Quarterback Danny White, forced from the NFL game last week with an injured thumb, threw one touchdown pass and caught another on a flea-flicker play today to help the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Cleveland Browns, 20-7.
White's availability was listed as questionable most of the week because of a sprain in his (right) throwing hand. But he started and drove the Cowboys to scores on their first two possessions, Rafael Septien's 39-yard field goal and White's 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Doug Cosbie.
Dallas (2-1) had a 10-0 lead midway through the third period when the Cowboys' Dennis Thurman intercepted a Gary Danielson pass in the end zone.
From their own 20-yard line, the Cowboys used 11 plays to get to the Cleveland 12. On third and eight, White took the snap out of the shotgun and shoveled the ball to running back James Jones, moving right. White then ran to the left side of the end zone, and Jones lofted a pass to him for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
"It's just a play we have in our playbook," Dallas Coach Tom Landry said. "We resurrected it this week, and it came through. About once a year is about all you can get away with it."
The Cowboys added a 33-yard Septien field goal to increase the edge to 20-0 before Earnest Byner scored from one yard out for the Browns' lone score. The touchdown was set up by a 56-yard pass from Danielson to Kevin Mack.
The Browns (1-2) had one scoring threat in the first half. They drove to the Dallas three late in the second quarter before Danielson threw hurriedly trying to avoid Dallas tackle Randy White. Everson Walls stepped in front of Byner at the goal line for the interception.
Walls' interception ended a string of 27 times in which the Browns scored after penetrating their opponents' 20-yard line.
The Cowboys' Gary Hogeboom, who last week came in to engineer three late touchdowns in a loss at Detroit, played only one play at quarterback today. He came on after White had the wind knocked out of him in the first quarter.