Tag: Robert Newhouse

This Day in Dallas Cowboys History- Running to Win and Winning Big

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Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett rushed for a career high 1,646 yards during the 1981 regular season, and he added 86 more in Dallas’ first round playoff game 38-0 trouncing of Tampa Bay on January 2, 1982.

A staple of the Tom Landry-led Dallas Cowboys teams was a commitment to the running game.  With a history of great runners like Don Perkins, Calvin Hill, Duane Thomas, Robert Newhouse and Tony Dorsett plus deep and talented offensive line units, the Cowboys generally moved the ball effectively on the ground.

The 1981 Cowboys certainly fit that mold. Dallas rushed for 2,711 yards during the regular season, the second highest total in the NFL, with star back Tony Dorsett gaining a career high 1,646 to finish second in rushing in the league behind New Orleans’ George Rogers.

In large part due to its sterling running game, Dallas was among the NFL’s elite in 1981. The Cowboys started fast, going 4-0 to start the year. After a pair of losses, Dallas ran off another four game winning streak with three of the four wins coming against teams that would win 10 or more games on the year.  An upset loss at Detroit made Dallas 8-3 on the year, but the Cowboys ripped off another four game winning streak and clinched the NFC East title in Week 15 with a 21-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys’ opponent at Texas Stadium in the first round of the NFC playoffs was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by quarterback Doug Williams and a ball-hawking defensive backfield that finished second in the NFL with 32 interceptions.   After 60 minutes of dominant play by the Cowboys, it was clear that the Bucs were not in the same class as a Dallas team that would be heading to its 11th NFC Championship game.

Dallas ran for 212 yards in the game, the sixth highest total in Cowboys’ playoff history.  Dorsett led the way for Dallas with 86 yards, with Ron Springs (70), James Jones (32) and Newhouse (23) contributing to the impressive effort.  Dallas also became only the second team in Pro Football since 1960 to have four players score rushing touchdowns in a post-season game as Dorsett, Springs, Jones and second year man Timmy Newsome all reached the end zone on running plays (the other team was the AFL’s San Diego Chargers, who got rushing scores from Paul Lowe, Keith Lincoln, Tobin Rote and John Hadl in a 51-10 playoff victory over the Boston Patriots in the 1964 post-season).

The Cowboys’ success on the ground was due not only to its talented stable of backs, but also to a top-notch effort by its offensive line. The middle of the line, anchored by center Tom Rafferty and guards Herbert Scott and Kurt Petersen, carved out several ridiculously large holes on goal line plays that made the Cowboys’ backs’ task much easier.  Tackles Jim Cooper and Pat Donovan, along with tight ends Billy Joe DuPree and Doug Cosbie, also did their part to allow Dallas’ running game to control the contest.

The Cowboys’ defense was also outstanding on the day, featuring a relentless pass rush that led to four sacks and four interceptions.   Dallas’ dynamic duo of Harvey Martin and Randy White both had a sack on the day.  Left end Ed Jones did not pick up a sack, but he hurried Williams numerous times and had a rare interception.  Next to Charlie Waters no Dallas defensive back had more interceptions in the post-season than cagey Dennis Thurman, and the Southern Cal product had two off of Williams.  Rookie Michael Downs also got in on the fun with an interception of his own.

Dallas shutout was one of only 20 shutouts registered in post-season play since the NFL merger in 1970.  No team in the NFL has more than Dallas’ three during that period (the Cowboys also shut out Detroit in the 1970 playoffs and the Los Angeles Rams in the 1978 NFC Championship Game).

The Cowboys’ 1981 season would have a bitter ending eight days later.  At Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Joe Montana led the 49ers to a 28-27 comeback victory over Dallas to send the Niners to the Super Bowl and the Cowboys back to Dallas to wonder what might have been.

 

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This Day in Dallas Cowboys History-Picking Up Where They Left Off

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Harvey Martin recovers a first quarter Minnesota fumble in Vikings’ territory to set up Dallas’ first score in the Cowboys’ 23-6 NFC Championship Game victory on January 1, 1978.

