Former President Richard Nixon predicted yesterday that Mark Moseley would kick a field goal in the final two minutes Saturday to give the Redskins a high-scoring victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC title game.
Nixon, who adopted the Redskins and then-coach George Allen as his favorite team during the early 1970s, spoke to Washington Coach Joe Gibbs during a phone interview yesterday on WRC radio.
Nixon told Gibbs that if the Redskins play as they did last week against Minnesota, and don't commit turnovers, "it's going to be a great day." He congratulated Gibbs on being coach of the year in the NFL and called him "an offensive genius" after referring to Allen as a "defensive genius."
Gibbs told Nixon that he had lived in Whittier, where Nixon attended Whittier College. Nixon immediately reminded Gibbs that Allen coached at Whittier College, as did Gibbs' former head coach, Don Coryell.
Earlier, Nixon said that he thought the Redskins would have won Super Bowl VII if Larry Brown hadn't been hurt. But he said this "was the most exciting Redskin team I've seen in years," and praised the offensive line, calling that unit by its nickname, the Hogs.
Nixon said he thought the Redskins were vulnerable on defense in one area, the secondary. And he said "Dallas can commit turnovers and get behind and still come back." It will be a close game, he said, "and no one is going to run away with it."
He did not offer Gibbs any special plays, as he once did with Allen.
Tight end Don Warren, who has a bruised left ankle, did not practice yesterday. "I couldn't move on it so they told me to rest it," Warren said. "But I'll be okay for Saturday. I'll play"... The Redskins likely will activate defensive tackle Perry Brooks for the game. Brooks has been out since hurting his leg against Dallas Dec. 5. Gibbs has to make a formal decision by this afternoon regarding Brooks' status... Owner Jack Kent Cooke made a brief practice visit and talked with fullback John Riggins about the player's success this season. It was their first lengthy conversation since Riggins walked out of training camp in 1980... Gibbs said he was pleased with the Redskins' preparations this week. Washington had its final long practice yesterday and will just work out lightly today following morning meetings.
Washington players feel Dallas will have some trouble adapting to the slow grass field at RFK Stadium after being used to artificial turf. "It's going to bother them, no doubt about it," halfback Joe Washington said. "It slows you up and it feels different. Sometimes you step and it seems like you are going to slip but you really aren't. After being on artifical turf for so long, this is going to feel strange."
Halfback Clarence Harmon: "A lot of it is painted dirt now. It's soft but it doesn't seem to give away as much as it had. There is a big difference between this field and artificial fields. We're saying that if it doesn't rain or snow on Saturday, we're going to water down the field, anyway."