History of Rams vs Cowboys

History of the Los Angeles Rams
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Classic Rams
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History of Rams vs Cowboys

Postby Classic Rams » 18 Jan 2016, 07:45

Here's an interesting story I found last year. For those who hated the Cowboys and especially Hollywood Henderson (I did after that 1978 NFC title game loss) this guy had some impact on an earlier game, the 1975 NFC title game (actually played in Jan '76). This story reflects on how he, and to larger effect RB Preston Pearson had vs the Rams. The Rams-Cowboys rivalry heated up in the 70's with 10 battles: 5 regular season and 5 playoff matchups.

Sometimes words were exchanged. In 1975 Rams LB Isiah Robertson referred to the Cowboys' new offensive shotgun formation as "a rinky dink offense." In a 1976 interview before facing the Cowboys
in the playoffs, the L.A. Times writer asked Rams DE Jack Youngblood about Staubach's new tactic of sliding at the end of a scramble. Youngblood replied: "I think that's chicken. You don't see RBs out there sliding for extra yardage. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy, but all nice relationships end when that whistle blows." And in 1978 while getting beat by the Rams 27-14, Cowboy's QB Roger Staubach angrily told a Ram player "We'll see you front runners in the playoffs." He was upset that late in the game some Ram players were hooting and hollering at him and other Cowboys players on the sideline. And later Hollywood Henderson taunted the Rams before the 1978 title game, saying "The Rams have no class. They don't belong in the Super Bowl. They'll choke. If not, I'll choke them." This was before collecting a pick 6 off of Rams backup QB Vince Ferragamo late in the title game and then running by the sidelines and yelling at Ram HC Ray Malavasi "How'd you like that, fat man?" He was later quoted saying to the press "I told you they'd choke." Rams DE Fred Dryer responded in a newspaper story after the game, calling Henderson "an idiot."

1975 story below:

http://www.scout.com/nfl/cowboys/story/ ... title-game



The Dallas Cowboys were supposed to be rebuilding in 1975, not appearing in the NFC Championship game. However, the mood inside the Cowboys locker room was vastly different.

"When I first came down here, Dan Reeves [Cowboys offensive coordinator], that was the first thing out of his mouth: 'We have to get back into the championship chase,'" Preston Pearson, an acquisition off the waiver wire that off-season, said to CowboysHQ.

1975 was supposed to be the year the St. Louis Cardinals went deep into the playoffs, or maybe the Minnesota Vikings, that Dallas and Drew Pearson knocked off the week prior with a Hail Mary, would get a fourth shot at the Super Bowl. The 12-2 NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams were still alive, and hosting the revitalized Cowboys for the conference crown.

Dallas dispatched the Rams 18-7 on Opening Day in Texas Stadium. Dallas would lose four games that year while the Rams only lost one more the entire year. Dallas would walk into the playoffs as a wildcard while Los Angeles settled for the second seed in the NFC.

The 1975 Cowboys draft class was nicknamed "The Dirty Dozen" for its list of 12 rookies who had a significant impact during the season. One of them was first-round linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson. Special teams coach Mike Ditka had an assignment for the rook: take out the kicker, Tom Dempsey. Yes, the Tom Dempsey who kicked with a prosthetic foot and played with a withered arm. On the opening kickoff, Henderson dashed for Dempsey, whose head was down, and clocked the 28-year-old right on the chin.

Ditka's plan worked. For the rest of the game, Dempsey's kickoffs were short ... not that he had an opportunity to kick very many.

Rams quarterback James Harris was returning to the lineup after missing the past three games, including the 35-23 victory over the Cardinals. On his first dropback of the game, Harris threw an interception to Cowboys linebacker D.D. Lewis. The eighth-year linebacker out of Mississippi State helped set up Dallas with favorable field position. On Staubach's pass attempt, he hit Preston Pearson on a screen for an 18-yard touchdown to put Dallas up 7-0.

Preston was the Cowboys' other Pearson. The Cowboys claimed Preston off waivers from the Steelers, and his specialty as a third-down back gave the Cowboys the advantage they needed in 1975.

"Remember, free agency wasn't the same back then," Pearson explained. "You really weren't free. Actually, you were guys that got cut, or released from other teams, and got picked up."

After a four-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Golden Richards, Preston made a diving catch for a 15-yard touchdown reception to give Dallas a 21-0 heading into the halftime locker room. The papers had said Dallas didn't have a chance, but the team felt like they had just got their tickets to the Super Bowl.

They punched those tickets on the Cowboys' first drive of the third quarter. Staubach dropped back and shovel-passed to Preston for a 19-yard touchdown, his third of the game.

