1960: The Packers did their part to welcome the Dallas Cowboys to the NFL.
Under second-year head coach Vince Lombardi, the 5-2 Packers were fighting to keep pace with the first-place Baltimore Colts in the Western Conference of the NFL when the scheduling gods gave them a gift: a game in Green Bay against the Cowboys, who were struggling through their first season in the league.
Coming into the game, Dallas had gone down to defeat in their first seven match-ups. Their defense was last in the league against both the run and the pass, while the Packers’ offense was ranked high in both categories. Green Bay took immediate advantage of the mismatch with a quick drive in the first quarter that was capped by a 28-yard scoring run by Jim Taylor.
After getting the ball back on a fumble, the Packers, 22-point favorites in the game, marched 42 yards in seven plays. Taylor again did the honors, this time from four yards. On the Cowboys’ next possession, Ray Nitschke stepped in front of an Eddie LeBaron pass and brought back the interception 43 yards for a score, and the rout was on.
The Packer backfield continued to batter Dallas, as Taylor and Paul Hornung each scored a subsequent rushing touchdown. All together, the Packers piled up 165 yards on the ground during the game, which ended 41-7 after a late Cowboys score. As they did most of the season, the Cowboys fought gamely, but their inexperience showed in five turnovers and seven penalties.
The Packers went on to win their first of six West championships under Lombardi. Under first-year coach – and Lombardi’s fellow former Giants assistant – Tom Landry, the Cowboys weren’t as fortunate. At the time, NFL expansion teams built their rosters from street free agents and a pool of players cast off by existing teams – Dallas wasn’t even allowed to participate in the NFL draft prior to its inaugural season. As a result, they finished the season 0-11-1.
Nov. 13, 1960
Lambeau Field, Green Bay
1 2 3 4 F Cowboys 0 0 0 7 - 7 Packers 7 20 7 7 - 41
GB: Jim Taylor 28 run (Paul Hornung kick)
GB: Taylor 4 run (Hornung)
GB: Ray Nitschke 43 interception return (Hornung)
GB: Hornung 21 FG
GB: Hornung 21 FG
GB: Taylor 23 run (Hornung)
GB: Hornung 4 run (Hornung)
DA: Walt Kowalczyk 14 yard pass from Don Meredith (Fred Cone kick)
Trivia: Tom Landry had a .321 winning percentage with the Cowboys from 1960 to 1965, the worst record ever by an NFL head coach in his first six seasons with the same team. Which coach holds the mark for the second-worst record in his first six campaigns with the same team?
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This post was written by Citizen Dan on November 13, 2009