The Dallas Cowboys were the NFL’s most dominant team during the 1977 regular season.  Dallas started out winning its first eight games, many by substantial margins.  After a two week slump in which they lost to St. Louis at home and the Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Cowboys rattled off four straight victories to end the season to finish at 12-2.  A first round playoff rout of the Chicago Bears sent Dallas into the NFC title game, where they’d face a Minnesota Vikings team Dallas had beaten 16-10 at Minnesota in the first week of the season.

The first day of 1978 was  cold one in Dallas, with wind chill readings below the freezing mark. However the cold weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd of almost 62,000 at Texas Stadium, a group that believed its team was on a direct path to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 12.  After 60 minutes of football, it was clear that they were right.

Dallas jumped on the visitors right from the start.   An early first quarter Minnesota fumble was recovered by Harvey Martin at the Vikings 39 yard line to put the Cowboys in scoring position right off the bat.  A first down run by Robert Newhouse netted seven yards, and Dallas cashed in on the next play due to a tremendous play design.  The Cowboys lined up with flanker Drew Pearson wide to the right. Before the snap, Pearson came in motion all the way across the field.  On the snap, quarterback Roger Staubach faked a hand off to rookie sensation Tony Dorsett and then gave the impression that he was throwing a wide receiver screen to Pearson. The Vikings, undoubtedly aware that Pearson was the Cowboys’ number one threat at receiver, bit on the fake and Pearson’s partner Golden Richards escaped behind the Vikings’ defense. Staubach’s pass to Richards was slightly overthrown, but the fourth year receiver cradled it as he fell into the end zone and Dallas was ahead 6-0 after usually reliable kicker Efren Herrera missed the extra point.

The Cowboys struck again in the second quarter, aided by a 14 yard run for a first down on a fake punt by Danny White.  Newhouse’s five yard touchdown run and Herrera’s extra point put Dallas up 13-0.    Minnesota got two Fred Cox field goals in the second quarter to draw within a touchdown at 13-6, but Herrera’s short field goal near the end of the quarter expanded Dallas’ lead to 10 points at the half.

Dallas’ defense, led by Ed Jones who had eight solo tackles, dominated in the second half, and some help from the special teams and the offense sealed the victory for the Cowboys.  Thomas Henderson (who had an interception in the game) was a dominant force at outside linebacker for Dallas in his third NFL season, and he also excelled on special teams. His brutal hit on Minnesota punt returner Manfred Moore in the fourth quarter caused Moore to fumble, with Dallas’ Jay Saldi recovering in Minnesota territory. Dallas then drove for the score that put the game away, with the final points coming on a beautiful Dorsett touchdown scamper around right end on which the Pitt product displayed his trademark acceleration.

On the day, Dallas caused four Minnesota turnovers, sacked Vikings’ quarterback Bob Lee twice and outgained the visitors by 114 yards.  A potent Dallas’ rushing attack  gained 170 yards on the day, with Newhouse posting a game high 81 and Dorsett chipping in with 71 more.

With team that had numerous stars on both offense and defense, a special teams group that could make big plays and a head coach whose innovation and game planning were second to none, the Cowboys made short work of the NFC in 1977.   Two weeks after their championship game win over Minnesota, the Cowboys would prove that they were the NFL’s best with a convincing victory over Denver in Super Bowl 12.

 

 

This Day in Dallas Cowboys’ History- Waters Washes Chicago Away

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On December 26, 1977, Cowboys’ safety Charlie Waters set an NFL record for most interceptions in a post-season game with three as Dallas routed Chicago 37-7 in a first round NFC playoff contest.

