Earlier this week, Casserly broke down the quarterback matchup for tonight, of Grossman vs. Romo/Kitna.
Earlier today, we heard his thoughts on the greatest clash in rivalry history, the 1982 NFC Championships and the birth of “We Want Dallas!”
Now, we move on to Casserly’s second greatest memory of the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry, an unheralded matchup, to say the least: the 1987 strike game in Dallas.
“This is an odd one, in a sense, when we beat them in a strike game,” Casserly said. “They had their players cross the picket line. They had Dorsett, they had ‘Too Tall” Danny White was in there, Randy White, Smelleck, and we didn’t have anybody.”
Except for Shane “Footsteps” Falco. Nobody had heard from him since that Sugar Bowl disaster.
For the record, I love “The Replacements,” and it goes down as one of the greatest football movies in my book. I don’t care what your opinion of Keanu Reeves is, if that doesn’t inspire some Redskins pride, check your pulse.
But I digress…
“It’s Monday Night television, the strike is over the next day, and I know I’m thinking, ‘We ain’t got a chance in this thing, so this thing could get ugly,” Casserly remembered. “Joe Gibbs gave a tremendous talk before the game to the kids–and again, you’ve got this on national television, everybody knows that it’s over. Not one of our kids had made an NFL team that year and his speech went to the theme of, ‘This is why you did this, and again, nobody is giving us a chance. Didn’t you come back here to prove you could play in the league? So what greater stage do you want. You want the Cowboys to have a bunch of their stars in there, and you want to do it in front of national television.'”
Just remember to read that speech with the voice of “Jimmy McGinty,” as played by Gene Hackman.
“I get choked up just telling the story,” Casserly said. “It was unbelievable–the effort, I mean. Our kids went out there and played a hell of a game. There was a shot where somebody puts [Cowboys quarterback] Randy White on his back, andTony Dorsett fumbles. I think the final score was 13-7.”
More amazingly, was the composition and pedigree of the Redskins replacement roster, which was something less than All-Pro.
“Our right tackle is a guy named Willard Scissum,” Casserly remembered. “Williard had gotten cut in the Canadian League that year and he was a guard at a 7-11 in Southeast DC. And he’s blocking ‘Too Tall’ Jones. Scissum is like 6-foot-tall and 350, but you have to picture the build there. He knows the next day he is going back to that guard job, and he shut out ‘Too Tall’ Jones. The guy never had a tackle in the game.”
Just another example of the passion for football in Redskins Nation.
Casserly is now an analyst for the NFL on CBS, and is a great follow on Twitter: @CasserlyCBS.