People ask Preston Pearson what was the biggest and most memorable game of his career. He has many of them, having played with the Colts with Johnny Unitas coached by Don Shula and later Chuck Noll's Steelers with Terry Bradshaw under center.

"That game was the most important to me," Preston said.

"I still think for us, as a team, it was important."

Down 28-0, the Rams were at a severe disadvantage. Even their attempts to throw a pint of water onto the Cowboys' conflagration of a lead were futile. Dempsey, who had taken that shot from Henderson on the opening kickoff, lined up for a field goal. Henderson trash-talked that he was again going to level Dempsey. Henderson broke through the line and deflected the field-goal try.

Dallas kicker Toni Fritsch didn't have the same worries as his Rams counterpart. He was free to kick two field goals in the third quarter, which were like dirt being thrown on Los Angeles' grave. As the fourth quarter began, the Rams would have to overcome a 34-0 deficit if they wanted to play the Steelers two weeks from then in the Super Bowl in Miami. They had no chance.

Running back John Cappelleti ran for a one-yard touchdown to stave off just the second shutout in conference championship game history to that point. However, the wounds were all fatal to the Rams' Super Bowl hopes. Even Cowboys backup Clint Longley got into the game and completed two passes for a 100% completion percentage. Fritsch's third field goal of the game set the game's final score at 37-7. To this day, it stands as the third-largest win margin in NFC Championship game history.

"We had a lot of people who we depended on all year who made big plays for us make big plays in that game," Ed "Too Tall" Jones, who had a sack in that game, told CowboysHQ.

"It was a dream come true to have an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl."

Said Pearson: "That was my day. I remember everything."

The Rams disparaged Dallas' use of the shotgun formation during 1975, but they had no answer for it in the Coliseum. Roger Staubach went 16/26 for 220 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Preston Pearson caught seven catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns. The other Pearson, at least for this game, caught five balls for 46 yards. Richards caught two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. The team rushed for 195 yards on 50 carries to boot.

Lewis added another interception, and safety Cliff Harris picked one off for 22 yards. The reloaded Doomsday Defense pressured Harris and Jaworski all game. "Beautiful" Harvey Martin, Randy White, Jethro Pugh, Bill Gregory, and "Too Tall" Jones each recorded a sack of Jaworski after forcing Harris out of the game. The Rams ground game carried the ball 16 times for a paltry 22 yards and a meaningless touchdown in the game's final minutes.


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Rocky Mtn Ram
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Re: History of Rams vs Cowboys

Postby Rocky Mtn Ram » 18 Jan 2016, 15:10

That '75 playoff game is still a painful memory. The Rams had a lot of postseason disappointments in the 70s, and it's hard to choose between the Cowboys and the Vikings as to which I hated more, but I think the '75 loss was the most difficult to accept at the time.



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timlan2057
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Re: History of Rams vs Cowboys

Postby timlan2057 » 27 Jan 2016, 01:26

When the Rams wore the navy and white up until 1973, they and the Cowboys always wore white at home, so hence they wore white most every game of the season.

When the Rams played the Cowboys, one team always looked "odd" in their dark jerseys.


AOE

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Re: History of Rams vs Cowboys

Postby Classic Rams » 03 Feb 2016, 16:45

In 1972 the Rams wore their blue jerseys at home for some games, but other than that they did opt for the whites at home since 1964.

In 1978 they went back to white at home except for that mud game at night vs the Steelers.

:R


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ram2456
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Re: History of Rams vs Cowboys

Postby ram2456 » 27 Mar 2016, 11:23

Me and my dad were at the Championship game when Henderson intercepted Haden , returned it for a touchdown and dunked it over the crossbar
right in front of us. I was a wee lad but still remember that vividly and it still stings. Ouch


:geek:

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Re: History of Rams vs Cowboys

Postby Classic Rams » 28 Mar 2016, 10:58

ram2456 wrote:Me and my dad were at the Championship game when Henderson intercepted Haden , returned it for a touchdown and dunked it over the crossbar
right in front of us. I was a wee lad but still remember that vividly and it still stings. Ouch


That's cool that you were there, despite that horrible loss. This was the game I was sure the Rams could win based on their earlier 27-14 reg season win. The fact that Henderson made all that trash talk, then backed it up with the pick 6, coupled with a shutout defeat at home, really made me back off on following the Rams the next year. I was totally disgusted all off season and stopped collecting LA Times during the 1979 season, which I was doing the previous 3 years. I also stopped ordering team pics and programs from the Rams office at West Pico. Though I still watched the games.

And just to clarify Henderson had picked off Ferragamo for that TD, Haden was already done with a broken finger. He actually layed the ball over the goalpost on the dunk attempt, claiming he was too tired to get high enough to dunk. But the result was devastating just the same.




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