In the matchup in Texas Stadium however, it was a battle for the NFC East crown. The winner won the East,and the first round bye in the playoffs. The loser was eliminated, and went home. Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier were in the booth for CBS. They unfolded for America one of the greatest games ever played.
Some interesting things you should know about the game. Tony Dorsett, Dallas’ best weapon, did not play. The week before in the victory over the Eagles he had suffered a shoulder injury. Featured RB for the Cowboys on this day was rookie RB Ron Springs, a 5th round pick from Ohio State. What is it about shoulder injuries to our RBs in clinching games? Ed “Too Tall” Jones was not playing. Not because of injury. 1979 was the year he decided to give professional boxing a try. He was at the game though and even met with Summerall and Brookshier at halftime. He would return to the team in 1980. Strong Safety Charlie Waters also was not playing. An injury stopped his run of three straight Pro Bowls.
Drew Pearson was not 100%. Two weeks prior to this game he had a freak injury against the Giants. On his 3rd touchdown catch of the day he actually hurt himself spiking the ball. He landed awkwardly on his right foot and his knee buckled. Several times in the game he limped to the sidelines to walk it off and either Butch Johnson of Jay Saldi would replace him.
The Cowboys had been swept by a division foe in 1970. That foe being the St. Louis Cardinals. Throughout the rest of the 1970’s none of the four division rivals had repeated that feat. Dallas had swept the Redskins in 1970 and 1977. They swept the Giants in 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979. They swept the Eagles in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978. They swept the Cardinals in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1978, and 1979. The Redskins had won earlier in the year, so a win would give them the sweep to end the decade of the 70’s. Let that sink in for a moment folks. Ten years and four teams. The NFC East had forty chances to sweep the Cowboys and manged to do it one time in the decade of the 70’s. That has never been accomplished by any other team in NFL History.