The Rivalry reaches 100 games

It’s time once again for the rivalry that is Cowboys-Redskins.

It’s hard to believe the story gets told about how this rivalry got started, and it all still revolves around George Allen and Tom Landry.

As the rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins hits the century mark, Bruce Allen still has a painful twinge in his voice at the mention of one three-word phrase.

“The Mad Bomber.”

“Thanksgiving is ruined forever for that,” the Redskins general manager said. “I never even liked turkey sandwiches after that.”

“The Mad Bomber,” of course, is Clint Longley, the backup quarterback who led the Cowboys to a 24-23 come-from-behind stunner on Thanksgiving Day in 1974. The Redskins — coached by Allen’s father, George — had knocked Roger Staubach from the game and led 16-3, but one-hit-wonder Longley came on to throw his first NFL passes, including a 50-yard touchdown to Drew Pearson with 28 seconds remaining.

Cowboys-Redskins, Edition No. 100 takes place Sunday night, appropriately enough in prime time. The Cowboys (9-5) hope to be in position to clinch a playoff berth, while the Redskins (4-10) are playing out the string for lame duck coach Jim Zorn.

The cold numbers say the Cowboys lead the series 58-39-2, although both playoff meetings were won by the Redskins. Emotionally, players and fans say there’s nothing like it, especially in Washington, where the rivalry has always been taken more seriously than in Dallas.

It’s time to put the Redskins out of their misery for another year. The Cowboys have more important matters to consider. In following the Cowboys since day one of their existence, obviously I have seen or heard each of these 99 games played so far. I have never seen the Redskins in such disarray as today. Let’s hope it continues for game 100.

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