George Allen fired another volley yesterday in the bitter rivalry between the Redskins and Cowboys when he accused Dallas of using unethical tactics Sunday to help achieve a 14-7 victory over Washington.
On a day when Allen also said, "I think so, but I haven't made a decision" when asked if Joe Theismann would remain his starting quarterback. Allen complained bitterly about Cowboy punt center D.D. Lewis moving his head intentionally to draw the Redskins offside on a play that turned the game in Dallas' favor.
The penalty allowed the Cowboys to keep the ball and they drove in for the game-winning touchdown.
"The guys that carry the holy grail, I didn't think they'd do something like that," said Allen, who was then asked to name other instances of unethical conduct.
"What they did to (Mark) Moseley (the Redskin Kicker)," Allen replied. "They took cheap shots at him when he was down. And because he's developed into a good kicker and worked hard, Tex Schramm (the Cowboy president and general manager) and that gang say he's got an illegal shoe."
Earlier in his regular weekly press conference, Allen had been asked to comment on Redskin offensive guard Terry Hermeling's using Vaseline to grease his jersey.
Hermeling was ordered by referee Gordon McCarter to get the vaseline off on change jerseys and missed four plays."
"It surprised me," Allen said. "It's a practice that's been going on in the league for a number of years, I'd prefer them not to do it. That doesn't help you much, it's that greasy kid stuff. I don't think I'll fine him. I'll encourage him not to do it."
But when was asked about Dallas' use of reserve linebacker Mike Hegman to block Moseley into the ground after every kickoff, Allen launched his attacked against the Cowboys.
"The Cowboys' did some things," he sputtered. "You ask me a question about a little grease - the things the Cowboys did were unethical.For instance, the center moving."
Allen was asked the ethical difference between what Lewis did to draw Pete Wysocki offside and what the Redskins did three weeks ago in Philadelphia, when they yelled at and cursed Eagle place-kicker Horst Muhlmann to distract him as he was getting to kick what would have been a some-winning field goal. The kick was missed, the Redskins won.
"Ah, they've been yelling at people since Amos Alonzo Stagg blew up the ball; Allen said. "Yelling, that's part of the game . . . movement is something else. That didn't lose the game, don't twist that around. We were offside because we were too jumpy trying to take off on the ball."
Down in Texas, Schramm surely was laughing all the way to the playoffs. The Cowboy's victory over Washington had clinched at least a wildcard playoff berth.
One more Cowboy victory will give them the NFC East title and the home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs next month.
So Schramm seemed both amused and slightly annoyed at Allen's press conference marks.
He denied complaining about Moseley's kicking shoe. "I haven't asked the league to do one single thing as far as Moseley is concerned," he said.Several weeks ago, he (Allen) accused me of complaining to the league.
"The complaint was lodged by another team, at a league meeting. They had pictures with them, and it happened at a meeting with a representative of the Redskin present. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, we've said nothing about Mr. Moseley."
Schramm saw nothing wrong with trying to draw the Redskins offside on the punt, nor in sending a man downfield to block Moseley. "I didn't see anybody hitting Moseley when he missed those three field goals," Schramm said.
"I'm sorry he always has to put things on a personal level rather than saying our team defeated his team. It was a tough game: they did a hell of a job. I've never seen a team that wanted to win a game so much, and we were lucky to get out of there with a win.
"You know George better than I do. When he loses he'll try to diffuse the issue some way. He's entitled to his opinions. If you wanted to take a poll around the league as far as ethics, we'd be more than willing to stand on the results of that poll.
"What did he say about the play where Theismann was caught in the end zone? The pictures clearly show his knee was down and we probably should have had a safety. But those are the things that happen in a game."
Allen who moaned long and loud about several other calls, insisted he could not tell in his films if Theismann's knee had hit the end zone turf before the quarterback threw the ball away and was penalized for intentional grounding.
But Allen criticized an offensive interference call against wide receiver Danny Buggs that nullified a first-period touchdown, and said Wysocki was not even a yard past the line of scrimmane when he was called for being illegally downfield on a Redskin punt.
That play nullified Mike Bragg's kick to the Cowboy 14-yard line and when his 10-yard punt on the following play went out of bounds, the Cowboys had the ball at their 41. They proceeded to march to their first touchdown of the game.
Allen had other concerns yesterday.He said he hoped injured fullback John Riggins would be able to do light work this week on his bad knee. "If he can't, the chances are that he won't be ready for St. Louis (the next week)." Allen said, adding that Chris Hamburger may be available for the Bills Sunday in Buffalo.
Defensive end Dennis Johnson, who sprained ligaments in his left knee, probably will not be able to play against the Bills, Allen said. Center Len Hauss will be questionable because of possible broken ribs. Allen said Calvin Hill could start at fullback Sunday because rookie Clarence Harmon sprained his ankle again.
He noted all the botched opportunities that have plagued his team this year and admitted, "It doesn't seem to make much difference who the quarterback is, does it?"
Allen said he had difficulty sleeping Sunday night. "To be so well prepared and not win," he said at one point, not finishing the sentence. "I've never lost a game quite like that since I've been coaching . . . we outplayed Dallas andprobably should have won."
Art McNally, the NFL's supervisor of officials, said he would have no comment on the Lewis play until he reviewed the films Tuesday or Wednesday . . . Allen said he prepared for the Dallas game by running two miles, doing 100 situps and moving a tarpaulin onto the graps practice field at Redskin park Sunday morning . . . Allen singled out free safety Jake Scott for his courage in playing against the Cowboys with several broken ribs.