Redskins Toss Away Another One
By Jack Walsh
The Dallas Cowboys, considerably aided by the unbelievably sloppy Redskins, plastered them with a 35-20 defeat to run the Washington losing streak to five games before a slim but delighted Cotton Bowl gathering of 18,838.
The Redskins committed enough miscues to blow the fuse of the sturdiest IBM computer, losing the ball four times on interceptions and three times on fumbles.
However, the most embarrassing one was the final scoreboard count by which Dallas moved into an Eastern Conference sixth-place tie in the National Football League with the Redskins matching 2-6 records.
When the statistics came up, the first reaction was that the columns were transposed. They weren't, the end zone-shy Redskins actually outgained the Cowboys, 468 yards to 221.
The only two previous meetings here between these teams resulted in ties and it was close enough today at the outset of the fourth period when Norman Snead hit end Fred Dugan with a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Combined with Dugan's earlier 41-yard score on a strong run with a Snead pass and 49 and 12-yard field goals by Bobby Khayat, it made the score only 21-20, Dallas.
But it was the Cowboys who came on. The immediate game-breaker was a 52-yard return of the following kickoff by Amos Bullocks to put the ball on the Redskin 40.
Rookie fullback Jim Stiger, making his first appearance of the season, broke through for a 7-yard touchdown run. To show what kind of a day it was for the Redskins, tackle Ben Davidson deflected Sam Baker's conversion try but the ball bounced skyward, lingered on the crossbar and then fell the right way. It kept the Cowboys' margin at the vital 8-point mar, 28-20.
It was all over after the next kickoff. Bobby Mitchell, knocked out of an apparent touchdown earlier by stepping out of bounds, made a nice reception of a Snead pass but fumbled when hit and Warren Livingston recovered at midfield for Dallas.
Meredith, throwing four touchdown passes for the first time in his 4-year career, covered the ground in four plays, the last a 12-yard pitch to Frank Clarke.
Clarke made an earlier 14-yard touchdown catch of a Meredith pitch. And twice Meredith hit Lee Folkins, former Green Bay end, for 1-yard touchdowns.
Quarterback Snead, far from the boos of D.C. Stadium, racked up considerable yardage but so did Cowboy Mike Gaechter with two of the three interceptions made on Snead.
When the frustrated Redskins tried to go in for a score just at the end of the first half, Gaechter stole a pass on the Cowboy one and ran 86 yards to the Redskin 13 to set up the first Meredith-Clarke connection.
Gaechter later took one 36 yards to the Redskin 12 after it aws 35-20 and former Redskin Sam Baker caught the fever by missing an easy 16-yard field goal try.
Snead, completing 10 of 27 passes for 252 yards, had terrible luck trying to engineer scores what with the many fumbles and dropped passes. Just about every eligible receiver missed one or more.
At the end, George Izo replaced Snead and completed 6 of 10 for 75 yards. Izo drove the Redskins from their 20 to the Dallas 6. Then he also fell victim to the snakebite when Don Bishop intercepted his next pass and ran to the Dallas 29.
Just as they dominated the second period, the Redskins appeared ready to take over after intermission. Khayat got them on the board with his nice 49-yard boot, helped by a 20-mile following wind.
The defense, playing a tough game until it finally seemed to succumb to the mistakes of the offense, got the ball back. Snead passed to Mitchell for a 46-yard gain. This was the one Mitchell was called out of bounds at the Dallas 11. Billy Barnes plunged 8 yards but dropped hte ball and Dallas recovered at the three. It was that way all day.
Things started in normal fashion before the last two hectic minutes of the first half, culminated by Gaechter stealing that Snead pass and racing 86 yards to the Washington 13. Snead was blocked out beautifully and Pat Richter hauled down Gaechter.
Meredith promptly hit the wide-open Clarke in the endzone to show the Redskins how to register a touchdown. Washington vainly sought one despite three deep penetrations in the second period that they completely dominated. The late Dallas score put the Redskins behind at halftime, 14-10.
With Barnes and Bosseler running well, the Redskins moved to the Dallas 35 before a clipping penalty put them back to midfield on their opening march. They still might have continued goalward but Dugan dropped a Snead pitch at the Dallas 28.
Dallas took it from there and soon had a 7-0 lead. The big gainer in a 12-play, 80-yard march was a 25-yard pass from Meredith to Billy Howton to the Redskin 39.
With second down on the Redskin one, Meredith fooled the Redskins by faking a play in the middle and pitching for a 1-yard scoring pass to Folkins. Clarke also was wide open in the end zone and Meredith really had the option.
The Redskins retaliated right away, scoring with 8 seconds gone in the same period. Snead directed a hard-running ground game t hat gained 111 yards in the first 30 minutes, adding 10 himself for a first down at the Dallas 41.
Dugan then stoned for that early drop. The slender-looking end took a short Snead pass and shook away from Gaechter and Bishop inside the Cowboy 30 and went all the way. Dugan soared into the end zone carrying tackler Lee Roy Jordan with him.
Amos Marsh fumbled the ensuing kickoff when hit hard by Jim Collier and rookie Ron Snidow recovered at the Cowboy 39. But Snead fumbled a snap by center Fred Hageman and Jordan got the ball for the Cowboys.
But the Redskins stopped Dallas and then rolled up and down the field. But they scored only three points on Khayat's 12-yard field goal after he missed a 29-yarder.
On that miss, Snead and Barnes preceded it by missing on passes on third down, Snead threw down the middle to Bosseler but Don slipped and the pass did, too.
Bob Pelligrini put the Redskins back in business by intercepting a Meredith pass at the Dallas 28. That's when Khayat got his 12-yarder.
Meredith scrambled a moment later and threw one astray. Mean John Paluck latched onto the ball at the Dallas 29 and lumbered to the three before Meredith made a saving tackle.
It sure save Dallas, because Gaechter stole Snead's pass intended for Barnes on the Dallas one, returned it 86 yards and, the Cowboys promptly regained the lead.
The Cowboys made their share of mistakes but the Redskins regained the lead, beat them in that department, hands down. Good hands would have averted four interceptions, three fumbles lost and numerous dropped passes. That's how the Redskins keep losing, no hands.