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Cowboys Top Cardinals, End Season 4-10

Dec. 15, 1963 - Tom Landry, coach of the Dallas Cowboys, had a warm smile at the end of the cold day at Busch Stadium and of a long season. He was in a mood to be generous. His team, which will close the season with a 4-10 record, had finally beaten the Cardinals. “St. Louis has a good young team,” said Landry. “It will be up there for years to come.” A 25-yard touchdown pass from Don Meredith (pictured) to Frank Clarke with 1 minute 10 seconds left in the game gave the Cowboys the 28-24 victory. Larry Wilson had put the Cardinals ahead, 21-14, in the third quarter when he ran 35 yards for a touchdown on a fake field-goal play. Jim Bakken followed with a field goal that increased the lead to 24-14. In the fourth quarter, Meredith tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Pettis Norman and then the winning one to Clarke. “Most of the field was pretty hard,” Landry commented, “and the Card defensive backs did a good job but couldn’t operate well on that kind of surface. That’s why we were lucky.” Meredith put Dallas ahead in the first quarter when he faked a pass then swept around right end for a yard and a touchdown. On the first Cardinal play from scrimmage after the ensuing kickoff, Charlie Johnson passed to Sonny Randle for 62 yards and the tying touchdown. The Cardinal went ahead in the same quarter on Johnson’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Bill Triplett. But before the half ended, defensive tackle Bob Lilly picked up a Johnson fumble and ran 42 yards for a Dallas touchdown. A hardy crowd of 12,695 turned out in clear 17-degree weather to bring the Cardinals’ season attendance to 165,453, a new high and 28½ percent better than a year ago. The 9-5 record of the Cardinals was the best in 15 years for the club that transferred to St. Louis in 1960 after almost 40 seasons in Chicago, but — “Ten and four would’ve been better,” said Card coach Wally Lemm.


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