50 Seasons Series: "No! No! No, Danny, No!"

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.

Redskins Beat Up Cowboys, 31-10

Box Score

  • The ’83 Cowboys started 7-0 (in the Landry era, only the ’77 Cowboys started better at 8-0).
    I was back in Dallas after living away from home from 1973-1983. I saw only two games at Texas Stadium that year: the Raiders mid-season 40-38 win which snapped our seven game winning streak, and the WC playoff game, a 24-17 loss to the Rams (my first ever playoff game in person).
    Despite such a promising start, it all came crashing down, but I don’t want to steal Matt’s thunder . . .

  • Matt Cordon

    The negatives from the 1980s far outweigh the positives from this point onward, so that may explain why I’m spacing these posts out. The ’85 season was not bad, but that season also featured the collapses against the Bears and Bengals.
    As for ’83, I’ve always thought the Cowboys were milking their last gallon of gas. Once they lost to the Redskins, the tank was all but empty.

  • Mike Little

    I saw the Bears crush what was left of the Landry 20 year winning season run in’85.The teacher taught the student so well to the tune of 44-0.Texas Stadium never sounded so quiet.

  • Tim Truemper

    Dallas was still solid, but not a SB contender. Deep in my heart I was wishing this was not the end, but after that playoff loss to LA, and the following season in which the Cowboys were so erratic, I knew, I knew.