Dallas Cowboys 101...1981

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Row 1
    • 1 Rafael Septien, K, Pro Bowl, All Pro
    • 11 Danny White, QB
    • 14 Gary Hogeboom, QB
    • 18 Glenn Carano, QB
    • 20 Ron Springs, RB
    • 23 James Jones, RB
    • 24 Everson Walls, CB, Pro Bowl
    • 26 Michael Downs, S
    • 30 Timmy Newsome, RB
    Row 2
    • 31 Benny Barnes, CB
    • 32 Dennis Thurman, S
    • 33 Tony Dorsett, RB, Pro Bowl *, All Pro
    • 41 Charlie Waters, S
    • 42 Randy Hughes, S
    • 44 Robert Newhouse, RB
    • 45 Steve Wilson, CB
    • 47 Dextor Clinkscale, S
    • 50 D. D. Lewis, LB
    • 51 Anthony Dickerson, LB
    Row 3
    • 52 Robert Shaw, C
    • 53 Bob Breunig, LB
    • 54 Randy White, DT, Pro Bowl *, All Pro
    • 55 Danny Spradlin, LB
    • 56 Bill Roe, LB
    • 57 Angelo King, LB
    • 58 Mike Hegman, LB
    • 59 Guy Brown, LB
    • 60 Donald Smerek, DE
    • 61 Jim Cooper, T
    Row 4
    • 62 John Fitzgerald, C
    • 63 Glen Titensor, G
    • 64 Tom Rafferty, G
    • 65 Kurt Petersen, G
    • 67 Pat Donovan, T, Pro Bowl *
    • 68 Herbert Scott, G, Pro Bowl *, All Pro
    • 70 Howard Richards, T
    • 71 Andy Frederick, T
    • 72 Ed Jones, DE, Pro Bowl *, All Pro
    • 73 Steve Wright, T
    Row 5
    • 76 Larry Bethea, DT
    • 78 John Dutton, DT
    • 79 Harvey Martin, DE
    • 80 Tony Hill, WR
    • 83 Doug Donley, WR
    • 84 Doug Cosbie, TE
    • 86 Butch Johnson, WR
    • 87 Jay Saldi, TE
    • 88 Drew Pearson, WR
    • 89 Billy Joe DuPree, TE
    Row 6
    • Tom Landry, Head Coach, NFL Man of the Year
    • Jim Myers, Coach
    • Ermal Allen, Coach
    • Mike Ditka, Coach
    • Al Lavan, Coach
    • John Mackovic, Coach
    • Gene Stallings, Coach
    • Ernie Stautner, Coach
    • Jerry Tubbs, Coach
    • Bob Ward, Coach
    • Don Cochren, Trainer
    • Ken Locker, Assistant Trainer
    • Buck Buchanan, Equipment Manager
    * = Starter

    Everson Walls
    4 time Pro Bowl...1981-83, 85
    3 time All Pro...1982-83, 85

    Michael Downs
    1 time All Pro...1984

    :star: 1981 Cowboys Draft :star:
    1…Howard Richards, T, Missouri
    2…Doug Donley, WR, Ohio State
    3…Glen Titensor, DE, Brigham Young
    4…Scott Pelluer, LB, Washington State
    4…Derrie Nelson, LB, Nebraska
    5…Danny Spradlin, LB, Tennessee
    6…Vince Skillings, DB, Ohio State
    7…Ron Fellows, DB, Missouri
    7…Ken Miller, DB, Eastern Michigan
    8…Paul Piurowski, LB, Florida State
    9…Mike Wilson, WR, Washington State
    10…Pat Graham, DT, California
    11…Tim Morrison, G, Georgia
    12…Nate Lundy, WR, Indiana

    :star: 1981 Cowboys Schedule :star:
    Year 16 of 20 year winning streak

    NFC East Division Champs (8th)

