Randy White, the Dallas Cowboys' star defensive tackle, said the melee on the field in the final minute of Sunday's game against the Redskins was not the fault of the Cowboys, but of Washington quarterback Joe Theismann's jitterbugging in the backfield.
"Theismann is a good quarterback, but he's nothing but a damn hot-dog," White told Jim Dent of the Dallas Times Herald. "He's a hot-dog and a showboat, and I hate him. Instead of ending the game the way he was supposed to end the game, he ran around like the little ---- that he is."
According to White, Theismann's moving around on the final play of Washington's 30-28 Washington victory prompted cornerback Ron Fellows to hit Theismann and draw the wrath of tackle Mark May. A brawl ensued.
"You can bet that I was in there getting my licks," White said. "But that referee had no right throwing a flag on Ron. If Theismann's gonna hot-dog it and act like a showboat, he deserves to get the ---- knocked out of him."
Theismann defended his play in the final moments of the game. "When we took the ball over, there was more than enough time for them to get the ball back before the game would have ended," he told The Washington Post last night. "The way I had it figured, had I fallen on the ball immediately after each snap, instead of backing away from the center the way I did, there would have been 12 seconds remaining after the third and we may have had to punt. The clock stops on change of possession and I did not want the Cowboys to get the ball back."
According to the Times Herald, White was not the only Cowboy who was infuriated with Theismann. Defensive tackle John Dutton and safety Bill Bates both had harsh things to say about Theismann. According to one of the Cowboys, as the teams walked off the field, Theismann had some parting shots for the Cowboys.
"Joe Theismann is a garbage mouth," Dutton said. "He's such a hot-dog that all he needs is the bun. He's got absolutely no class. It's no wonder that nobody on his own team likes him."
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Bates had tried to crack Theismann's nose by punching him with both fists. Theismann wears only a single bar on the front of his helmet, and Bates said he thought he could land a direct blow to Theismann's nose.
"But it's hard to get your hand in there because you've got to come in over the top of that bar," Bates said. "He's a hot-dog, no doubt about it. He does things that a championship-caliber guy is not supposed to do. It's way too hot-doggish for me."
In the third-quarter, Ed (Too Tall) Jones sacked Theismann with a hard hit from the blind side, causing the quarterback to fumble. The Redskins recovered the ball, however.
"I was hoping that Ed had killed him," White told the Times Herald. "That was one of the hardest hits I've ever seen. But Theismann has this little habit of ducking before he gets hit. That way he's hard to knock out of the game."
"I'm not apologizing for winning the game," Theismann said. "I would not hot-dog. I have the utmost respect for the Dallas Cowboys. They have always been an example of a class organization."
The Redskins expect all 45 players on their roster to be able to play in Sunday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals for the NFC East championship.
Team spokesman Charlie Taylor said he expected running back John Riggins (sore back and bruised knee), guard Russ Grimm (lacerated eye), defensive tackle Darryl Grant (sprained knee) and tackle Joe Jacoby (bruised shoulder) to be listed as probable in the team's injury report to the league today.