On a cold mid-December early evening at Texas Stadium in 1976, veteran safety Charlie Waters had done everything he could to help the Dallas Cowboys try to defeat the Los Angeles Rams in the teams’ first round NFC playoff game. Waters had blocked two punts, including one that gave Dallas a chance deep in Rams’ territory in the final minutes, and had intercepted a pass but his sterling efforts could not stop the Rams from posting a 14-12 upset win that ended the season for the reigning NFC Champion Cowboys.

53 weeks later on the day after Christmas in 1977, Waters and a fortified group of teammates looked to erase the memory of that loss when they took on the Chicago Bears in the first round of the post-season. Dallas had dominated in the regular season, going 12-2 and showing star power in all aspects of the game.  Unlike at the end of 1976, quarterback Roger Staubach was fully healthy and was passing with his usual superb ability.  Rookie Tony Dorsett had added an element that the 1976 Cowboys’ backfield lacked, breakaway speed.   And on defense, Waters and his teammates (particularly the dynamic defensive line that featured pass rushing force Harvey Martin and all-around star defensive tackle Randy White) had made Doomsday II a force to be reckoned with.  This playoff game would be vastly different than the one that saw the Rams shock the football world one year earlier.

Waters set an NFL record with three interceptions and the Cowboys’ defense forced seven turnovers as Dallas cruised pass the Bears 37-7.   The Cowboys forced seven Bears turnovers on the day, with linebacker D.D. Lewis joining Waters in the interception column  on the stat sheet.  Dallas’ pass rush contributed to Chicago quarterback Bob Avellini’s bad day, sacking the former University of Maryland signal caller three times and knocking him to the turf numerous other times.

On offense, the Cowboys’ ground attack kept the Bears defense reeling.  Dallas rushed for 233 yards, the fourth highest rushing yards total in the post-season in franchise history, with rookie Dorsett gaining 85 yards on 17 carries and scoring two touchdowns.  Dorsett’s effort included a beautiful 23 yard touchdown run in the third quarter that expanded Dallas’ lead to 24-0, and left several Bear defenders grasping for air when he cut through the hole and accelerated into the end zone.

Staubach threw for one touchdown (a 28 toss to Billy Joe DuPree) and ran for 25 yards of his own as Dallas scored the first 37 points of the game to take all of the drama out of the Bears’ first post-season game in 14 years.

Waters had nine interceptions in the post-season in his Cowboys’ career, a mark that is Dallas’ all-time high (Thurman is next with seven and Waters’ running partner in the Cowboys’ defensive backfield in the 1970s Cliff Harris is third with six).

 

 

 

This Day in Dallas Cowboys’ History- A First for the NFL’s First Franchise

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Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith became the first Dallas Cowboy to lead the NFL in rushing by gaining 160 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in the Cowboys’ week 16 31-27 victory on December 22, 1991.

Few NFL teams can match the Dallas Cowboys’ pedigree when looking at the running back position.  Don Perkins was Dallas’ main backfield man in the 1960s, and his exceptional quickness and ability to find the hole earned him a spot in the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. In back to back seasons multi-talented Calvin Hill (1969) and smooth as silk Duane Thomas (1970) were running backs picked by Dallas in the first round of the NFL Draft, and each had very productive seasons for the Cowboys.  Walt Garrison and Robert Newhouse were hard running Cowboys’ fullbacks who gained yards by dishing out as much punishment as they took.  Spectacular Tony Dorsett was the Cowboys’ first round choice in 1977, and his superb speed and vision helped lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl 12 title and send Dorsett to Canton.

On this day in 1991, Cowboy all-time great Emmitt Smith did something that none of the great backs in Cowboys’ history ahead of him had done. Smith gained 160 yards on 32 carries and scored two touchdowns in Dallas 31-27 victory over Atlanta at Texas Stadium, allowing the Florida native to beat out fellow superstar Barry Sanders of Detroit for the NFL rushing title by 15 yards (Smith had 1,563 on the year).

