- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"Weeb Ewbank gave me a reel of film on Gino Marchetti to show Gerry Philbin, our left defensive end. We watched Gino rush inside, outside, it didn't matter. All he knew was getting to the quarterback. I hear a lot of coaches saying now, 'You've got to rush in the lanes.' "
In the first quarter the Cowboys were moving the ball, and the Bears were doing zip offensively. Fuller, who had been traded away by the Chiefs and the Rams, is a solid enough guy, but he missed on five of his first six passes while the Bears were trying to get the Cowboys concerned with stopping people other than Payton. "I admit it, I was nervous," Fuller said.
The Bears had picked up one first down. Three series wound up three downs and punt. Then their defense got uncranked. Maury Buford punted the Cowboys into a hole on their two-yard line. White tried to pass on first down. Hampton, rushing from left end, clubbed tackle Jim Cooper to the ground and closed on White.
"I knew what he was going to call—a quick pass to the outside," Hampton said. "I knew he wasn't going to take a sack, and I knew there was no way I'd get to him in time, so I jumped as high as I could...you could probably slip a Grapevine, Texas phone book under my feet...and got my hand up and managed to deflect the pass."
The ball went straight up, Dent settled under the pop fly, caught it on the one, pivoted and went in for the score. The rout was on. The Bears sacked White twice on the next series. They drove for a field goal. They knocked White out of the game. Wilson put big heat on Hogeboom and pressured him into a throw that Richardson intercepted for a 36-yard touchdown. Frazier intercepted Hogeboom's next pass and returned it 33 yards, setting up another touchdown. The half ended 24-0, and the case was closed. Bears defense 14, Bears offense 10, Cowboys zero.
"I didn't think we were playing very well," Fuller said, "and then I looked up at the board and it said 24-0, and, jeez, it makes you rub your eyes."
"So fast, it all happened so fast," Chicago coach Mike Ditka said. "It kind of stuns you. It was like the Washington game, where we scored 31 points in the second quarter. All you can do is stand there and watch."
The Cowboys played into Chicago's hands by calling 20 straight pass plays to close out the first half. "Coach [Tom] Landry wanted to get something on the board quickly," said Dallas offensive line coach Jim Myers. "Yeah, I would have done it, too."
The Cowboys got six completions out of those 20 plays, and four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble) and three sacks and one KO'd quarterback. Tony Dorsett, who came into the game with the same number of carries this season as Payton, and only 53 fewer yards, had become a nonfactor. He gained 22 yards on his first carry, but his next five produced minus five, and he was forgotten—until the third quarter when the Cowboys tried to distract the Bears from ravaging their quarterbacks. Dorsett ended up with 44 yards on 12 carries (Payton got 132 on 22), and afterward Tony D. echoed the mood of a very somber Dallas interview session. "As long as I've been playing football," he said, "this is the worst I've ever been embarrassed. I'm ashamed of the way we played."
"We came into the game with three keys," Fencik said. "One, take Dorsett out of the offense early. We did it. Two, contain tight end Doug Cosbie [he went out of action with a twisted neck in the second quarter], and we did that. Three was White, and he got knocked out."