Ron Springs ran for two touchdowns, Danny White's passing woke up a sluggish Dallas offense and the defense intercepted Jim Hart four times today as the Cowboys beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 34-17.
White, whose three scoring passes and touchdown run last Monday night rescued the Cowboys from defeat in Washington--Coach Tom Landry said they "were dead tired all week"--rallied them from a 10-0 first-period deficit to a 17-10 halftime lead with passing that set up Springs' one-yard touchdown plunge and a 10-yard scoring pass to Drew Pearson.
Coach Jim Hanifan was succinct in describing the Cardinals' problem: "Too many cotton-pickin' mistakes."
Springs ran 19 yards for a third-period touchdown and cornerback Dennis Thurman, who ended one St. Louis threat with an end-zone interception, fell on a fumble following safety Bill Bates' interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Hart was sacked five times.
Pearson's touchdown came 27 seconds before halftime. Hart, who had passed to Roy Green for a 39-yard touchdown in the first period, tried to rally his team in the seconds left.
But his long throw to Pat Tilley was intercepted by cornerback Everson Walls and returned 21 yards to St. Louis' 28. The next play, Rafael Septien kicked a 45-yard field goal for the seven-point halftime spread.
On the second play of the third quarter, defensive end Bubba Baker recovered Tony Dorsett's fumble at the Dallas 14. But Thurman intercepted Hart in the end zone.
The Cardinals held Dallas to minus-3 yards in the first quarter, sacking White twice.
Hart's touchdown pass to Green was his 207th in the NFL and came on his 5,000th pass, making him only the third quarterback in league history, behind Fran Tarkenton and John Unitas, to throw 5,000 passes.