Cowboys Defeat Redskins in Last 15 Seconds
By Dave Brady
It was a grum scene that was set for the Cowboys before 50,927 at D.C. Stadium. Ninety seconds remained after Pat Richter punted 44 yards to the Dallas three-yard line, where Jerry Smith downed the ball to the uproarious delight of the Redskins' fans.
Dallas quarterback Meredith hardly needed to look at the scoreboard to learn that the Redskins were leading, 30-28, and that the Cowboys had no timeouts left. He surveyed the prevent defense that was challenging him to pass and addressed himself to the difficult business at hand.
Gent Catches 26-Yarder
On the next play he evaded a charge by the Redskins' three-main line and managed to get out of bounds after picking up 12 more yards.
Rookie running back Walt Garrison could not hold a low pass, but Meredith went right back to Garrison on the next play with an emergency pass that gained only a yard but stopped the scissoring hands on the clock.
Finds Gent Again
With 33 seconds left, Meredith probed for better position with a run that netted six yards before he got out of bounds to stop the clock. And then there was a bonus for his effort.
While Meredith was still trying to put on the brakes, overzealous linebacker John Reger sailed into him and was penalized 15 yards for a personal foul.
With the clock stopped and 19 seconds to go, the Cowboys did not have to hurry to get their field goal unit into the game. Villanueva used up the customary four seconds in his concentration on the kick that put the Cowboys back in the National Football League's Eastern Conference race and the Redskins were left with 15 seconds to top Meredith's performance.
The risky Harris of the Redskins took care of the problem for the Cowboys. He accepted Villanueva's kickoff on the Redskins' 14 and used up the clock by the time he took a ten-yard loss in an unsuccessful ruse to evade three gingerly stepping fellows named Walt Garrison, Frank Clarke and Bob Hayes.
Gogolak Sets Record
Gogolak also kicked a 30-yard field goal for a club record of 18 in one season.
Taylor tied a club record by making 11 receptions. They were good for 199 yards, one of them brought a 78-yard score in the third quarter.
Besides the two touchdown passes to Taylor, Jurgensen threw one to tight end Smith for four yards and wound up completing 26 of 46 throws for347 yards, despite having several missed by his receivers.
But Meredith was more effective behind a stout Dallas line that mostly gave him time to hit on 21 of 29 for 406 yards.
Hayes Scores Twice
It was a deliriously exciting game, but it was a mismatch for Jurgensen, whose runners got him 21 yards rushing in he first half and only two more in the final 30 minutes.
With 32 yards rushing, Meredith nearly doubled the 17 of D. Whitfield, the leading Redskin. The Cowboys gained 132 yards with their running game to boost their total offense to 515.
Record Home Crowd
But yesterday's loss dropped the Redskins to a 5-5 record tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and almost certainly out of the championship picture.
Behind, 7-6, in the second quarter, Meredith began flexing his arm and in four plays the Cowboys went 74 yards on three passes, 10 to Hayes, 27 to Gent and then 52 big ones to Hayes, who left cornerback Lonnie Sanders marveling at his speed at the Redskins' 18 while the Olympian rambled goalward.
That left the Cowboys ahead by only 14-6 at the half, but Hayes remedied that incredibility gap after only 1:53 of the third quarter when he got loose for the longest scoring pass in the Cowboys' history, 95 yards.
Now it was 21-6, Dallas, and the Redskin rooters were getting apprehensive. Harris revived their flagging confidence when he gathered in Villanueva's kickoff in the end zone and whizzed 53 yards to the Redskins' 49.
The Redskins mounted some protection for Juregensen and three straight passes produced a touchdown. They went 16 yards to Joe Don Looney, 31 to Taylor, who gave the shake to defensive back Warren Livingston for most of the distance, and 4 to Smith.
Jurgensen needed only two passes to Taylor to cover 82 yards for another touchdown. The second went for 73 yards because of the resourcefulness of Taylor, who broke out of a tight encirclement by Livingston and Lee Roy Jordan.
When halfback Dan Reeves of the Cowboys fumbled and linebacker Sam Huff recovered at the Redskins' 20, Bobby Mitchell caught his first pass, for 14 yards and another one for 13 yards.
A 21-yarder to Smith plus a 15-yard penalty for roughing Jurgensen put the ball on the 13.
In the final period, Dallas regained the lead at 28-23 on a one-yard plunge by Reeves after Hayes beat rookie defensive back Billy Clay for a 27-yard reception.
The Redskins bounced back bravely with a 69-yard caper, mostly on passes to Taylor, who took an 18-yard toss to put his team ahead, 30-28, 5:36 remaining.
From there on in, Meredith was in charge of the scenario.