As was his custom today, Doug Williams ran away. See Doug run. Now, see the big bad Cowboy run after the Tampa Bay quarterback. The big bad Cowboy is bigger than a Texas lie and badder than a rattlesnake behind in its alimony payments. Big, bad Too Tall Jones chased Doug Williams all over the north Dallas forty today.
Poor Doug. The Cowboys beat Doug's team, 38-0. Poor Doug. He thought to pass 33 times. He completed 10 to his guys. The Cowboys intercepted four. Big, bad Too Tall and his carnivorous comrades sacked Williams four other times. And twice poor Doug was so discombobulated by this stampede of Cowboys that he intentionally threw the ball away, for penalties amounting to 40 yards.
Poor Doug. Send your cards of sympathy, dear readers, to The Nervous Quarterback's Home, St. Petersburg, Fla. Doug will be playing shuffleboard there tomorrow. He'll be the one twitching about the eyes. To give you an idea how bad it got for poor Doug today, one time he was running away from some Cowboy--Doug will never eat at Roy Rogers again--and just threw the ball as hard as he could, as far as he could.
And it wobbled right through the uprights!
A field goal!
"I thought they would control us better up front than they did," Too Tall said afterward. "We just kept the pressure on them."
This Dallas team is the next Super Bowl champion. These Cowboys were perfect in every way. (Nitpickers might say Danny White, 15 for 26 and nothing deep, wasn't all that good, but there you go.) Granted, only little old ladies playing shuffleboard in St. Pete think the Bucs are a juggernaut. But the Cowboys handled them so embarrassingly easy that the Bucs' master of quips, Coach John McKay, said, "I don't have much to say. We didn't play well."
They didn't play well because the Cowboys wouldn't allow it. They dominated both lines of scrimmage. They averaged almost five yards a run while giving the Bucs only 74 yards rushing. Of Tampa's 187 yards passing, 75 came on one play--and that time, after making it first and goal at the five-yard line, the Bucs quickly were third and 17. At which point, poor Doug threw his field goal threw the uprights. Kindly souls believed the Bucs should have been given one point for the feat, out of common human decency.
The Cowboys shut out a team averaging 27 points a game its last five games. And if anyone out there still believes the Cowboys are so mediocre they would lose to the Giants again, as they did two weeks ago, 13-10, today's performance should change their minds. At least one gray-haired fellow, a veteran at sizing up the Cowboys, suggested that this team is so good that Hall of Famers might not get in the lineup.
They first spoke of Doomsday here when Bob Lilly and Jethro Pugh scared the bejabbers out of NFL offensive linemen. Behind the terrorism of Lilly and Pugh, the Cowboys started winning big in the late '60s. And now comes linebacker D.D. Lewis, 36, in his 14th year, his sideburns curling gray, to say the current Doomsdayers are the best ever.
"Randy White is in a class with Bob Lilly," said Lewis, the crafty fellow who has played behind both men. "You can put John Dutton with Jethro Pugh and Larry Cole. Harvey Martin is the best right end, and Ed Jones is coming on like no left end we've ever had."
Too Tall Jones could straighten out Poland in three plays at most.
He is 6 feet 9, 272 pounds. He is strong enough that he did this to a 6-6, 265-pound offensive tackle: Charlie Hannah wanted to throw a block low at Jones' shins; so Jones, seeing Hannah in a crouch, simply swatted him upside the ear and drove poor Charlie's nose into the carpet.
From there, Too Tall, nine years ago a basketball star at Tennessee State, was quick enough to chase down poor Doug Williams wherever the quarterback tried to hide. One of Williams' interceptions came when John Dutton batted a pass straight up and Jones saw it pinwheeling in the sky, up there in the open hole over this half-dome stadium.
Why do they have that hole in the roof?
So Too Tall won't bump his noggin when he leaps to intercept a pass.
As the Dutton deflection spun tantalizingly, Jones thought he had to leap to grab it.
"I jumped as high as I could . . ." Jones said.
And: "I jumped too high. It was down at my knees."
When Too Tall jumps, a lot of things are at his knees. Such as the torch in the Statue of Liberty.
"We've had some great defenses," Lewis said. "In '68 we used to beat teams 40 points. If we do this two more games, you could put this defense up there with the best ever."
If you add up the numbers, the negative statistics against the positives, poor Tampa Bay rolled up the memorable total of seven--count 'em, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7--entire yards. The Bucs had 222 yards offense, but they lost 39 in sacks, gave up 105 in penalties and had the interceptions returned 71 yards.
Interrogators grilled Williams about the Cowboys. Jones was hurt for a minute, with a bruised knee, and his fellow Doomsdayers, White, Martin and Dutton, were the only Cowboys hovering around to see how he felt. There, too, was Williams, who said, "I was just asking if he was okay. You don't want to see anybody hurt."
One other question, poor Doug. When you had time to pass, were your receivers open?
"When was that?" Williams said. "When I had 'time to pass.' When was that?"