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From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, January 9, 1967
HAVING DOMINATED WITH POISE AND control all season, the Green Bay Packers won their second straight National Football League championship in Dallas by defeating the Cowboys 34--27 in a flamboyant display of football histrionics that no title game has approached for at least eight years.
After all the fireworks and the fumbles, the long passes and the short punts that kept 72,000 Texans and 3,500 Green Bay supporters howling steadily, the whole thing boiled down to four Dallas plays from the Packers' two-yard line in the last two minutes of the game.
With the Cowboys within seven points of a tie late in the fourth, the home crowd had begun to howl in anticipation of overtime. Quarterback Don Meredith hit tight end Frank Clarke on a 21-yard pass to the Green Bay 26, using Bob Hayes to decoy two Packers defenders out of the pattern. Then Meredith tried Clarke deep in the end zone, and the pass fell incomplete. But Green Bay's Dave Robinson was called for interference, and Dallas had the ball on the Packers' two with a minute and 52 seconds to play.
Meredith tried to test the Green Bay line, but Dan Reeves got only a yard before the Packers fell on him en masse. Still it was second-and-goal on the one. "We didn't have a very good game defensively," Green Bay linebacker Lee Roy Caffey said later. "But down there, man, it was pure love. We couldn't let the offensive team down. They had played such a beautiful game. Down there on the two, we knew we could stop them."
The Packers, though, got some help to do it. Jim Boeke, the Cowboys tackle who had played well all day, moved ahead of the snap, and the linesman dropped his yellow handkerchief. "I just blew it," Boeke said later, mopping himself with a towel. "It was 15 grand a man down there, and you want to do everything right, but it gets tough."
Penalized back to the Green Bay six, Meredith knew he would not be able to go through the defense on the ground. He tried a swing pass to Reeves, but the ball was wide of its target. The clock stopped with 1:18 to play.
Meredith passed again on the next down, hitting tight end Pettis Norman for four yards. With fourth-down-and-two to go for sudden death, Meredith made a daring choice—a play called Fire 90 Quarterback Roll Right. It is an option for Meredith swinging wide. If the defense comes up, he throws; if it drops back, he runs.
This time he hoped to fool the Packers by running to the nearer sideline, where he had less room but more blockers. Robinson, Green Bay's massive left linebacker, had made up his mind that the play would be either an off-tackle drive by Reeves or fullback Don Perkins, or a quarterback bootleg. "I was aware of the bootleg, but I figured he wouldn't use that to the short side," Robinson said later. "It turned out he did."
Robinson's initial charge was into the tackle hole, but he realized he was wrong and fought to the outside, fending off a blocker as he closed in on Meredith. "He played it perfectly," the quarterback said ruefully. "He came in with his hands up high, screening off my receivers until he got close enough, and then he dropped his arms around me. I couldn't do anything but flip the ball into the end zone and hope someone in a white jersey would catch it."