Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Staubach's 'Hail Mary' Led to Bigger Things

Sam Farmer's timely look back at the history of the "Hail Mary" pass in the L.A. Times this week, which was born when Roger Staubach  connected on a desperation throw to Drew Pearson to give the Dallas Cowboys a 17-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in a divisional playoff game in 1975, brought back memories of Dallas'  game that followed a week later in Los Angeles.
The Cowboys' win over the Vikings qualified them to play the Rams for the NFC championship at the L.A. Coliseum, and the Rams, who had defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in their divisional game, were heavy favorites. In fact, several of the Cowboys players, including All-Pro linebacker D.D. Lewis, expressed their fear of the Rams, who were coached by Chuck Knox.


add Cowboys: Played before a sellout crowd at the Coliseum, it was the Rams who looked like the scared team. Staubach was unstoppable in the first half, leading the Cowboys by throwing four touchdown passes, three to Pearson and one to the Cowboys other receiver, Golden Richards. Dallas outscored Los Angeles, 30-0, in the first half, forcing Knox to make a decision that would lead to a  controversy in the NFL.


last add Cowboys: The Rams' coach lifted starting quarterback James Harris and replaced him with backup Ron Jaworski, who managed to lead the offense to one  meager touchdown, which was scored by running back John Cappelletti, but the game was already long over. Dallas went on to win, 37-7, which entitled them to a berth in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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