Skins Tie Dallas, 35-35; Mitchell Scores 3 Times
By Jack Walsh
In a truly tremendous Redskin debut, Mitchell returned a kickoff for a 92-yard touchdown; scored on an 81-yard pass play; scored another on a six-yard pass and set up the other two touchdowns with a pass reception and a pass interference call.
An announced crowd of 15,730 sat in this Cotton Bowl cauldron and stayed to cheer the enemy player.
Despite Mitchell's heroics, only a field goal miss from the Washington 35-yard line by the usually reliable Sam Baker, a former Redskin, in the last eight seconds prevented a Dallas victory. It enabled the Redskins to escape being beaten by Dallas for the first time in history.
Clarke Also Outstanding
With LeBaron completing 13 of 16 passes and Meredith 10 of 23, Clarke was hit on 10 occasions for a staggering total of 241 yards. The Cowboys, seemingly running and passing at will most of the time, outgained the Redskins, 493 to 286.
But they couldn't contain Mitchell, the man from Little Rock, Ark., who was accustomed to the torrid Southwest day and was just as hot. They said it was 88 degrees and the humidity was 56 but it felt like 110 or much hotter than a prairie fire.
Storm Back Twice
Snead, who sneaked for the two touchdowns Mitchell didn't get, made the big one with only 1:56 left in the game. The key play was in the last four minutes when it was third and 10 to go in the clutch.
Mitchell appeared to be loafing down the sideline, but he suddenly sprinted to the middle and made a remarkable spear of a Snead pitch. At the time it was pretty crowded around Mitchell; he was surrounded by Jerry Norton, Don Bishop and Warren Livingston. The last-named was the boy who had a miserable afternoon chasing Mitchell.
But Mitchell held the ball and the gain was good for 26 yards to the Dallas 39. Snead then switched to Steve Junker to the 19 and Fred Dugan, who took a 13-yard pass at the Dallas 3. Billy Barnes nearly went over, Snead did and Bobby Khayat kicked the vital 35th point.
Dallas then stopped alternating quarterbacks and Eddie LeBaron nearly pulled it out for the luckless Cowboys. His big pass was a 34-yarder to the busy Mr. Clarke at the Redskin 27 and that set up Baker's awful miss, which veered to the left.
In the third period, Dallas moved for two scores and it looked as if the Redskins had it.
LeBaron passed 11 yards to Clarke to culminate a 58-yard move in 15 time-consuming plays. Then Jerry Norton made an interception off the ground of a Snead pass and ran to the Redskin 25. Dallas was penalized back to the 40 but Don Perkins, fine Cowboy runner, went 35 yards on a trap play. And Amos Marsh went over from the five for his second touchdown.
Here the Skins got their break of the day. The Cowboys were offsides on a kickoff and when Baker kicked again, Mitchell took the ball and stopped 92 yards later in the end zone.
Snead and Mitchell retaliated 47 seconds later, Norman floating a long pass to Mitchell for an 81-yard scoring play when Bobby again lost Livingston.
The Redskins played a lot of poor football, both offensively and defensively, in the first half and were on the fortunate side to have a 14-14 draw at intermission.
With Snead and Mitchell doing the work, they even had a 14-7 lead after the third play of the second quarter.
Barnes made the best fumble of his life to set up the first Redskin touchdown. He acutally lost the ball and Jerry Norton picked it up and ran about 20 yards. The play was nullified when a Cowboy was called for kicking the ball and the Redskins advanced all the way to the Dallas 31 on the penalty.
Two plays later, Mitchell lost the unfortunated Mr. Livingston and was all alone in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown pass from Snead.
Washington rookie Claude Crabb intercepted a Don Meredith pass at the Dallas 37 on the last play of the first period and got only sevne yards when it appeared he could have gone all the way. Crabb cut the wrong way.
It didn't matter because Lvingston soon had more trouble with Mitchell. From the 30, Snead called a nice play, faking a pass to his left end and then letting fly toward Mitchell. Bobby had the jump on Livingston who tried to make up for his error by interfering with Mitchell at the goal-line. The penalty was called and Snead sneaked over from the one-yard line in two tries.
The Cowboys, who didn't have too much time for togetherness with eight players arriving here the week before today's opener, were erratic themselves.
Alternating Meredith and LeBaron at quarterback on nearly every play, they chewed up the vaunted Redskin line and drove 83 yards in 10 plays to score first with Amos Marsh walking over from the Redskin four-yard line.
Guard Dale Memmelaar led the convoy and, strangely, there just weren't any Redskin defenders around. It looked like a play in slow motion. The Redskins were the slow ones and they trailed, 7-0, with the game 10 minutes old.
The big play in the march came on a third down and nine yards to go situation when LeBaron peeled off and ran to his right, stopped and completed a 39-yard pass to Clarke to the Redskin 43.