Five worst Redskins losses to the Cowboys

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To go along with today’s gloomy weather, here are a longtime Redskins watcher’s five worst losses to the hated Cowboys.

5. Dec. 10, 2000, Texas Stadium, Cowboys 32, Redskins 13. Ebenezer Ekuban sacks Jeff George and drags him across the field as the 5-9 Cowboys cruised. None of George’s teammates step in on a play that crystallized why such a talented bunch never became a team and missed the playoffs despite having three Hall of Fame corners (Darrell Green, Deion Sanders and Champ Bailey), a Hall of Fame passrusher (Bruce Smith) and such others stars as Stephen Davis, Chris Samuels and LaVar Arrington.

4. Nov. 5, 1989, RFK Stadium, Cowboys 13, Redskins 3. Dallas came in 0-8 and had been thumped 30-7 at home by Washington six weeks earlier. But the Redskins were struggling to score with the creaking Doug Williams at quarterback. Behind halfback Paul Palmer (Churchill High), the Cowboys stunned the Redskins for their only victory in a 1-15 season. Washington wound up 10-6, but the loss to Dallas cost a playoff berth.

3. Sept. 9, 1985, Texas Stadium, Cowboys 44, Redskins 14. Two years earlier Joe Theismann had been the NFL’s MVP. But on this, his 36th birthday, Joey T was definitely over the hill. The Cowboys picked off Theismann five times and their fans taunted him by singing “Happy Birthday.” Six weeks later, Theismann would truly be done as a broken leg courtesy of a sack by the Giants’ Lawrence Taylor ended his career. Washington finished 10-6 but missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker.

2. Nov. 28, 1974, Texas Stadium, Cowboys 24, Redskins 23. Washington had edged Dallas 28-21 just 11 days earlier and led the Thanksgiving Day rematch 16-3 when linebacker Dave Robinson knocked Cowboys star quarterback Roger Staubach out of the game with a concussion in the third quarter. The unknown Clint Longley replaced Stabauch and threw to touchdown passes, the second a 50-yard bomb to Drew Pearson that stunned the Redskins in the final minute, helping St. Louis win the NFC East.

1. Dec. 16, 1979, RFK Stadium, Cowboys 35, Redskins 34. Having won four of five, including a 34-20 home conquest of Dallas, to improve to 10-5 and tie the Cowboys atop the NFC East, the Redskins came to Dallas in search of their first division title in seven years. They blew a 17-0 lead but rebounded to lead 34-21 with just 6:54 left, but Staubach beat them with two touchdown passes, the second to Tony Hill in the closing seconds. Dallas won the division. Washington missed the playoffs.

 

— David Elfin

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About the Author
David Elfin

David Elfin

David Elfin has been following Washington-area sports teams since the late 1960s. David began his journalism career at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., history) and Syracuse University (M.S., telecommunications). He wrote for the Bulletin (Philadelphia), the Post-Standard (Syracuse) and The Washington Post before coming to The Washington Times in 1986. He has covered colleges, the Orioles ...

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