The Cowboys offense ran off 77 plays—Dorsett got to carry the ball eight times for 40 yards—to the Redskins' 59. But it was an offense without punch when it counted. The line—immobile, gigantic, occasionally competent at pass-blocking—had Daryle Smith, who came to the Cowboys as a strike replacement player, at left tackle facing the Redskins' Dexter Manley. On the other side was an oversized eighth-round draft choice, 6'7", 310-pound Kevin Gogan, trying to handle Charles Mann. As it turned out, Manley made only one tackle and got no sacks, but Mann had a pair of sacks and several hurries.
"Sometimes they try to power you, sometimes they try the old finesse techniques," Mann said afterward. "They're not good at either."
White, the flexing function of his injured right wrist severely limited, threw long once in a while to prove that he could. Most of the 359 yards he got through the air came on posts and seam patterns and crosses, things over the middle, the easier throws. When he tried to work the sidelines, he couldn't do it. But he was what the Cowboys had. Backup Steve Pelluer had a bad knee.
A physically limited quarterback, an offensive line that's not big league, a defensive line that can't pressure the passer, a receiving corps with only one proven veteran—32-year-old Mike Renfro, who's hardly a terrifying deep threat—the problem isn't heart, it's people. Dallas just doesn't have enough tools.
Still, the Cowboys are among the league leaders in a couple of categories: innuendo and unease. "The higher you get, the farther you fall," Schramm says. "The media around the country are just as anxious to see us come down as to do well. But there's one thing the media don't want of the Dallas Cowboys, and that's to see us go away."