Part of the 50 Seasons Series.
The 1983 Cowboys entered into their week 15 matchup with the Washington Redskins with a 12-2 record. One win and the Cowboys would set a club record for wins in a season. One win and the Cowboys would wrap up the NFC East. One win and perhaps Danny White would get another shot at making the Super Bowl.
Dallas trailed 14-10 in the third quarter and faced a 4th-and-1 from midfield. Dallas lined up, obviously trying to pull the Redskins offsides. At some point during the snap count, though, Danny White decided to audible into a running play. He handed the ball off to Ron Springs, who ran left. Washington defensive end Charles Mann crashed the right side of the line, and guard Herbert Scott could not block him. Springs lost two yards, and the Cowboys lost momentum they had gained since coming back from an early 14-0 deficit.
The video clearly shows an angry Tom Landry screaming, “No! No! No, Danny, No!”
Though the Redskins did not score immediately, the tide had turned. Later in the third quarter, Joe Theismann hit Art Monk on a 47-yard touchdown pass, and the game turned into a blowout. The Cowboys could not even stop the Redskins from performing the “fun bunch” celebration after the Monk score.
Dallas managed only 33 rushing yards, setting a team mark for futility on the ground. Although the Cowboys could still win the NFC East the following week by hoping for a New York win over Washington coupled with a Dallas win over San Francisco, the prospects for a Super Bowl run looked bleak.