SI Vault
September 08, 1980
All in splendid all, Roger Staubach brought the Dallas Cowboys from behind to win 23 games in the fourth quarter, 14 of them in the last two minutes. The best comeback ever, Staubach says without hesitation, was the knockout punch in Dallas' 35-34 victory over Washington last December, the game that put the Redskins out of the playoffs.
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September 08, 1980

A Time To Remember, A Time To Forget

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"If Perry Brooks hit me low, he'd have tackled me," Staubach says. "But I guessed he'd be coming high and I ducked. Preston beat the linebacker [Monte Coleman], and I threw to a spot."

First-and-10 on the Washington 33, 1:07 to go: Staubach launched a bomb to Hill but overthrew him in the end zone, stopping the clock.

"They covered Tony well, and it was a bad throw on my part," says Roger.

Now, with 1:01 left, Staubach hit Pearson on a post right for a gain of 25. On the sidelines, Tom Landry screamed for a timeout, but 10 seconds ticked off before Dallas took its last one, at :45.

"Hill was double-covered on the left side, while Coleman was running man-to-man with Preston," Staubach says. "Ray Waddy was too deep to make a play; he had to help out on the wide receiver. That's the weakness of the defense the Redskins were in—the halfback gets only single coverage over the deep middle. But your line has to give you time to throw the pass. We'd completed that pass earlier in the game. Washington should have adjusted to it."

First-and-goal on the Washington 8 after the time-out: Staubach threw incomplete to Hill on a slant-in right, and Waddy was there to break it up.

"I had Jay Saldi and Hill crossing and could have gone either way," says Roger. "Waddy just made a good play."

Second-and-goal, :42 to play: abandoning the shotgun again, Staubach hit Hill down the right side for a touchdown, the receiver beating Lemar Parrish.

"I called two plays in the huddle; the other was to Billy Joe Dupree on a quickie over the middle," Staubach says. " Washington had done a good job against us in that situation, usually with blitzes. Just as we were breaking the huddle, I told Tony. 'Give him a quick inside move and break it outside, rock him and get him off stride.' Washington is inside-conscious when it blitzes. The touchdown play was called a Quick-9. It's not a high-percentage pass; you can run it eight times in a row and Parrish will make the play eight times. It was probably the first one I hit all year."

Hill's touchdown tied the game at 34-34, and Septien's conversion put Dallas ahead 35-34. Washington reached its own 49-yard line in the final 39 seconds before the clock ran out.

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