Tony Dorsett came back to life yesterday and brought the Dallas Cowboy offense with him.
The slump-ridden Cowboys had lost two straight going into yesterday's game with Green Bay and took out a whole lot of frustration on the Packers, as they cruised to a 42-14 victory at County Stadium.
Dorsett rushed for 149 yards in 23 carries and scored twice, once on a 33 yards run. Running mate Robert Newhouse also scored twice and rushed for 101 yards on 18 carries.
The victory enabled the 7-4 Cowboys to remain only one game behind the Washington Redskins in the NFC East.
The Packers, who yielded the most points a Green Bay team has given up in 97 games, fell into a first place tie with Minnesota in the NFC Central, both at 7-4.
The Packers scored on their first posession yesterday to take a 7-0 lead, but were never in the game thereafter.
After sputtering on their first possession, the Cowboys scored touchdowns five of the next seven times they had the bail.
Dorsett had signed only 135 yards total in his last four games and had not had a 100-yard rushing day since the fourth game of the season.
Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach completed 20 of 31 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns before giving way to backup Danny White in the third period.
The Packers had their glory early. They opened the game with a Chester Marcol on-side that Marcol, recovered at the Packer 48-yard line.
The drive stalled at the Dallas 43, but Cowboy Butch Johnson fumbled David Beverly's punt, and after a lot of confusion over just who had recovered it, the officials awarded to the ball to Green Bay at the Dallas 15 yard line. Three plays later, fullback Barty Smith scored on a one-yard run and Marcol's conversion put the Packers on top, 7-0.
The Cowboys sputtered on their first possession, throwing two incomplete passes and gaining only five yards on a Tony Dorsett run before punting.
The Packers lost one yard in three downs on their next possession, but they still were in good position when Beverley's punt was downed at the Cowboy one-yard line by Aundra Thompson.
But the Cowboys took off from there. They mounted pershaps their best drive in a month, a 99-yard beauty, to put them on the scoreboard. It took 17 plays and consumed 8:29 of the period.
There wasn't much fancy stuff on the drive, either, as Staubach basically alternated runs between Robert Newhouse and Dorsett.
Newhouse got the touchdown on a 14-yard pitchout from Staubach, with Dorsett throwing a crunching block on Johnnie Gray to get Newhouse into the end zone.
So dominant were the Cowboys on that drive that two dropped passes by tight end Billy Joe DuPree failed to slow them down. They were aided by an offside penalty, however, on fourth down midway through the drive when they were in point formation.
On the drive, Dallas demonstrated Coach Tom Landry's philosophy: not much razzle, just plan old basic football. The only time the Cowboys tried something fancy, a flea-flicker type play, it resulted in a six-yard loss.
Newhouse got 43 yards in six plays on the drive while Dorsett got 30 in five.
The Cowboys also scored the next two times they got the ball to take a 21-7 lead at halftime.
Randy Hughes intercepted a David Whitehurst pass late in the first quarter and the Cowboys went 47 yards in eight plays to the score, with Dorsett scoring on a nine-yard run after a Packer-clearing block from guard Herb Scott.
Rafael Septien's conversion put the Cowboys on top, 14-7.
An eight yard Staubach-to-DuPree pass midway through the second period accounted for the Cowboy's other first-half touchdown.
The Cowboys so dominated the half, that they outgained the Packers 250 yards to 47 and had possession for 20-43, compared to 9-17 for Green Bay.
Dorsett had 90 yards rushing in 14 first-half attempts and Newhouse added 69 in 11 carries. The Cowboys also rolled to 18 first-half first downs to only three for the Packers.
Green Bay never got out of its own territory in the first half after its second possession.
On their first possession of the third quarter, the Cowboys twice were called for holding penalties, but not even that appeared to slow them down. They marched 65 yards in 12 plays, with Newhouse scoring his second touchdown, this time on a three-yard run.
Dallas ran up the score to 535-7 late in the period on a 63-yard drive. Staubch hitting DuPree with an 18-yard pass for the score.