Cowboys Fall Flat in Loss to Washington in ’72 NFC Title Game
Washington’s Charley Taylor caught seven passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns to help Washington beat Dallas, 26-3. The biggest of those receptions was a 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. With the Redskins avoiding Mel Renfro, Washington picked on Waters, who was burned on the play that gave the Redskins a 17-3 lead. At that point, it was all over.
Tom Landry was criticized by some for starting Roger Staubach, who had barely played at all in 1972. Staubach could not move the ball at all against the Redskins, who held Dallas to 169 yards in total offense. While Staubach threw for only 98 yards, he led the team in rushing with 55 yards on the ground. Calvin Hill only managed 22.
Here’s an odd stat: Staubach threw 20 passes during the regular season in 1972. Against San Francisco in the divisional round, he threw 20 passes. And against Washington, he threw 20 passes.
Here’s a related odd stat: Staubach completed 9 of 20 passes for 98 yards in four regular season appearances. Against Washington, he completed 9 of 20 passes for 98 yards. He threw two interceptions with no touchdowns in the regular season, and he likewise threw two interceptions with no touchdowns in the title game.
With the loss, the Cowboys returned to runner-up status. Things weren’t going to get better until a few more years.