Redskins' Rush Raps Dallas, 28-16
By Dave Brady
The Redskins' raging defensive unit intercepted four passes, returned two for touchdowns, and smothered hard-pressed Dallas quarterbacks seven times for losses yesterday in a 28-16 conquest of the Cowboys.
The Redskins late in the final period were staggering in the rarefied atmosphere of third place in the Eastern Conference of the National Football League when rookie-safetyman Paul Krause certified their right to be there, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles at 5-6.
As the faith of Redskin fans among a sellout D.C. Stadium crowd of 49,219 was flagging, Krause swooped in front of Dallas flanker Buddy Dial and intercepted quarterback Don Meredith's pass on the Cowboys' 35-yard line.
Krause curled out gracefully to his right, picked up a net of blockers and decamped across the goalline to give the Redskins a 28-16 lead that held up through the remaining two minutes.
Thefts Hit 29 for Year
The Redskins' second straight four-interception effort gave them a team record of 29 thefts for the season.
In the third quarter, Krause intercepted a pass by Meredith at the Redskin 36-yard line, making a diving catch on his belly with his arms stretched to full length.
Two plays later, quarterback Sonny Jurgensen pumped his 20th touchdown pass of the season to left end Angie Coia, on a 59-yard play.
Coia Goes For Score
Defensive back Warren Livingston fell on his face at the 22, trying to recover, and Coia settled into his fluid sprinter's stride to go the rest of the way unchallenged.
Krause's interceptions ran his total to 10 and he tied an NFL record by picking off at least one in the last six games.
Linebacker John Reger also picked off a pass by Meredith in the first quarter and ran six yards for a touchdown. Safetyman Jim Steffen made the other interception shortly before the final gun.
As it turned out, the Redskin defensive unit had a hand in touching off all the touchdowns. Jurgensen pried open a seam in the begrudging Dallas line for a one-yard score on the last play of the first half after linebacker Bob Pellegrini blocked a punt by Bill Lothridge and linebacker Jimmy Carr recovered at the Cowboy 39-yard line with 26 seconds left.
Tight end Pres Carpenter delivered the scoring opportunity to Jurgensen by taking a pass for 18 yards to the 21 and going 20 more to the one on the next play with another pass from Jurgensen.
It took a clever bit of maneuvering for Carpenter to get that far with the second pass.
Defensive back Mel Renfro had Carpenter pinned against the right sideline, but Carpenter, the one-time running back, threw a quick pivot and Renfro fell at the 10-yard line. Carpenter went out of bounds at the one-yard line.
Charley Taylor, who got only 27 yards in 17 carries, was stopped a foot short of a score and the Redskins took time out. Jurgensen conferred with Coach Bill McPeak at the sideline and was told to take the ball over himself. He did, first faking a handoff and then giving it a second effort with a spasmodic stretch.
It was then that offensive tackle George Seals was spectacular. Linebacker Jerry Tubbs sprang at Seals with a jolting block before the ball was snapped for the conversion attempt.
As Seals began to react with a stiff forearm, Tubbs jumped back, but safety Jim Ridlon came crashing into the path of the forearm blow and was flattened. The Cowboys were charged with being offside and then Jim Martin kicked the extra point.
It was a game marked by several squareoffs as the two teams engaged in a bristling defensive struggle. There were 184 yards in penalties, plus many more declined or offset violations.
End John Paluck of the Redskins scuffled with Dallas center Mike Connelly; center Len Hauss of the Redskins faced off with Tubbs; Redskin tackle Riley Mattson tangled with linebacker Lee Roy Jordan, and, as Jurgensen killed the clock with the last play, Jordan and Redskin halfback Taylor exchanged punches.
Paluck sidelined quarterback Meredith with a torn stomach muscle in the second quarter on a driving tackle that brought the Redskins a 15-yard penalty; Substitute safety Tom Walters of the Redskins left the game in the same series with a bloody eye, and teammate John Nisby wobbled off the field groggy.
It was hard going for the Dallas quarterbacks, who were thrown for losses totaling 54 yards. Jurgensen got superb protection and lost no yardage passing.
Jurgensen could not organize a running game, the Redskins being held to 59 yards, as they were in a 24-18 loss in Dallas in September.
But he completed 20 of 35 passes for 307 yards, compared to Meredith, who connected on only 6 of 24 for 94 yards and three interceptions and Roach, 4 of 9 for 20 yards and one interception.
The Redskin line - mainly Paluck, Bob Toneff and Joe Rutgens - kept up a steady pressure, helped by the blitzes of linebacker Reger and occasionally wingback Johnny Sample.
Fullback Jim Stiger go 73 of the Cowboys' 136 yards rushing, chiefly on a 64-yard run. But it was Renfro who worried the Redskin defense with his kick returns, going 45 and 65 yards with his first two before settling down to an average of 30 yards for seven runbacks of kickoffs and punts.
The Cowboys had to settle for 15, 32, and 38-yard field goals by Dick VanRaaphorst before Stiger scored in the fourth quarter to cut the Redskin lead to 21-16 with 6:17 to go. And that touchdown was pretty much a gift.
Pervis Atkins, making his first start at fullback for the Redskins, fumbled a punt at the Redskin nine-yard line and defensive back Don Bishop recovered. The first boos of the day were heard.
From the six-yard line, quarterback Meredith took off around his left end. Krause tackled him at the two-yard line, but he lateraled to Stiger, who scored standing up.
Rookie Taylor of the Redskins, who caught seven passes for 86 yards, took a toss from Jurgensen and threaded his way 55 yards to the Cowboy 32-yard line.
On the next play, Coia, who rolled up 107 yards with six receptions, gathered in a bomb by Jurgensen over the goalline, but defensive back Warren Livingston jerked his arm and he dropped the ball. Interference was charged, giving the Redskins a first down on the one-yard line.
J. W. Lockett, Taylor and Jurgensen were stopped cold and, when Jim Martin tried a seven-yard field goal, his foot scuffed the ground, defensive end Maury Youmans deflected the ball, and boos welled up again.
But Krause sent the Redskins' fans home happy.