SI Vault
Paul Zimmerman
October 27, 1980
Veterans Stadium's other tenants ended a five-year Dallas jinx by whacking the Cowboys 17-10, and for a few hours owned the city.
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October 27, 1980

For The Eagles, A Big One-game Series

Veterans Stadium's other tenants ended a five-year Dallas jinx by whacking the Cowboys 17-10, and for a few hours owned the city.

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Jaworski, who is having his finest season as a pro, had a weird sort of day. He hit Charlie Smith for the game's final touchdown, a 15-yard pass that he smoked through a crowd in the end zone, and he passed five yards to Harold Carmichael for the Eagles' first TD. But if the Eagles had lost he could have worn a pair of goat horns, because he fumbled twice after he was sacked. The first time the ball rolled into the end zone, where Cowboy strongside Linebacker Mike Hegman fell on it for the only Dallas touchdown of the afternoon.

Jaworski was getting pressure all day, though, and he took some ferocious hits. "We hit him so much," Defensive Tackle John Dutton said, "I don't know how he could take it."

At various times, Jaworski has played with a broken thumb, index finger and middle finger, all on his throwing hand. He played four games last year on a sprained ankle. "I remember when I first came up with the Rams," Jaworski said, "I heard one of the assistants say, 'I don't know how long Jaworski can play in this league with that concave chest of his.' Well, maybe you don't have to be built like Terry Bradshaw to play in the NFL. This is my fourth year with the Eagles, and I've started every game."

On Sunday he went through some nightmarish moments. In the fourth quarter he fumbled after Defensive Tackle Randy White and Dutton sandwiched him. The ball rolled off his fingers, and he and Dutton both crawled after it, except that Dutton was crawling free and Jaworski had White holding him back.

"It was like one of those terrible dreams," Jaworski said, "when you try to move and something won't let you."

His three biggest completions were either on checkoffs or broken patterns. A 50-yarder to reserve Fullback Billy Campfield burned Hegman, who got pulled in by a play-action fake. But afterward Jaworski explained that the play should have gone the other way, over a blitzing D.D. Lewis, and that the touchdown to Carmichael was originally intended for the second tight end, John Spagnola, except that "everything sort of got fouled up and I wound up scrambling and just looking for the big guy, Carmichael." And the final TD, to Smith, was originally intended for Carmichael, except that he was double-covered. "We've run that play in practice," Smith said, "and I never caught one ball off it."

Operating without the luxury of a running game—the Cowboys gained a total of 46 yards on the ground—and still trying to prove himself to Dallas fans used to miracles, White looked very smooth when he had time to pass, which he did for much of the game. When the Eagles tried to firm up their rush with blitzes, he got them out of it with dump-off passes. When the rush finally got to him at the end, he was pressured into some misfires, but most of the time he stayed in and took his shots and got his completions. And had the game been in Dallas, he probably would've got his club into the end zone at the end.

"No, that call in the last seconds didn't bother me as much as other things did," Dallas Coach Tom Landry said, "even though I'd still like to know how Tony can catch the ball with a man hanging on him. What bothered me was that it shouldn't have come down to that. We turned the ball over enough times to get beat by twice what we did."

Before the showdown in Philly and after their 59-14 victory over the 49ers the previous week, the Cowboys had wondered where they really stood in the hierarchy of the NFL. "We haven't played a team with a winning record," White said. "And we haven't faced a really good defense. It'll be interesting to see what happens when we do."

The Eagles also had questions. They hadn't played anyone with a winning record, either. They hadn't faced the kind of pass rush Dallas would turn loose.

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