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Flashback Friday: Skins Win in Dallas and Get In

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Flashback Friday: Skins Win in Dallas and Get In

The scenarios were simple going into the last game of the 1976 regular season. The Redskins needed a win to secure a playoff spot. The Cowboys needed a win to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In a classic battle, the Redskins prevailed.

From the pages of my upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle:

Texas Stadium 12/12/1976—The Redskins moved past the Cowboys and into the NFL playoffs by scoring 14 points in a 50-second span in the fourth quarter.

Washington held a 10-7 halftime lead, but that evaporated less than three minutes into the second half. Roger Staubach hit Butch Johnson with a 43-yard touchdown pass to put Dallas up 14-10. That was largely the extent of Staubach's contributions to his team's effort; thanks to constant pressure by the Redskins defense, he completed just five of 22 passes on the day for 91 yards.

The visitors edged closer on Mark Moseley's 27-yard field goal about five minutes later. The Cowboys was still clinging to its 14-13 lead when they punted to Washington with 7:24 left in the game. Starting from midfield, a nine-yard reception by Mike Thomas and John Riggins' three-yard run earned a first down at the 38. After two straight incompletions, the Redskins faced third and ten. Then came what Billy Kilmer called "the play of the game."

Dallas came with an all-out blitz and safety Cliff Harris joined those rushing towards Kilmer. The quarterback barely got off a wobbly pass, but it found Thomas, who had snuck into the area over the middle that Harris had vacated, at the 10 yard line. He was tackled at the four.

A couple of penalties pushed the Redskins back to the 15 where they faced second and goal. Ex-Cowboy Calvin Hill followed Riggins around left end and swept in for the go-ahead score with 4:34 left.

Certainly, it was not yet time to celebrate, but that would come soon enough. On first down from the 21, Ron McDole sacked Staubach for a loss of twelve. On the next play, Diron Talbert swatted Staubach's pass into the air. It bounced off of Dallas center John Fitzgerald and possibly one other player before it fell into the arms of defensive end Dennis Johnson at the three. The game and the playoff spot were secured when Riggins took advantage of some brutal blocking that allowed him to score the clincher untouched.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

Redskins defensive lineman A.J. Francis opens up to JP Finlay on what it's like to play for Jay Gruden, his pick for defensive coordinator, and the latest on Kirk Cousins' contract.

Listen below, and if you'd like to hear more from Francis, check out his pro wrestling podcast Jobbing Out Show here

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

The Redskins have conducted interviews with a number of candidates at defensive coordinator, but a new name emerged Thursday morning. 

Thurman played cornerback in the NFL for nine years from 1978 to 1986, recording 36 career interceptions in 137 games. The bulk of his playing career was spent with the Dallas Cowboys, but he played his final season with the then St. Louis Rams. 

In coaching since 1988, Thurman's coaching career started working with the secondary for the Cardinals before an eight-year run at his alma mater, Southern Cal. From there, Thurman came back to the pros, joining the Ravens coaching staff in 2002 working under Rex Ryan. In 2008, Thurman moved on with Ryan to the New York Jets, and in 2013, was named Jets defensive coordinator In 2014, he went to Buffalo with Ryan to serve as their defensive coordinator when Ryan was named head coach.

In four seasons as a coordinator, two in New York, two in Buffalo, Thurman's defenses ranked no worse than 19th, per Pro Football Reference.

A football lifer like Thurman likely has connections all over the league, but it's interesting to note he has worked with new Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn since 2009. The two were on staffs both with the Jets and the Bills. Another Redskins coordinator candidate Gus Bradley has often been linked with Lynn, though the two have never been on the same staff.

Meeting with Thurman will satisfy the NFL's guidelines to interview minority candidates for coordinator positions. The Rooney Rule, as it was instituted, requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs, but only suggests that teams extend the practice to coordinator positions. Washington had set an interview with Carolina's Steve Wilks, but then he was promoted internally to be the Panthers defensive coordinator and the meeting never took place. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!