Chapter 3, Page 96

Allen never did announce his quarterback choice, but when Jurgensen was introduced on game day, RFK shook to its foundation. It was not exactly a brilliant return — Jurgensen threw three interceptions that day — but with Allen's defense in fine form, the team won, 14-0.

By the time the Redskins went into their first game that year against the hated Cowboys, both were 4-1, and it was increasingly clear that they were the two best teams in the conference. In that first meeting of the year, the Redskins came away with a 24-20 victory, fueled by Brown's running and catching. The workhorse of the offense gained 95 yards rushing in 26 carries and added 100 more yards on seven receptions. Allen was so giddy over the victory that he awarded Jurgensen a game ball.

"In my 16 years here, I can't think of a more gratifying win than this one," Jurgensen said afterward. "We did what we started out to when we finally got around to getting it together. It's something we worked hard for."

Added Allen: "This was one of the finest games I've ever been associated with. It was a Super Bowl right there in RFK Stadium. Sticking together and playing as a team is the only way to beat the Cowboys. That's exactly what we did."

If that victory was a high point of Jurgensen's career, the following week's game against the Giants in New York clearly was the low point. Seven minutes into the first quarter, Jurgensen planted his foot to throw, as he had done for so many years, and the Achilles tendon in his left foot snapped. His season was over. A team physician told Jurgensen that it was the worst tear he had ever seen, and Jurgensen said, "My tendons looked like mashed potatoes."

Kilmer would come on in relief and help the Redskins win that game — and the next five straight. By then, they had beaten the Eagles for the ninth consecutive time, and their 11-1 mark for the season had clinched the NFC East title. That meant that they would host the Central Division champion in a home game at RFK on Christmas Eve.

First, though, would be a rematch with the Cowboys in Dallas. While the Redskins had the luxury of resting players with nagging injuries before that game, the Cowboys had to win to keep alive their wild card hopes — and they did exactly that with a 34-24 victory. The next day Allen complained bitterly that the Cowboys had used an illegal play to try to injure Jack Pardee with a "vicious and ugly" crackback block by receiver Lance (Bambi) Alworth. The Cowboys denied it, noting that Redskins receiver Charley Taylor also had cracked back and hit linebacker Chuck Howley, ending his season with a knee injury. But Dallas took the high road, saying that Taylor's block had been perfectly legal.

Page 96 | Next Page: 97

Other Pages in Chapter 3:
79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112

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Names, Numbers
Trivia Quiz

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