James Four Scores Bury Dallas, 34-24
By Jack Walsh
Christmas arrived eight days early for the Washington Redskins.
With Dick James, the littlest Redskin of them all, scoring four touchdowns for a club record, Washington cashed in on its last chance for a 1961 victory by pasting the Dallas Cowboys, 34-24, in the season finale at D.C. Stadium yesterday.
It was the Redskins' first victory in the last 24 league games.
James scored on a 39-yard sweep around end, longest run all year for the team, and five and three-yard runs. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder also fooled the Cowboys by being all alone in the end zone to receive a surprise one-yard pass from Norman Sneed.
Sharing top billing with James was Snead, who wound up his rookie quarterback season in highly professional style.
Just Missed Fifth Score
On first down from the four James squirmed three yards to the Dallas one-yard line and would have gone into the end zone again if he hadn't slipped.
With three chances from the one, everyone felt James would get the opportunity of becoming the fifth man in NFL history to score over four touchdowns in a single game.
But, Snead himself sneaked for the score on the second down play. He said after the game that he understood James to say: "Punch it over."
Six Scores Is Record
Nine Redskin players have score three in a game. End Bones Taylor did it five times, halfback Andy Farkes three. And the popular Mr. James was the last Redskin to score three, against the Chicago Cards in a losing 49-21 effort in 1959.
With his 24 points, James smashed Farkas' 20-point Redskin record made against the then Cleveland Rams in 1938.
Winless Streak Ends
Coach Bill MCPeak, at 35 the youngest head man in the NFL in this his first year, went through five exhibition games and 13 league games before getting the congratulations he received for his maiden victory.
Thus Washington wound up its Silver Anniversary season with the worst record in the team's history, 1-12-1. Loser Dallas, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, finished 4-9-1.
And Dallas has the dubious distinction of being the only NFL team that never has beaten Washington.
It was Dallas, in its first year last season, which also provided the lone Redskin victory, a 26-14 triumph in the second game. In an earlier meeting at Dallas this season, the teams tied, 28-28.
LeBaron Pitches in Vain
From the opening kickoff, which Jim Steffen took on the dead- run and returned 43 yards, it appeared to be Washington's day.
The fog, which obscured the 50,000-seal stadium from a half a half block away, dispelled and the view of the proceedings was everything the largely partisan paid crowd of 21,451 could' have desired.
Steffen could have gone all the way on the first play of' the game but Don Bishop wasn't taken out by a couple Redskins who had good shots.
'The Skins went right in, anyway Snead passed to Jim Cunningham for 15 yards and, with third and seven, threw a quick pass over the middle that star James made a nice catch on and went 22 yards to the Dallas.
Pass Hits Goat Posts
Dallas played most of the first half by alternating quarterbacks LeBaron and Buddy Humphrey on every play. LeBaron, frequently going into a shotgun formation, narrowly missed tying the game. He threw long to speedy Amos Marsh, open in the end zone, but the ball hit the goal post instead of Marsh's waiting arms. Maryland's Dick Bielski had to settle for a 27-yard field goal.
There was no further scoring in the first half with Aveni having a 47-yard field goal attempt blocked by Mike Dowdle to run his year's record to five goals in 27 tries. Five were blocked.
Big Third Period
LeBaron pitched Dallas within field goal range just before the half ended but Sam Horner deflected Bielski's 38-yard try.
The third period packed the action with the Redskins scoring 21 points and Dallas 14.
Again Snead started well; his big gain was a 41-yard pass to Anderson to the Dallas 14. Jimmy Harris missed Anderson at the Dallas 37 and Anderson wriggled away and got 23 more yards before Bishop made a saving tackle.
James, running with determination on each of his 27 carries, clearly showed he wanted to score and tore dove his way over the goal.
Fifty-six seconds later, Dallas was only behind, 14-10. Clarke beat Horner and LeBaron's long-pass reached him at the Redskin 40. Horner made a futile dive at the 15 and Clarke completed a quick 80-yard scoring journey.
Here a lot of good things started happening to the Redskins. Center Mike Connelly, who did it twice, didn't get the ball back to LeBaron and Rod Breedlove jumped on the fumble at the Dallas 33.
Again Connely and LeBaron missed connections and BobToneff grabbed the ball for the Redskins at the Dallas 45.
James' last run was his best, a 39-yard picture maneuver with Lemek wiping out defender Tom Franckhauser at the 15.
LeBaron interrupted the scoring parade by finding Clarke behind Jim Kerr for their 66-yard touchdown effort.
Going into the fourth period, the Redskins held the ball for almost 10 minutes before getting that final score on Snead's sneak from the one that made it 34-17, with Aveni missing the point.
Dallas got one touchdown back but it came with only 2:27 left. LeBaron played the whole second half and kept pitching when he had the opportunity.
The Cowboys moved 70 yards on their last effort with Marsh getting 33 yards on a run to the Redskins 29.
Howton, who wound up with the most catches in his nine-year career, 56, made the last, an 11-yard touchdown after juggling the ball past Kerr.
There wasn't time to spoil this one for the victory-famished Redskins and their cash customers.
Who said the Redskins wouldn't win a game? Some of the fans were so delighted they carried James and Snead off the field.