50 Seasons Series: 1960 Regular Season, Part 1

For
each of the 50 seasons covered over the next year, many of the posts
will focus on the individual games. For the sake of keeping the posts a
little bit shorter, these posts will divide each season into two parts.

The 1960 season for the Cowboys is a little bit easier to cover
than the others. The regular season still consisted of 12 games, and as
most people know, the Dallas team suffering from a nearly complete lack
of talent struggled to an 0-11-1 record. The 1960 season was not
without its exciting moments, though most would still probably rather
forget that this season actually occurred.

Week 1: September 24, 1960 in Dallas

Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 28

The Cowboys actually led 14-0 in their first regular season game
in history, played in the Cotton Bowl. Touchdown passes by Eddie
LeBaron to Jim Doran (75 yards) and Frank Dugan (7 yards) put Dallas in
front by two touchdowns. Dallas even led at the half, thanks to a
five-yard touchdown run by Don McIlhenny, the former star at SMU who
was picked up from Green Bay.

The Dallas defense had a difficult time stopping Pittsburgh
quarterback Bobby Layne, who threw for four touchdowns. Nevertheless,
LeBaron hit Doran on another touchdown pass covering 54 yards, and the
Cowboys held a 28-21 lead in the third quarter. After the Steelers tied
the game late in the third quarter, Dallas again drove into Pittsburgh
territory. However, LeBaron was intercepted by Bert Rechichar at the
Pittsburgh 26. Both teams had their chances down the stretch, but it
was the Steelers who pulled it out, as Layne hit running back Tom Tracy
on a deep pass pattern, and Tracy ran it in for a 65-yard touchdown.

LeBaron finished with 345 yards passing and three touchdowns, but
he was also picked off three times. Doran had 154 yards on four
receptions, which certainly helped his cause when he was voted to the
Pro Bowl that year.

Dallas Morning News: Steelers Outscore Cowboys, 35-28 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 2: September 30, 1960

Philadelphia 27, Dallas 25

The Cowboys had another tough contest in their second game of 1960
against the Eagles, who went on to win the World Championship that
season. The big difference in the game came down to extra points, as
Philadelphia defensive back Bobby Freeman blocked two extra point
attempts by Fred Cone.

Dallas trailed 13-6 at the half, but a 75-yard touchdown pass from
LeBaron to Clarke nearly even things up. But Freeman blocked the extra
point, and Dallas trailed 13-12. The Eagles took a 20-12 lead thanks to
a 10-yard run by Billy Ray Barnes early in the fourth quarter. The
Cowboys bounced back with a touchdown run by LeBaron, but Cone’s kick
was blocked again. A 23-yard touchdown run by Barnes effectively put
the game out of reach, though LeBaron’s touchdown pass to Gene Babb
kept the final score close.

Dallas Morning News: Eagles Turn Back Cowboys | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 3: October 9, 1960

Washington 26, Dallas 14

Washington kicker Bob Khayat hit four field goals, as the Redskins
beat the Cowboys in the first road game for the Dallas franchise.
LeBaron had a another big day passing, finishing with 296 yards, but he
threw three interceptions. His two touchdown passes went Clarke and
tight end **** Bielski. Bielski’s touchdown catch, which cut the
Redskin lead to 19-14 in the fourth quarter was notable for its
distance. The pass play officially gained two inches, which is still an
NFL record.

Washington put the game away thanks to a drive led by quarterback
Ralph Guglielmi. He hit Sam Horner on a long pass play, which set up a
short touchdown run by Johnny Olszewski.

Dallas Morning News: Redskins Tip Cowboys, 26-14, on 4 Field Goals | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 4: October 16, 1960

Cleveland 48, Dallas 7

Dallas suffered its first blowout loss in week four of the 1960
season, thanks to the play of Bobby Mitchell. He scored three of the
Browns’ first five touchdowns, including a 46-yard pass reception, a
30-yard run, and a 90-yard kickoff return. The Cowboys trailed 28-0 at
halftime. The game was so bad that both Don Heinrich and Don Meredith
saw playing time in the second half. Heinrich’s touchdown pass to Billy
Howton was the only score of the game for the Cowboys.

Dallas Morning News: Cleveland Rocks Cowboys, 48 to 7 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 5: October 23, 1960

St. Louis 12, Dallas 10

The Cowboys very nearly won their first NFL game against St.
Louis. A three-yard run by L.G. Dupre gave Dallas a 10-9 fourth quarter
lead. However, Dupre later fumbled the ball, and following the fumble,
St. Louis drove into field goal range. Gerry Perry, 240-pound kicker
and defensive end, kicked an 18-yard field goal to give the Cardinals a
12-10 win.

John Roach, who later played for Dallas, had to replace an injured
George Izo for St. Louis, and the Cardinals managed only four
completions during the game. However, Dallas could not stop John David
Crow and the St. Louis rushing attack, which gained 226 yards on the
ground. The Dallas running game struggled, as the Cowboys only managed
51 rushing yards.

Dallas Morning News: Late Field Goal Beats Cowboys, 12-10 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 6: October 30, 1960

Baltimore 45, Dallas 7

For the second time in three weeks, Dallas suffered a blowout
loss. Raymond Berry caught touchdown passes of 68, 52, and 70 yards
from Johnny Unitas, as the Colts took a 31-0 halftime lead. Dallas
managed only 147 yards, and the lone touchdown was a third quarter pass
from Heinrich to Howton.

Dallas Morning News: Baltimore Tramples Cowboys, 45 to 7 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Synopsis of the First Half of the 1960 Season

In their first three games of the 1960 season, Dallas averaged 355
on offense and scored an average of 22.3 points. In week four through
six, though, Dallas managed an average of only 163 yards per game, and
the Cowboys picked up a combined total of 26 first downs in three
games. The Cowboys had realistic chances to beat two of their first six
opponents (Pittsburgh and St. Louis), but the young team had trouble
putting games away.

Coming Up

The Cowboys continued to struggle during the second half of the 1960 season, but a tie gives fans something to cheer about.


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