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Continuing my summer of fun with animated GIFs…
Here is an animation showing Randy White tackling a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Questions appear below the image.
(1) During which season did this game take place?
(2) The Cowboys and Rams had quite a history in playoff games during the 1970s and 1980s. What was significant about this game?
(3) For fans of the L.A. Rams: Who was the quarterback in this animation, and what happened to him after this season?
(4) What did Tony Dorsett accomplish in this game?
Between 1973 and 1985, the Cowboys faced the Los Angeles Rams eight times in the playoffs. The teams split the eight games, with the road teams oddly having better success than the home teams during this series.
The first time that Dallas traveled to Los Angeles to face the Rams in the playoffs was the week after the famous Hail Mary game in the 1975 playoffs. Many tend to forget this game. The Rams had equaled the Vikings’ 12-2 record, and many favored Los Angeles to send the lucky Cowboys home.
Unlike the Vikings game, however, the NFC Championship Game that season was never in doubt. Roger Staubach threw for four touchdowns, with three of them going to running back Preston Pearson, who was in his first year with the team. By the time the Rams got on the board, the Cowboys held a 34-0 lead.
Here is the lead-in from Bob St. John:
What had seemed an impossible dream not long ago became not just a reality but a stark reality on a mild Sunday afternoon, the fourth day of the new year.
No longer are the Dallas Cowboys a team of the past, of the future. They are now. There is no myth, fantasy, luck.
Dallas, a team which was very unlikely to make the playoffs, a team which was the most likely not to succeed in the playoffs, utterly demolished the Los Angeles Rams, most everybody’s favorite to bolt, and certainly not back, into Super Bowl X against the defending world champion Pittsburgh Steelers. And in doing so, Dallas became the first wild-card team to ever make it since the current NFL playoff system was set up in 1970.
The maybes, ifs and perhapses did not last very long. The Cowboys crashed into a 21-0 halftime lead and coasted in for a 37-7 victory before 84,483 live fans in the Coliseum who were as shocked as the national television audience. Oh, perhaps not so much that Dallas won but with the impressiveness with which it won.
Here is the box score from the game.
* The starter in the game for the Rams was James Harris. He was replaced by Ron Jaworski, later of Philadelphia Eagle fame.
* The Rams kicker: Tom Dempsey, who was best known for his 63-yard field goal as a member of the Saints in 1970.
* Rams running back Lawrence McCutcheon rushed for more than 200 yards against the Cardinals the week before this matchup, but he managed only 11 yards in 10 carries against the Cowboys.