Coach Jack Pardee said yesterday he had "no real gripe" about the Redskins' 1980 National Football League schedule. In fact, he said, he appreciated how far apart the games with Eastern Division rivals in the National Conference are.
He did acknowledge that, "If I had made up the schedule I would rather have played an American Conference team in the opener, rather than Dallas." That game is Monday night, Sept. 8, at RFK Stadium.
As to playing the Cowboys with Roger Staubach retired, Pardee said, "I hope we can handle Danny White okay. Who knows? Staubach may be back. I wouldn't be surprised.
"That is the tough one right off the bat -- against the defending division champions. We'll get checked out in the first six weeks.
"Four of those games will be on the road. Two will be on Monday nights, three against NFC East teams, and three against AFC teams. We do have more home games in the last half (six of 10 at RFK)."
According to a "schedule difficulty" chart based on 1979 performances, the Redskins have the seventh toughest challenge. Their 1980 opponents won 137 and lost 119 for a .535 percentage in 1979.
There are four losing teams on the schedule, the New York Giants (6-10), St. Louis (5-11), Minnesota (7-9) and Atlanta (6-10). And, of course, the Redskins will play division rivals New York and St. Louis twice each.
Pardee, whose Redskins had a 10-6 record in 1979 for a third place finish behind Dallas and Philadelphia, said, "At least we don't have to play on a Thursday night. In the first six weeks, all our opponents except the Giants had good records, and they're improved.
"Dallas won 11 games, Oakland nine, Seattle nine, Philadelphia 11 and Denver 10. We will be playing two straight division contests at the outset, but after playing the Monday night game here against Dallas there is no long trip the next week; we go to New York.
"Denver is a pretty long trip in our sixth game, on a Monday night, but we play at home after that, against St. Louis. Monday night games are hard because the players get up for them and usually play good games.
"This year there will be 11 weeks between the two Dallas games, 13 between those with the Giants, six between the Eagles games and nine between the Cardinals games. That's far apart; I like them staggered.
"The major thing about our schedule this year is that we're playing all the AFC West teams, and they're good. San Diego won 12, Denver 10, and Oakland and Seattle nine. We haven't faced them for several years and we'll be playing three of them on the third, fourth and sixth weeks (Oakland, Seattle and Denver, respectively).
"Our goal? We need to be better."