Redskins Hail Allen After Surprising Cowboys
By Dave Brady
While celebrating the complete subjugation of the defending National Football Conference champions and becoming the first Washington team in 28 years to win its first three games, the players presented their new boss the game ball.
In his elation over seeing the Redskins step out as the team to beat in the Eastern Division, Allen described the anatomy of the victory.
"We wanted to control the ball," he said.
In the second half, the Redskins did, against the conference's No. 1 rushing defense. The Redskins' big-play offense had taken charge in the first half with two long scoring plays.
"We did not want to throw too much," Allen said.
Incredibly, quarterback Billy Kilmer brought off the upset with only 10 pass attempts. He completed five for 94 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown throw to flanker Roy Jefferson.
We wanted to stop the Cowboys' big gainers because of their speed," Allen said. "We were afraid of the bombs."
In the fourth quarter, when Dallas coach Tom Landry used quarterback Roger Staubach to bail out starter Craig Morton, defensive tackle Bill Brundige threw the scrambling Staubach for a 29-yard loss on a pass attempt.
The Redskins made the Cowboys' defense look foolish in the first quarter when fullback Charley Harraway ran 57 yards from scrimmage for a touchdown behind a sequence of blocks by Larry Brown, Walter Rock and Roy Jefferson which made the run look simple.
Behind an offensive line which cleared out Cowboys all afternoon, Harraway proved his touchdown run was no fluke by gaining 111 yards on 18 carries for a 6.1 yard average. Larry Brown added 81 yards in 21 carries and Kilmer led the Redskins to 200 yards of ball control on the ground.
"It is an overused word, but it was a great, great victory, a complete victory," Allen said.
So it was. The Redskins went into the game with the No. 1 defense in the NFC, having allowed only 20 points in two games, and limited Dallas, which had led the National Football League with 91 points, to Calvin Hill's one-yard touchdown plunge with 3:08 left in the game.
The Cowboys' other points were scored by Mike Clark, who kicked the extra point and three field goals, including two after Redskin fumbles.
The previously high-octane attack unit of the Cowboys averaged only 3.8 yards per offensive play to 5.4 by the Redskins and only 2.9 per rush against 4.9 by the Redskins.
Morton had good early protection but completed only 11 of 26 passes because his receivers were smothered by the Washington pass defense. Later, the Redskins' pass rush began hurrying him, and he was trapped once and Staubach twice.
As the pressure mounted in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys began losing poise, drawing penalties in their anxiety. The final indication emerged when they called timeout with 2 minutes 5 seconds remaining in the game. All they had to do was wait for the automatic break at the two-minute warning.
The Redskins maintained enough ball control at the finish to hold off the Cowboys, as Curt Knight's 27-yard field goal in the third period and 33-yarder in the fourth quarter magnified in importance.
Staubach revived the Cowboys' flagging hopes and took them 69 yards for a final period touchdown on a 14-yard run by Hill, a 24-yard pass to Alworth and 12- and 16-yard passes to Mike Ditka.
Three minutes 8 seconds remained after Hill plunged a yard for the score.
Then, with the Cowboys only four points behind, Kilmer once more roused the Redskins to safeguard their first victory over the Cowboys in the teams' last six meetings.
Dallas gambled to rescue a winning streak which extended through eight games, including six exhibitions, since the Super Bowl loss to Baltimore.
Brown Hurts Legs
Brown's chronic left leg injury was aggravated, and team physician Dr. P.M. Palumbo Jr., later labeled the aggravation "leg cramps" and not a significant injury. Tommy Mason replaced Brown.
Mason led Harraway to a big gap in the Dallas line for five yards and Mason mounted a second, then a third, effort on the next play for six yards and another vital first down.
Harraway was held to five yards on his next two tries and with 46 second left, was thrown for a three-yard loss on third down.
But the spendthrift Cowboys had no timeouts and were forlorn figures as they watched Kilmer dawdle away the rest of the clock while they absorbed their second loss in their last 17 games.
"I think the big play was Kilmer's play-action pass for the touchdown," Allen said.
"We had been running and running and then threw that quick post (toward to goal post) pattern pass."
"Tackle Trick" Works
Kilmer called Harraway's 57-yard run a "weak-side sweep. By back was to the play as it unfolded, but later I saw him get two great blocks downfield (from Rock and Jefferson, who bumped Adderley out of the way)."
Also described by Allen as a "big play" was Brundige's sack of Staubach for a 29-yard loss.
The 'Driver's Seat'
Defensive line coach LaVern Torgeson said of the defensive game plan, "We wanted to get pressure on Morton, hold Hayes down and contain the Cowboys' running game with Hill being so dangerous. Now we are in the driver's seat."