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Dorsett Discards Crutches, Helps Deal Detroit a Loss : Despite Sprained Ankle, He Rushes for 117 Yards to Lead the Cowboys to 31-7 Win

September 15, 1986| From Times Wire Services

PONTIAC, Mich. — The tug-of-war between Herschel Walker and Tony Dorsett swung in favor of Dorsett after he threw away his crutches and led the Dallas Cowboys to a 31-7 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday.

And guess who cheered loudest? It was Walker.

Dorsett, who was questionable until kickoff because of a badly sprained left ankle, carried 23 times for 117 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys dominated the Lions.

"The only concern I had was I didn't know how long I'd be able to play," said Dorsett, who hurt the ankle last Monday night against the New York Giants. "There's no doubt there was some apprehensiveness coming into the game, because I was extremely sore earlier in the week.

"I was on crutches one day, and the next morning I threw them at the doctor. Actually, I wanted the crutches because I couldn't walk. It was really hurting me to put pressure on the foot."

Walker, who dominated the nation's headlines after he filled in for Dorsett a week earlier, said Dorsett deserved to have the starting tailback job again.

"Tony was doing real well," Walker said. "You know, if you got something working for you, you don't want to change. You just want to go out and attack people. Once you start changing, you throw the offense off."

Cowboy quarterback Danny White completed 20 of 31 pass attempts for 184 yards and a touchdown and ran for another. He threw two interceptions.

The Cowboys took advantage of two key Detroit mistakes for 17 points in the second quarter as they improved to 2-0. The Lions slipped to 1-1.

The Cowboys rolled up 388 yards, compared with Detroit's 184. The Lions also were penalized 8 times for 70 yards and lost 3 of 4 fumbles.

One of the lost fumbles set up Dallas' first touchdown, a five-yard run by Dorsett.

White hooked up with Timmy Newsome on a 15-yard touchdown pass play to make it 14-0 with 1:01 left in the second quarter and another fumble led to a field goal that made it 17-0 at halftime.

Dorsett appeared to have scored on a 34-yard run with 12:41 remaining in the game, but officials ruled he was stopped inside the one after checking a television replay. White dove in for the score on the next play.

Walker, who was used sparingly, scored on a seven-yard run with 8:07 remaining for a 31-0 lead. Walker gained 51 yards in 6 carries.

James Jones scored the only touchdown for Detroit on a one-yard dive with 3:00 left in the game.

A crowd of 73,812 saw the game in the Silverdome.

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