    9/6/81…Won @ Washington Redskins, 26-10
    9/13/81…Won vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 30-17
    9/21/81…Won @ New England Patriots, 35-21
    9/27/81…Won vs. New York Giants, 18-10
    10/4/81…Lost @ St. Louis Cardinals, 17-20
    10/11/81…Lost @ San Francisco 49ers, 14-45
    10/18/81…Won vs. Los Angeles Rams, 29-17
    10/25/81…Won vs. Miami Dolphins, 28-27
    11/1/81…Won @ Philadelphia Eagles, 17-14
    11/9/81…Won vs. Buffalo Bills, 27-14
    11/15/81…Lost @ Detroit Lions, 24-27
    11/22/81…Won vs. Washington Redskins, 24-10
    11/26/81…Won vs. Chicago Bears, 10-9
    12/6/81…Won @ Baltimore Colts, 37-13
    12/13/81…Won vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 21-10
    12/19/81…Lost @ New York Giants, 10-13

    8-0 @ Dallas
    4-4 on the road

    Points scored...367, 22.9 ppg
    Points allowed...277, 17.3 ppg

    1/2/82...Won vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-0

    1/10/82...Lost @ San Francisco 49ers, 27-28 "The Catch"

    All time franchise record...196-112-6
    All time Post Season Record...18-13

    THUMPER Papa

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    We lost 3 very close games and one blowout in 1981 to go 12-4 and win another NFC East title. Our offense was clicking as we ran a very balanced attack.

    Danny White was playing very well, Dorsett was in his prime, our trio of WRs: Tony Hill, Drew Pearson, and Butch Johnson were as good as any in the league. We had solid TEs in DuPree, Doug Cosbie, and Jay Saldi, a reliable kicker in Raphael Septien (before he became a scumbag), and a couple of good FBs in Ron Springs, Robert Newhouse, and Timmy Newsome, and a pretty decent O-Line to run behind.

    On defense we had a lot of talent with Too Tall, Harvey Martin, Randy White, Bob Breunig, and an interesting group of young DBs to play alongside veteran Charlie Waters. Dennis Thurman was joined by Michael Downs and Everson Walls, two rookie FAs who somehow made the team and turned out to be excellent players for us. Another rookie DB, Ron Fellows (7th round) would also play well for us but he didn't see much playing time this year.

    The starting 4 DBs (Waters, Thurman, Downs, & Walls) would account for 30 INTs between them as we picked off 37 passes that season plus another 7 in 2 playoff games! We also forced 43 fumbles, recovering 16 of them (although we coughed up 45 fumbles and lost 20 of them. DOH!). Undrafted rookie FA Everson Walls led the league with 11 INTs (one of his 3 times he would lead the league in INTs), while Thurman snagged 9 and Downs got 7.

    We played well against the pass but had a tough time stopping the run consistently.

    The only game we really lost all season was to the 49ERs who blew us out (pun intended) at Candlestick 45-14. It wa the only time anyone scored more than 27 on us and only the 5th time all year that anyone scored more than 17.

    In the playoffs we completely demolished the Bucs 38-0 and it could have been even worse but we spent the 4th quarter running out the clock (still scored a TD though). The defense picked off Doug Williams 4 times while our runners ate up the clock and ground out 212 yards rushing. 4 different RBs scored TDs for us that day (Spings, Dorsett, James Jones, and Newsome).

    It looked like we would cruise to the SB and face the Chargers who I had picked again to meet us. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be for either team.

    In the AFC the Chargers would play the Dolphins in Miami in 90+ degree heat with the humidity pushing the heat index well over 100 degrees. It would be one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) games ever played as both teams went on scoring streaks in a back and forth battle that saw Kellen Winslow make his mark with an incredible performance that nearly killed him from heat exhaustion. Winslow gained 168 yards on 13 receptions and scored a TD but he also blocked a couple of key FGs.

    The Chargers would pull out the OT victory 41-38 and move on the face the Bengals in Cincinnati in a -59 degree wind chill. They were spent after the Dolphins game and had nothing left to face both the Bengals and the weather and fell 27-7.

