In the latest chapter of their long-standing feud, the Redskins filed a formal complaint with the National Football League accusing the Dallas Cowboys of illegally working out draft-eligible athletes this spring, The Washington Post has learned.
The NFL office subsequently rejected the complaint and also dismissed an objection against the Cowboys filed by the Philiadelphia Eagles, league sources said yesterday.
Tex Schramm, Cowboy general manager, confirmed that his club had been accused by "league teams" of administering a hand-eye reaction test to draft-eligible players who were in Dallas to undergo permissable physical examinations.
"It was a very technical point," Schramm said. "Is this test allowable as part of a physical or is it not? You aren't allowed to work out players when you bring them in, just give them a physical.
"The league investigated the complaint and no action was taken. The league determined we were within the rules."
Sources also said the Cowboys were accused of working out potential draftees on a practice field with Cowboy players. Schramm said that accusation "is totally false."
Bobby Beathard, general manager of the Redskins, had no comment when asked about the charges. Philadelphia officials could not be contacted.
According to sources, Washington charged in its complaint to the league that the Cowboys' hand-eye test, involving reaction to a series of blinking lights, was administered by Dallas scouts and not members of the team's medical staff.
"No one else in the league gives this test when they have players in," one source said. "It's just like giving a guy a 40-yard-dash test. It tests a physical part of his playing ability. It's not like checking his pulse rate.
"It gives the Cowboys an advantage over everyone else."
Teams also are not allowed to put draft-eligible players through any type of workout while they are in town to undergo physical examinations. All workouts must be conducted away from the team's city and without the participation of active NFL players.
"Complaints like this happen all the time." Schramm said. "We are like everyone else.When we receive a complaint, we answer it fully. This was all a matter of opinion. What we viewed as totally legal, someone else viewed as a violation. But we satisfied the league with our explanation.
The Redskins did announce one signing yesterday. Middle linebacker Neal Olkewicz, who won a starting position last year after joining the club as a free agent, agreed to a new contract.
Olkewicz, a Maryland product, did not start until almost midseason. He finished second on the team in tackles behind safety Mark Murphy.
Washington has picked up another Maryland free agent, tight end Tom Burgess, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound native of Forestville in Prince George's County. Burgess started for the injured Erik Sievers.
This is not the first time the Redskins and Cowboys clashed over NFL rules. Perhaps the most famous incident involved the Cowboy claim that Washington's Mark Moseley was using lead in his kicking shoe. A check by the league vindicated Moseley. Previously, when George Allen coached the Redskins, the two teams traded charges ranging from spying at practice to recruiting and then interrogating players who has spent time with the rival team.
"Ever since then," Moseley said of the shoe ruckus, "everyone thinks I cheat. The Cowboys made me famous. I get checked every game by the officials and it's the same answer: nothing."
Although Schramm laughed off this latest incident, the Cowboys supposedly were livid about Washington's complaint, terming it petty.
The two teams don't have to wait long to renew their quarrel on the field. They open their 1980 Nfl season with a Monday night game in RFK Stadium Sept. 8.
Meanwhile, the Redskins are near a contract agreement with No.1 draft choice Art Monk, and he will participate in a three-day minicamp starting today at Redskin Park.
"We are close to signing a contract," Beathard said. "I hope we can finalize things Thursday. But we are making good progress and Art will take part in the drills."
Rick Bennett, Monk's attorney, had said he might not let the Syracuse receiver suit up it sufficient progress had not been made in the contract talks.