On October 19th, 1987, ten Dallas Cowboy players crossed the picket line to play in a Monday Night Football game during an NFL strike. They were 8 point favorites against a Redskins team that was still using 100% replacement players. The replacement Redskins team spanked the Cowboys 13-7 right in Texas Stadium, thusly creating one of the greatest underdog victories in NFL history, one of the most memorable Monday Night Football games in NFL history, and the inspiration for the movie, The Replacements.
They weren’t garden variety players that crossed that picket line either – Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Randy White were among the group, as was starting quarterback Danny White.
They would ultimately face a Redskins team that was quarterbacked by a guy that was in jail. The story goes that somehow Bobby Beathard worked some kind of deal to get Tony Robinson out of jail to potentially play against the Cowboys, and when starting replacement quarterback Ed Rubbert was injured, Robinson came in and made the impossible a reality. He wasn’t spectacular. but was solid going 11 of 18 for 152 yards. Most importantly – he did enough to lead the Redskins to a 13-7 victory. The strike ended, and Robinson went back to jail in Tennessee.
The actual Redskins players would return, and go on to win their second Super Bowl.
And so The Replacements legend was born. A team of misfits that took down America’s Team in Texas Stadium.
And your Throwback Thursday bonus edition!
Check out Pro Football Reference’s boxscore of the game.
Check out this quick YT video on the back story:
Or this ESPN’s “Year of the Scab – 30 for 30” special, on the scabs in general:
and let me know what you think. Do you remember the game? Did you watch it live?