DALLAS 17-ST. LOUIS 21
3RD DOWN 9 ON COWBOY 4
LANDRY TO LEBARON: So I figure they know we don't mind passing from our own end zone. They'll rush us hard. And we've just tried the line twice. Eddie, I say, they are going to be looking for a pass. Run Delayed Trap 41.
DALLAS 3-ST. LOUIS 7
1ST DOWN ON CARDINAL 33
LANDRY TO MEREDITH: So I think it is about time we send Perkins wide. We have been hitting inside with him and they have been shooting their linebackers through. Let's surprise them now with a wide play. Don, I say, try Power 28 Wing G.O.
HOW LANDRY MADE A VIRTUE OUT OF WEAKNESS
The extraordinary Dallas Cowboys, playing only their third season in the National Football League and depending largely on other teams' rejects, free agents and a few draft choices, have suddenly developed into a potent NFL power. Though they were deprived of their third straight win last week when the St. Louis Cardinals held them on the nine-yard line as time ran out with the score 28-24, the Cowboys are still within striking distance of the Redskins and Giants and have three games left against these Eastern Conference leaders. This achievement by a team that two years ago managed to win only one game points up two amazing accomplishments by the Cowboy management: first, a radical departure from football custom discovered quite accidentally by young Coach Tom Landry, a super organization man who normally doesn't believe in accidents; and, second, a scouting system that finds and utilizes talents in players others have long since given up on.
What Landry discovered was that if he alternated his quarterbacks on every play he was not only using the best offensive brain available—his—but he was also giving his quarterbacks, Eddie LeBaron and Don Meredith, some very subtle and unexpected tactical advantages. This shuttle has worked so well that the NFL's highest-scoring offense now belongs to the Cowboys.
Tom Landry's new system came about simply because the poverty-stricken Cowboys did not have enough depth at any other position to risk using a second-stringer as a messenger boy.
"We didn't have two of anything but quarterbacks," Landry says, "so we had to alternate LeBaron and Meredith. If we had had an extra guard or end, I probably would have used the same system as Paul Brown. But all we could spare was an extra quarterback."
Landry first tried rotating his quarterbacks in the Minnesota game last season, which the Cowboys won 28-0. To his own surprise, he found that what was a practical necessity had led him to a much more useful way to send information into a game.