The 1975 Dallas Cowboys where supposed to be a team in transition after coming off a disappointing 1974 season. With 12 rookies on their roster and in a tough division with the upstart St. Louis Cardinals who surprised everybody by winning the division the year before. Plus their bitter rivals from Washington who battled them hard every year it was going to be a tough year. Here is a look at some of the best Dallas wins from 1975.
September 21, 1975 Dallas 18 Los Angeles 7 at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas: In the season opener for both teams Dallas took on the powerful Rams. The Dallas defense intercepted three passes from Rams quarterbacks and defensive tackle Jethro Pugh recovered a Rams fumble that setup a field goal. Dallas kicker Toni Fritsch four field goals (25, 39, 19, and 31) out of six attempts. Dallas running back Doug Dennison added a one yard scoring plunge in the second quarter for the only Dallas touchdown. Ron Jaworski had the only Rams touchdown in the fourth quarter, It was a dominating defensive performance for Dallas as they held Rams quarterbacks to four completions out of seventeen attempts and twenty net passing yards. Plus the Rams allowed four Dallas sacks of their quarterbacks in the game.
September 28, 1975 Dallas 37 St. Louis 31 at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas: In a back and forth affair with their arch rivals from St. Louis these two teams battled to overtime before Dallas eventually won. Roger Staubach hit Billy Joe Dupree from three yards out halfway through overtime to give Dallas the victory. The winning tally was setup when middle linebacker Lee Roy Jordan intercepted a Jim Hart pass and brought it into Cardinals territory. St. Louis tied the game in the final minute of regulation when Hart hit Mel Gray on a 37 yard scoring pass. Dallas had one more chance to win it at the end of regulation but Toni Fritsch missed a 39 yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation. Hart threw four touchdown passes in the game including two to Gray and one each to Earl Thomas and Jackie Smith. The other Cardinals score came on a Jim Bakkan field goal of 28 yards. Staubach had touchdown passes to Jean Fugett, Drew Pearson, and Dupree. While the other touchdown came a 97 yard kickoff return by Thomas Henderson in the third quarter.
October 12, 1975 Dallas 13 New York Giants 7 at Shea Stadium Flushing Meadow, New York: In the swirling gusts of Shea Stadium Dallas and the Giants battled in a hard fought defensive struggle. The Cowboys defense forced five Giants turnovers in the game and three interceptions as well. Giants quarterback Craig Morton had two fumbles and three interceptions which led to all thirteen Dallas points. New York led 7-6 going into the fourth quarter on Doug Kotar’s five yard scoring run in the third quarter. Two Giants turnovers led to two Toni Fritsch field goals of 24 and 22 yards respectively in the game. Cornerback mark Washington of Dallas intercepted a Morton pass and brought it back 23 yards to setup Dallas for a for the winning score. Five plays later Roger Staubach hit Jean Fugett on a four yard scoring pass to provide the victory.
October 26, 1975 Dallas 20 Philadelphia 17 at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, PA: Dallas trailing 17-10 with 3:50 to go in the game got one last chance to tie the game at the Philadelphia 33 yard line. In seven plays the Cowboys tied the game at the 1:16 mark when Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson on a 21 yard scoring pass. Shortly thereafter Dallas got the ball back at their own 40 and drove to the Eagles 20 yard line with three seconds left. Toni Fritsch kicked his second field goal of the game this time from 42 yards out for the winning score. The Eagles scored their points on two Roman Gabriel to Harold Carmichael touch down passes of 1 and 18 yards each. Horst Muhlmann kicked a 28 yard field goal in the fourth quarter. The other Cowboys points occurred in the second quarter when Golden Richards returned a punt 43 yards for a touchdown and Fritsch kicked a 20 yard field goal.
December 28, 1975 Dallas 17 Minnesota 14 at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, MN NFC Divisional Playoffs: As the Wild Card team in the playoffs Dallas got to visit frigid Minnesota. Two plays helped end the season for the Vikings when Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson on a 4th and 18 pass for 25 yards from the Dallas 25 to midfield. Two plays later Staubach slightly underthrew a ball to Pearson who grabbed the ball away from Minnesota cornerback Nate Wright at the five and ran in for the score with 24 seconds left in the game. The fifty yard pass play has been dubbed the Hail Mary. Minnesota had the lone score in the first half when a punt grazed the leg of the Cowboys Cliff Harris and Fred McNeil of the Vikings recovered at the Dallas four. Chuck Foreman scored from a yard out to give Minnesota a 7-0 at halftime. In the third quarter Doug Dennison of Dallas scored from four yards out tying the game at seven apiece. On the first play of the fourth quarter Toni Fritsch kicked a 24 yard field goal for a 10-7 lead. Brent McClanahan scored on a one yard run with 5:11 left to play to give Minnesota a 14-10 lead.
Although Dallas did lose in Super Bowl X a few weeks later 21-17 to Pittsburgh it was still an exciting season for the fans of the Cowboys. Even when the Cowboys lost it was still exciting close games to the likes of Green Bay, Washington, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh over the course of the season. At the time Dallas was the only Wild Card team to make the Super Bowl.
1975 Dallas Cowboys John Schaefer
1975 Dallas Cowboys www.profootballreference.com
Hail Mary Game Dallas Cowboys Greatest Games DVD Dallas v. Minnesota 1975
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