On December 16, 1979 Roger Staubach played in his final regular season home game as he led the Dallas Cowboys to a 35-34 victory over the Washington Redskins.
The Cowboys had a 21-17 lead going into the fourth quarter but Joe Theismann was not going to give in easily, and neither were his Redskins. Mark Moseley kicked a 24 yard field goal, putting Washington behind by one point.
The Cowboy defense was going to become the key to the game as the momentum shifted in favor of the Redskins. John Riggins took advantage of the holes in the Cowboy defense as he scored back to back touchdowns in under three minutes, putting the Cowboys up, 34-21.
Staubach was able to cut the lead to six with less than two minutes to play with a pass and six yard rush by Ron Springs. The Dallas defense stepped up to the challenge and gave their quarterback the ball with 1:46 to work with.
Preston Pearson caught back to back passes, putting the ball on the eight yard line with 45 seconds on the clock. Staubach got the ball to Tony Hill in the right corner to tie the game. The extra point scored by Rafael Septien put the Cowboys in the lead.
The Redskins needed to win for the division title and an opportunity to participate in the playoffs and all hope was lost. Theismann tried to fight off the Cowboy defense and set up a field goal chance for the win. With five seconds to go he completed his final pass of the game. Time expired and the Cowboys walked away victors.
Check out game highlights here:
Staubach was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1964 AFL Draft. Later in the same year he was chosen by the Cowboys in the 10th round of the NFL draft. He played in Dallas for all 12 years of his career. His honors include six Pro-Bowl appearances, NFL Super Bowl MVP in 1971, the 1978 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and a 1985 Hall of Fame induction.
“Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” -Roger Staubach
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