With Christmas day finally arrived, the Dallas Cowboys are thinking of Saint Nick but also of Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys and Eagles play on Sunday night in a showdown that promises to be of game of the week, depending on who is under center. With Tony Romo injured and questionable on his availability, it is not certain how things will pan out with Kyle Orton at the helm and Jon Kitna at that backup. A win against the Eagles is always pretty special as they along with the Washington Redskins have become the most-hated rivals of Cowboy players and fans alike. But on a faithful day in 1962, the Cowboys got their first win over Philadelphia. The Eagles had defeated the Cowboys in their first three meetings by a combined score of 105-45. So the fans of Dallas were looking for that first win, some redemption from the constant losing to the birds.
On a beautiful 77-degree day, the Eagles travelled to the Cotton Bowl to face the two-headed monster of Eddie LeBaron and Don Meredith as both teams were struggling out the gate. At the time, head coach Tom Landry decided to alternate quarterbacks every play. This was something new that he wanted to try and actually went back to several years later with Craig Morton and Roger Staubach in the 1970’s. Dallas came into the game with a 1-2-1 record while the Eagles came in with a 1-3 record.
Philadelphia got themselves on the board first leading opening quarter 6-0 with a pair of Bobby Walston field goals. In the second quarter, Sam Baker cut the lead to half as he kicked a 40-yard field goal. Amos Marsh rushed in from 20-yards out to give Dallas the lead that would not be relinquished as they led 10-6. LeBaron increased the lead going into halftime with a Frank Clarke touchdown pass from 57-yards.
Opening the 3rd quarter, Clarke once again saw pay dirt but this time from the arm of Meredith. The Eagles finally got themselves out of the scoring slump with a run from King Hill from 1-yard out in the 4th quarter. At that point, Dallas was well in control with a 27-12 lead after Walston missed the extra-point for Philly. Dallas answered back immediately as Marsh got back into the end zone one more time. This time he ran the ensuing kickoff from 101-yards out. Theron Sapp ran in from 5-yards out for the Eagles as they completed their scoring for the day. Dallas had one more in them as Mike Gaechter took an interception from King Hill for 100-yards down the field. Sam Baker added the extra point and Dallas wiped out the Eagles, 41-19.
The league leading offense of the Cowboys had 354 total yards but also contributed to over 120-yards in interception return yards and over 150-yards in special teams’ yards. Dallas didn’t need as much offense that day. The Doomsday Defense was still a dream that Landry was building as the defense gave up 328-yards to the Eagles but more importantly they kept them out of the end zone.
Winning that day was bittersweet considering the drubbing Philadelphia gave Dallas in the three prior games. Dallas leads the overall series 62-47 but that first win over a rival is always so special.
And speaking of special, enjoy your holiday today. Holiday time is always a special time with family and friends. It was quoted by Duck Dynasty’s Jase Roberts that “The holidays are all about family, fellowship, and facial hair,” I am going to paraphrase that and state, “The holidays for fans of the Cowboys, it is about family, fellowship, and Cowboys football!!”
On behalf of all of the writers for the Landry Hat, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas!!!