Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thinking back to facing the Redskins at RFK

It's now been twelve years since the Redskins played at RFK, which is amazing when you consider that it's still standing. When the Redskins played there, particularly against the Cowboys, it was deafening. "The fans would stomp or bounce and ENTIRE rows would move up and down in rhythmic waves like an earthquake " to quote Skip Bayless, the respected Sports Journalist who used to cover the Cowboys. He also quoted in a book called THE BOYS written back in the Jimmy Johnson Super Bowl era, "watch too long from the opposite side of the stadium and you could get dizzy". He also went on to say how " sometimes the noise itself seemed to be rocking RFK on it's rickety foundation". Pretty good idea coming from someone who had been to an actual game inside there. With only 55,045 capacity, the stadium was described by Bayless and others as having the feel of an oversized minor league ballpark. It was a pretty intimidating place for the most part for the opposition. But I could have the best "DID YOU KNOW?" of all time when it comes to the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry. And it puts in proper perspective what this rivalry has been all about in terms of forgetting the records. Now this year, at least on paper, these are two evenly matched teams. But who can forget 1995 when Dallas lost both games to a Redskin team that went 6-10 on the year yet the Cowboys went on to win the Super Bowl still? Or 1991 when the Redskins were a dominant team for the last time in the Gibbs first era and really to date for that matter? The Redskins would win the Super Bowl that year and were 11-0 when the Cowboys, who were a year away from their dominant run, came in at 6-5, lost Troy Aikman to injury in the third quarter, and Steve Beurlein came on in relief to help preserve the 24-21 Cowboys win and lead them to the playoffs. But the did you know is an amazing overlooked stat. Going back to the abysmal days of Tom Landry's final year of 1988 and Jimmy Johnson's first year of 1989. The Cowboys would lose ten straight in '88 before beating the Redskins in RFK to knock them out of the playoffs. The Cowboy lost the next week to Philly in the regular season finale to finish 3-13. In 1989, the Cowboys then went 1-15 with their only win at RFK, again knocking the Redskins out of the postseason. DID ANYONE KNOW , for that matter, that were it not for those two upsets at RFK, games that that Cowboys group had no business winning, Dallas would have lost 28 straight games?! The all time NFL losing streak record would belong to the Dallas Cowboys without those two upsets. Think about that. And ofcourse, the dubious honor of going 0-16 in 1989. And somehow, the Cowboys avoided all of that by winning back to back games at RFK against what was then one of the better teams in the NFL. The losing streak would have gone, without those two wins, from October 1988 until the opener of 1990, when Dallas beat San Diego

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Hey, Denny nice piece of writing on the "did you know" about the Cowboys avoiding the longest losing streak ever by rising to the occasion to beat the Deadskins! Keep up the good work. You should have been a sports writer yourself.

Love -- The guy whose Mom used to take you for rides on the "steep hill"