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PRO FOOTBALL : Cowboys Go Down Fighting, 24-20 : Redskins' Win Assures Dallas of a Losing Season Again

December 14, 1987| From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — There wasn't much on the line, but you couldn't tell by watching the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys go at it.

Two of the NFL's most bitter rivals fought it out Sunday, with the Redskins emerging from a fourth-quarter brawl with a 24-20 victory that assured the Cowboys of a second straight losing season.

"I think it's good because of the fact that we dislike Dallas," said Washington defensive end Dexter Manley, who said earlier in the week he wanted to kick the Cowboys "while they're down."

Gary Clark caught 9 passes for 187 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown from Jay Schroeder for the Redskins (10-3), who had already clinched the NFC East and are trying to gain the home field advantage for the playoffs.

Schroeder passed for 250 yards, and George Rogers had two 1-yard scoring runs for Washington.

"There wasn't quite as much on the line from the standpoint of both sides, but I think both teams played hard," Washington Coach Joe Gibbs said.

Dallas quarterback Danny White, a primary combatant in the fight, passed for two touchdowns and broke Roger Staubach's club record for career touchdown passes.

The Cowboys (5-8) last had back-to-back losing seasons in 1963-64. Before finishing 7-9 last season, Dallas registered an NFL-record 20 straight winning seasons.

"We're struggling as an organization," White said. "As a result, the players are suffering. The entire circumstance surrounding the whole organization is negative. (It's) tough for players to really give their best."

The brawl followed White's five-yard scoring pass to Rod Barksdale with 2:49 left.

Redskin linebacker Neal Olkewicz knocked over Dallas lineman Kevin Gogan, who jumped on Manley after Manley ripped the helmet off the head of Dallas' Daryle Smith. White jumped Olkewicz from behind, knocking him to the ground and several players from both teams joined the melee.

"I thought it was a cheap shot," White said. "I thought I was the only one who saw it and I felt obligated to help him."

Schroeder's passes to Clark set up three first-half scores, and the Redskins led, 17-3.

White, a 12-year veteran, racked up three season highs by completing 27 of 49 passes for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 25-yard third-quarter pass to Mike Renfro. His 154 career scoring passes surpassed Staubach's 153.

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