Smith was the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1990, and he started the 1991 season in a way that made it clear he was looking to do bigger and better things in the year to come.  The Cowboys’ back gained 112 yards in each of his first two games, and exploded for 182 against Phoenix in week four to show the NFL that he would be a force to be reckoned with.  A week six 122 yard effort at Green Bay gave him four 100 yard plus efforts in the first six weeks of the year, and he closed the season by exceeding the century mark in rushing yards in four of the last five Cowboys’ contests. For good measure Smith also gained 105 yards in Dallas’ 17-13 playoff win at Chicago, Dallas first post-season win since the 1982 playoffs.

The 1991 rushing title was the first of four for the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, as Smith was the pacesetter for yards gained on the ground in the Cowboys’ Super Bowl championship seasons of 1992, 1993 and 1995.  Smith would gain over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons from 1991 through 2001, and finished with an NFL best 164 rushing touchdowns in his magnificent career.

Perhaps Smith’s backfield mate for the glory years in Dallas put it best when describing the impact #22 had on the Cowboys and the NFL:

“I speak for all the guys who have blocked for Emmitt Smith. We did it because of what kind of person he was, not just what kind of football player he was. You talk about great players making everyone around them better. That couldn’t be more true of anybody than Emmitt Smith.” — former fullback Daryl Johnston, now a TV color analyst.

 

Cowboys-Packers: Iconic Franchises That Have Battled Fiercely

The Dallas Cowboys invade Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers tomorrow looking to keep the momentum of a 4-1 record forged in large part by the contributions of raw rookies.  Maybe those young stars are just what Dallas needs to reverse a trend that has seen it drop nine of ten games the Cowboys have played at the Packers’ storied stadium.

The Cowboys-Packers rivalry has, over the years, been largely one-sided toward the home team. While the Packers are 9-1 at Lambeau Field against their Lone Star state rivals, the Cowboys dominated the Pack at Texas Stadium by an 11-2 mark which included three playoff losses for Green Bay.  Here’s a look at some of the interesting games and accomplishments between two teams who don’t play often but almost always produce excitement when they do.

THE CHAMPION HOLDS OFF THE CHALLENGER

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In 1966, the upstart Dallas Cowboys became a force in the NFL after six years of struggles.  Dallas finished with a 10-3-1 record and earned its first NFL Divisional title.  The Cowboys’ sterling record earned them a spot in the NFL Championship Game where’d they’d be matched up against reigning NFL champion Green Bay.

In the match-up at the Cotton Bowl, the Cowboys and Packers played a game that has been forgotten over the years due to their rematch in the Ice Bowl in Green Bay one year later but was one of the more exciting playoff contests in NFL history in its own right.

The first quarter of the game provided a year’s worth of ups and downs in 1967’s first day, as Green Bay jumped out to a 14-0 lead only to see the Cowboys rally to tie the game at 14-14.  The game remained close until the fourth quarter, when two scores by the veteran Packers seemed to put the Cowboys in a hole they’d not be able to get out of as Dallas trailed 34-20.

Soon Dallas and quarterback Don Meredith proved that they were not done yet, as Dandy Don teamed up with Frank Clarke for a 68 yard touchdown pass that pulled Dallas within seven points of Green Bay, shocked the Packers’ defense and sent the partisan Cowboys’ crowd into a frenzy.  The tension only increased moments later, when Dallas got the ball back and drove deep into Green Bay territory. However a series of mishaps by the young Cowboys at the end of the game led to a Green Bay win, and it would be the Packers instead of the Cowboys who would be representing the NFL in Super Bowl I.

A TALE OF TWO HOLIDAYS

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The Cowboys and Packers have squared off twice in the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas and while both games were entertaining, they were as different as turkey and cranberry sauce.

On Thanksgiving Day 1970, the Cowboys were in the midst of a run that would take the team from a 5-4 early November record to five straight wins, a NFL East title and their first Super Bowl berth. The Packers were a shell of their championship teams from the mid-60’s, and the Doomsday Defense made sure Dallas would have its first ever victory against the Packers.  Holding the Packers to a paltry 129 yards of offense, Dallas won 16-3 behind three Mike Clark field goals and a fourth quarter 13 yard touchdown run on a reverse by speedy Cowboys’ received Bob Hayes.