    We, on the other hand, would go to San Francisco to face the 13-3 49ERs who had beaten the Giants in the first round 38-24.

    It would be the first time since 1972 that the 49ERs and Cowboys would face off in the playoffs and the Niners were looking to get a little revenge for us knocking them out of the playoffs 3 straight times from 1970-72. They had crushed us in the regular season and had a lot of confidence facing us again at home but this was the Dallas Cowboys we are talking about and they had been there every year but one since 1966 so confidence wasn't a problem for them either.

    The game went back and forth but we had a 27-21 lead with just under 5 minutes to play and the Niners on their own 10 yard line. Montana brought them down the field with short passes and some unexpected runs mixed in. At the Dallas 6 yard line with a 3rd down facing them... well, we all know what happened next :bang2:

    After that play, we were down by one point and just needed to get into FG range to win the game. Danny White hit a streaking Drew Pearson on a slant pass that looked like he would take to the house but one of the Niners' DBs (Hicks or Williamson?) snagged the collar of Pearson's jersey with a couple of fingers and dragged him down from behind. Needing only about 15 more yards to get into FG range, Danny White was hit and fumbled, the Niners recovered and our season ended.

    I had been so elated when Pearson caught that pass and looked like he could... go... all... the... way, only to be snagged by a couple of fingers and pulled down. Like the Ice Bowl where I always see Bart Starr slip on the ice and fall down short of the goalline, I have replayed that a million times in my head and see him breaking free and running for a TD to win the game. Such a let down after a great season.

    I tell you folks, sometimes it is painful to be a Cowboys fan. But then again, we have had the most success of any team in NFL history so it evens out and makes it that much sweeter when we win it all again, as we know we will. :D
  3. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Here are some little known facts about the Cowboys. When it comes to winning at home we've had some amazing seasons.

    In 1966, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976 and 1977 the Cowboys were 6-1 at home.

    In 1978, 1985, 1993, and 1999 the Cowboys were 7-1 at home. An amazing thing about 1999 was that we were 8-8 that year. So we were great at home and sucked on the road. Really that's the story of Chan Gailey. He was 13-3 at home his 2 years here, but only 5-11 on the road.

    In 1969 we didn't lose at home, but we also didn't win them all. We went 6-0-1 because of a 24 - 24 tie with the 49ers, the last tie in our History.

    The Cowboys have had two undefeated seasons at home. The first was 1980 (yesterday's thread) and 1981 (this year's thread). Undefeated at home in back to back seasons. In both of these seasons our playoff losses happened on the road. We also won the last 2 home games of 1979, but lost the first home game of 1982, meaning we won 18 home games in a row, and Danny White won his first 16 straight games at home. Truly an amazing feat.

    Oh yeah, one last interesting tidbit. In 1968, we were undefeated on the road, and our playoff loss that year...was at home.
  4. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    I loved the 1981 team. It was exciting to watch. Lots of turnovers generated by the defense. Lots of scoring. Only one bad game all season. One of my favorite all time Dallas teams.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    This was a bitter season for me, for a lot of reasons. The NFC Championship game was just the final straw. I believe that this was the last great team Landry every had. After this, it was a painful thing to watch Coach Landry struggle to get the kinds of performances out of the team he expected. Heck, we all expected. I know that if we could have just beaten San Fran, we could have won another championship. I know we could have beaten Cincy but it was not to be. 82 was a strike shortened season. We were only 6-3, which was not great. The Skins were the better team, at that point and really, Philly probably was too. In 83, the "No Danny No!" play, the fun bunch in our own stadium, Danny's wrist injuries and jsut a downward spiral from there. 83, 84 and 85 we were just playing the part. We had winning seasons and went to the playoffs 2 of the 3 years but we were never really contenders. 86, 87 and 88 were maddening to watch. We had not been that inept, perhaps ever. Young players making stupid mistakes, all the while, watching coach Landry struggle to fix what was wrong but it just seemed as if the players were not listening. For me, somebody who truelly admired Coach Landry for the person he was, it was very difficult to watch.

