Cowboys: Fairytale Finish


Cowboys: Fairytale Finish

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Fairytale Finish 
Dallas Cowboys' Roger Staubach

It was a cold afternoon in Dallas on Dec. 16, 1979, when Roger Staubach produced the type of comeback usually reserved for children's storybooks. The game was between The Dallas Cowboys and The Washington Redskins, fierce competitors and major rivals. The prize was the NFC Eastern Division title.

With less than five minutes remaining in the first half Washington had a commanding 17-0 lead. But then Dallas put things together and by the end of the half Staubach had his Cowboys on the scoreboard. By the end of the third quarter Staubach had Dallas leading 21-17.

In a fourth quarter warpath the Redskins doubled their score. Then while driving for another score, a Redskin’s fumble was covered by Cowboy defender Randy White. With 3:49 remaining, storybook writer Roger Staubach dipped his quill anew. Three passes -- 13 yards to Johnson, 19 yards to Tony Hill, and 26 yards to Ron Springs -- redecorated the scoreboard 34-28. The clock showed 2:20. John Riggins' banner day was discounted by Larry Cole's tackle forcing a punt. Staubach found Hill for 20 yards, then Preston Pearson for 22 yards. At 1:01 Staubach to Pearson was good for another 22 yards. Then on second and goal Hill out-positioned the Redskin’s cornerback for a winning pass completion.

With 0:39 on the clock and 35-34 on the scoreboard, Roger Staubach had thrilled 62,867 home town fans to give Dallas its fourth consecutive NFC Eastern Division title. It was indeed a “ Fairytale Finish.”