24 years later the teams squared off again on Thanksgiving Day, this time at Texas Stadium, in a game that is remembered among Cowboys’ fans as the “Jason Garrett Game”.  Standing in for injured first stringer Troy Aikman and his back-up Rodney Peete, Garrett led the Cowboys to a thrilling come-behind 42-31 victory that saw the Cowboys offense dominate the contest in the second half. Garrett threw for 311 yards and touchdowns to Alvin Harper and Michael Irvin, which helped offset Sterling Sharpe’s four touchdown catches for the Packers.

A PAIR OF ACES

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The 1978 Dallas Cowboys did not win the Super Bowl title as the 1977 Dallas team did, but they came close and only ended up in the loss column in the NFL title game due to a sterling performance against them by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The lack of a Super Bowl ring was a tough pill to swallow for the Cowboys, but it did not take away the fact that the 1978 Cowboys were one of the most talented teams in league history. Their abilities were on display in a big way on November 12th of the year as Dallas rolled over the Packers 42-14 at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

The highlight of the game for the Cowboys was the fact that two of their running backs, Tony Dorsett and Robert Newhouse, ended up with over 100 yards rushing with each scoring two touchdowns.  Dorsett’s 149 yards and his partner Newhouse’s 101 marked only the second time in Cowboys’ history to that point where they’d had a pair of 100 yard rushers in a game.  There’s been only one other such game since then (the first duo with 100 yards plus rushing each was Calvin Hill and Walt Garrison against Washington in 1972, and Emmitt Smith and Chris Warren joined the exclusive group in a 1998 game..also against Washington).

AS EASY AS ONE, TWO, THREE

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Any NFL defensive back would likely consider an interception in a post-season game to be a highlight moment.  In a 1982 NFC Divisional Playoff game at Texas Stadium, Cowboys cornerback Dennis Thurman tripled his fun as his three picks off of Green Bay’s Lynn Dickey led Dallas to a 37-26 win.

Thurman’s thievery included a 39 interception return for a score that put Dallas up 20-7 going into the half.  The three interception effort is one of two such games in Cowboys’ post-season history.  In 1977 Charlie Waters had three interceptions in a playoff game, not against Green Bay but v.s. the Packs’ bitter rivals the Chicago Bears.

LUCKY SEVEN

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When an NFL team fails to score a touchdown in a game, chances are that team will be ending up in the loss column.  On November 18, 1996 at Texas Stadium the defending champion Cowboys did not reach the end zone but still beat the Green Bay Packers for the fifth straight time at home largely due to the efforts of the smallest man on the roster.

Chris Boniol set a Cowboys record and tied an NFL mark with seven field goals to lead Dallas to a 21-6 victory that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.  The accurate and reliable Boniol connected from 45, 37, 42, 45, 35, 39 and 28 yards to help offset the Cowboys’ inability to reach the end zone against a team that would go on to win its first Super Bowl crown in 29 years.  Boniol’s Cowboys’ record of seven field goals in a game would later be equaled by Billy Cundiff in a 2003 contest against the Giants.

THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

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On November 29, 2007 at Texas Stadium, a national television audience witnessed a match-up of 10-1 teams that was billed as the battle for NFC supremacy.  Both Dallas and Green Bay played well on offense but at the end of the day, the quarterback wearing the Cowboys’ star on his helmet was QB1.

Tony Romo threw for 309 yards and four scores, two to Patrick Crayton, as the Cowboys rolled to a 37-27 win.  Young Aaron Rogers replaced starter Brett Favre and was impressive with 201 yards passing and a touchdown pass in his first extended action behind center.  At the end of the year, both Dallas and Green Bay would be left on the outside looking in as each team suffered a home playoff game loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.