    81 was the last real season in which I honestly felt as if we were a good team in the Landry era. So close but no joy.
  6. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    I had this picture as a beleive a McDonalds Dallas Cowboys Team Poster. It was on my wall till around 1984 when I started to replace it with (blushing) heavy metal music posters starting with AC/DC and Ozzy. In 1985 saw the first Metallica poster and by 1986 that is all that existed. :D By 1989 I had stripped my walls of posters. Of course around 1982-1983, (I believe) I also had the Dallas Mavericks Mark Agguire door sized poster. :eek::
  7. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    There were a lot of great games and memories from 1981. For example, the Miami game when White led a comeback after being down 13 points in the fourth quarter. Remember Walls interception to seal the win? Duriel Harris had been coming up big all game and Walls picked off a pass intended for Harris to kill the Dolphins final drive.

    How about the Detroit loss when Eddie Murray kicked the game winner as time ran out, when Detroit had 12 men on the field. What an outrage! I had nightmares about that one the night that it happened.

    How about that Thanksgiving game with Glenn Carano subbing for an injured White? What a tight game! A blocked PAT was the difference. How often do we see that?

    That big division showdown with the Eagles in December was a hard fought win, despite the 21-10 final score. That was a big game considering the previous years playoff loss to the Eagles. Sweeping the Eagles in 81 was huge.

    On the blowout loss to the Niners, the only Dallas TDs came on a fumble recovery and a pass from Drew Pearson to Tony Hill. How odd was that? Fred Dean dominated that day for SF.

    The final game of the regular season didn't feel right from the start. That was a strange game. Landry decided to kick at the start of the OT period, which was very unusual. Both teams squandered chances in the extra period, but the Giants pulled it out. I had the feeling the entire game that the Giants would win.

    I also felt nervous when the Niners got the ball back late in the fourth quarter in the playoff game. There were nearly five minutes remaining and time was not a major factor on that drive. They started moving down the field. I kept hoping for a turnover. Turnovers had been Dallas' stock in trade all season and the Niners had already turned it over five times in the game. But Dallas could not stop them. I knew a six point lead was not enough and that Dallas was set up for a 1-point loss. That third down came and when Montana rolled out and hit Clark, I burst into tears. I was still crying when Dallas got the ball back and had a moment of hope on Pearson's catch. But then the fumble by White ended the season.

    Overall, it was a great year. I had an incredible amount of fun watching the Cowboys that season.

    THUMPER Papa

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    Great stuff LC! I wonder how many times in our history a backup QB or RB has had a big game for us on Thanksgiving Day.
  9. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Yeah, this was easily better than the '80 or '82 squads, and the 38-0 blanking of Tampa Bay gave us reasons for optimism. Given the fact that teams today can move down the field in the blink of an eye, it should not shock anyone that Frisco accomplished the same feat with five whole minutes left--an absolute eternity by today's standards. I remember them hurting us with a lot of trap running plays on that last drive. As for Michael Downs, I have no idea what he's doing in these pictures, other than willing Everson to jump hugher.




  10. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    Hail to the 1981 Cowboys! It took one of the all-time greatest plays to beat them.

    And about the 1981 49ers, although I hate them and everything about them, they were a good story that season themselves. Coming from 6-10 the season before, with a lightly regarded running game, they had a terrific season. Although I hate him too, that was a great coaching job that year by Walsh. Great performances by Montana, Ronnie Lott, et al. Grudging respect is due.

    One thing I have to mention is that 45-14 loss to the Niners was fresh in everyone's minds before the playoff game. That was a great coaching job by Landry to rebound from that. That was a big psychological hurdle and in terms of x&o's, someone schemed for Fred Dean because he had nowhere near the same impact he did in the regular season game.
  11. eduncan22

    eduncan22 Benched

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    One of the greatest Dallas teams to never win the Super Bowl.

    So close.

    I remember watching this game as a kid.

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