The First Packers-Cowboys Game

Tom Landry’s fledgling Cowboys traveled to Green Bay to take on Vince Lombardi’s Packers on November 13, 1960 and were soundly beaten 41-7 in this first encounter between the two franchises. Jim Taylor ran the ball 15 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns, and the Packer defense was in complete control as the Cowboys shuffled through three quarterbacks. Henry Jordan blocked a punt that led to a field goal and also recovered a fumble. Dan Currie intercepted an Eddie Lebaron pass and returned it 33 yards to lead to another field goal. Ray Nitschke intercepted two Don Henrich passes; he returned one 43 yards for a touchdown and the other 21 yards to set up another touchdown. Ray also recovered a fumble, and Dave Hanner had a sack.

Bart Starr departed early in the third quarter with the Packers up 34-0 and was replaced by Lamar McHan who threw two interceptions in the second half. Larry Hickman and Tom Moore replaced Taylor and Hornung in the fourth quarter, and rookie halfback Paul Winslow got the only two carries of his one-year NFL career on the last two plays of the game, losing six and gaining three. However, Winslow may have been shortchanged. Green Bay took over on downs at their own 14, but the play-by-play in the gamebook has some sort of indecipherable typo involving Winslow on the first play after the change of possession. The next line reads first and ten at the 20, followed by Winslow’s two carries. How the Packers got from the 13 to the 20 is not clear; Dallas penalties are all accounted for. Winslow’s moment of glory in Green and Gold came a month later in the conference championship-clinching win over the Rams in Los Angeles on December 17 when his second quarter blocked punt and end zone recovery gave the Packers a two-touchdown lead they would never relinquish.

Several familiar faces took the City Stadium field wearing the Cowboys star that day. All three Packers who went in the expansion draft played – Don McIlhenny, Bill Butler and Nate Borden. Billy Howton, acquired from Cleveland for a draft pick, caught two passes for 31 yards. Fred Cone, who retired from the Packers following the 1957 season to coach high school football, was the Dallas placekicker, having been obtained for a tenth round draft pick in May. Finally, Mike Falls, who was waived by the Packers on September 19 and claimed by Dallas on September 22, started at guard for the Cowboys. To make room for him, the Cowboys cut guard John Dittrich who played for Green Bay in 1959.

One other Packer on the field that day was destined for Dallas. Andy Cvercko was a reserve for Green Bay in 1960, but would be traded to the Cowboys on September 4, 1961 and spend two years there as a starter. One other Cowboy was destined for Green Bay, but not as a player. Linebacker Tom Braatz would return to his native Wisconsin in 1987 as the Packers’ Director of Football Operations, although that would not be a successful run.

1960tjtaylor2  1960trnitschke2

1960tacvercko5  1960tpwinslow

1960tlhickman3  1960tlmchan2

Cvercko, Hickman and McHan custom cards are colorized.

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