A lot of fans left at that point thinking the game was over, that they could get out of the cold and perhaps beat the traffic. Those people are idiots. That was Captain Comeback behind Center in Dallas. Dallas needed to score twice and prevent the Redskins from any more scoring drives. However, the next time Dallas got the ball, they were forced to punt. Time was running out.
Washington needed to run the clock. This meant heavy doses of Riggins, Clarence Harmon, and Ike Forte were likely. None of the three were known as fumblers, so Dallas desperately needed a three and out. Then the unthinkable happened. Riggins fumbled the ball (today it would not be considered a fumble) when he landed hard on his back. Captain Crash, Cliff Harris bent to scoop up the ball and try to run with it, didn’t get it secured and was himself stripped of the ball. A second Dallas Cowboy had it briefly in his hands, then a third, but in the scrum that ensued the Redskins got it back. A golden opportunity was gone.
On the very next play Clarence Harmon was stripped of the ball and it bounced right to Randy White. He covered the ball and Dallas took over. They were 13 points down and there was 3:49 left on the game clock. Roger was briliant. Working the middle of the field he connected three times. The third one was to Ron Springs who pushed three defenders the final two yards into the endzone for the score. Washington’s lead was now 34-28.
There was 2:28 left in the game and Dallas had all their timeouts left. They elected to eschew the onsides kick and kick it deep. A first down by Washington would pretty much cement the win. Everyone and their Uncle knew they were going to run the ball. Two straight runs left them third and not quite two yards to go for the first down. Dallas used one of their timeouts and the clock was stopped at the 2 minute warning.