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"It was weird, it was deathly quiet," Williams said. "I was thinking, 'C'mon, Dallas, bring it to us. What are you going to do, run a play, or take a delay penalty and punt, or call a time-out, or what?' Then I heard White call an audible, and his center yelled at him, and I realized they didn't know what they were doing."
"Tom Rafferty, their center, yelled to White, 'Don't run that play!' " Defensive Left Tackle Dave Butz said. "White told him, 'Be quiet, we'll run it anyway.' You feel pretty good when you hear that."
So Dallas ran the audible. Landry watched in horror as the ball was snapped, and on the sidelines you could see him screaming that "No! No! No!" even before Springs got the hand-off and swept left, only to be engulfed by Linebacker Neal Olkewicz and short-yardage specialists Charles Mann and Larry Rubin for a two-yard loss.
"If we had a chance to successfully quarterback-sneak it, we were going to take it," Landry said afterward. "If we didn't, we were going to let the clock run out [take the delay-of-game penalty] and punt the football. Danny called an audible on the play because he saw a gap there. We weren't ready to audible at that point...he wasn't sure of the play...the backs weren't ready, although it was one of our basic plays."
"I saw something I didn't expect to see," White said. "It looked like they were missing a man on that side."
"I figured they'd run that side, because that's where they had the lead blocker," Williams said. "All of us figured that."
"From there on we made a lot of errors," Landry said. "Dallas is human," he added. "Don't think they're not human out there."
The Skins took over, got stopped when Quarterback Joe Theismann overthrew Wide Receiver Charlie Brown on third down, and punted. Then the Cowboys were stopped and punted, and little Virgil Seay, in for the explosive Mike Nelms, who had sprained his left knee, ran it back 42 yards to the Dallas seven. Momentum had shifted and reshifted.
John Riggins was stopped after a yard run, Theismann threw behind his receiver, Art Monk, on the goal line, and on third down he tried to force a pass to Running Back Joe Washington, double-covered in the end zone. Cowboy Safety Michael Downs intercepted and ran it out to the 22. Another momentum shift. "A bad decision on my part," Theismann said. "I went to the wrong man."
"Weirdest game I ever saw," Washington General Manager Bobby Beathard said. "I never saw so many changes in momentum."