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Cowboys Top Eagles at Cotton Bowl as Meredith Shines

Nov. 17, 1963 - Don Meredith (pictured) completed 25 of 33 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns today and led the Cowboys to a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Cowboys thus moved into fifth place in the NFL’s Eastern Conference. Meredith, making a shambles of the Philadelphia secondary, hit his first nine passes without a miss. He misfired only three times in the first half in completing 16 for 228 yards. He put the Cowboys into a 17-6 halftime lead that was never seriously threatened despite a second-half aerial flurry by King Hill of the Eagles. Meredith threw a one-yard scoring pass to Pettis Norman in the first quarter and a 14-yarder to Frank Clarke in the third quarter. When quarterback King Hill belatedly got the Eagle offense moving, it looked as if Philadelphia might pull it out, especially since the Cowboys were noted for blowing second-half leads. The Eagles went 80 yards in seven plays for a touchdown scored by Timmy Brown on a 24-yards pass play with 54 seconds left in the third quarter to whittle Dallas’ edge to 24-13. And they came right back with a 59-yards drive that produced a first down on the Dallas five. Then they went to sleep. On first down, Hill tried a quick pass directly to his right to Brown, moving out into the flat. But he was hurried and had to throw a high lob over onrushing tackle Bob Lilly. The ball went over Brown’s head and rolled out toward the right sideline. Brown, thinking it was an incomplete forward pass instead of a lateral, walked away from the ball although there had been no whistle. For a few moments, no one seemed to realize the ball wasn’t dead. Then, apparently prompted by yells from the sidelines, two Eagles near the line of scrimmage started running toward the ball, as did Brown. But it was too late. Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley came up fast and pounced on it to give the Cowboys possession at the 12. “We simply went to sleep,” said a downcast coach Nick Skorich afterward. “That was the game.” “It was the turning point,” agreed Dallas coach Tom Landry. “That play saved us.” “We tried to play ball control,” Landry continued. “Everybody who has beaten them has played ball control. Their offense is just too dangerous to let them have the ball very much.”


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