the fragile egos of today’s signal callers. Playing 2 quarterbacks was relatively common in those days, but mostly coaches would make an in-game change solely due to poor performance or injury, since the quarterbacks took brutal beatings back then. Landry took the ploy to extremes as he changed QBs at will regularly during a game. Whether it was a sound strategy or not, it worked out well for the Cowboys on this day. Young Don Meredith got the first kick at the can. After the teams traded first quarter field goals, he connected with Lee Folkins on an 11 yard touchdown pass. Old soldier Eddie LeBaron got his turn next, and he delivered with a 23 yard scoring toss to fullback Amos Marsh. Meredith then took another turn and found J.W. Lockett on a short 4 yard throw to put Dallas in front 24-3. In the final quarter Amos Bullocks scored on a 4 yard run, then LeBaron returned and led a drive culminating in a 14 yard TD toss to Frank Clarke.

Now the rout was on. Redskin coach Bill McPeak then made the move common to the era, replacing the ineffective Norm Snead at quarterback with backup Galen Hall. Hall put together a scoring drive that he finished off himself with a touchdown scamper from a yard out. Marsh was the offensive star for the Cowboys with 10 carries for 109 yards on the ground and 3 receptions for 53 yards and the TD through the air. Dallas left town with an impressive 38-10 victory in tow, but as the season wore on both teams took a nosedive in the standings, finishing fourth and fifth respectively in the 7 team East, each with losing records.

Coach Landry eventually settled on the younger Meredith as the full time starter later in the decade, but he did revert to the alternating tactic again in the early 1970s with Craig Morton and Roger Staubach. The Cowboys finally shed their “can’t win the big one” label in 1971 when he gave Staubach the job full time. They defeated Miami that season for their first Super Bowl title.


1960 Cowboy QBs LeBaron, Meredith, Don Heinrich