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Monk on the '82 Championship game


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Art Monk: how's this for selfless? The former Redskins wideout didn't play in the game that stands out the most of him - The Game I'll Never Forget

Football Digest, June, 2003 by Chuck O'Donnell

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A LOT OF PEOPLE MAY BE SURPRISED to hear this, but I didn't even play in the game I'll never forget.

When our Washington Redskins met the Dallas Cowboys at home at RFK Stadium in the 1982 NFC Championship Game, I was sidelined with a broken bone in my right foot. I had broken it earlier in the playoffs, and it was painful It was frustrating not being on the field, battling with my teammates and helping them try to win. But that's part of the game. It's something you kind of learn to deal with.

Redskins fans had waited a long time for the opportunity to play for an NFL championship, and now their team was just one win away. This community is quite different from any other in the NFL. I think football is part of the heartbeat of the Washington D.C. area--football means a lot to a lot of people. Win or lose, they support the Redskins, and they rarely get down on the team. We wanted to win that NFC fide game as much for them as for us. That's how I truly felt in my heart.

Of course, the fans were even more excited than usual because we were playing the Cowboys. The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry was electric back in the early 1980s. We were both in the NFC East, so we played each other twice a year. It always was an event. Everyone would be talking about the game in their workplaces, and it would be all over the news.

It's still a pretty good rivalry, but not like it was in those days. Both teams had a lot of talented players back then. When I think of those Cowboys, players such as Everson Walls, Tony Dorsett, and Randy White come to mind. They had great players at every position.

The same went for our team. We had several older, wily veterans, such as Joe Theismann, John Riggins, and Dave Butz. Those guys had been through the wars for a number of years, and you knew you could count on them in tough spots. We also had quality younger players, like me, Dexter Manley, Joe Jacoby, and a few others. And we had a great offensive line, which was nicknamed "the Hogs." What a bunch of characters those guys were. We also had "the Smurfs" and "the Fun Bunch." Our team was a collection of very unique people.

We were blessed to have the types of players who fit together well. It was a very close-knit team, and that didn't happen by accident. Joe Gibbs was a great coach, a very smart man. He and the rest of the coaching staff really emphasized the team concept. They showed us how to play as a team--and not as individuals.

Because it was a strike-shortened season, an extra round was added to the playoffs. We won our first two playoff games, but in one of them I hurt my foot. I had been playing with a cracked bone in the foot during the regular season, but then it just broke and I couldn't play.

For the game against the Cowboys, I have very vivid memories of the fans' reactions because I was sitting--of all places--in the stands. The only bad thing about that was I wasn't able to lend any moral support to my teammates as the game went-on.

Fortunately, the guys didn't need a lot of moral support. We pretty much dominated the Cowboys for most of the game. Since I was out of the lineup, we went to Riggins a little more than we otherwise may have. But he really thrived on getting a lot of work, and he seemed to grow stronger with each carry. Running behind "the Hogs," he ended up with 140 yards on 36 carries. We gained the momentum early on, mounting a 143 lead at the half, and never let it go. The Cowboys rallied a little bit in the third quarter after their quarterback, Danny White, was knocked out of the game and replaced by Gary Hogeboom. They scored 14 points in the third quarter to narrow our lead to 21-17. But we put the Cowboys away in the fourth quarter when Darryl Grant intercepted a pass and ran it back 10 yards for a touchdown.

We wound up winning 31-17, and the fans just went crazy. I'll never forget their reaction. Things only got better from there. The next week, we beat the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl, 27-17.

Unfortunately, I still was too hurt to play in that game. Playing in a Super Bowl is something every player dreams of, and not being able to do that was disheartening. But at least we gave our fans a lot to cheer about.

Art Monk's Career Statistics

Year Team Rec. Yds. Avg. TDs

1980 Redskins 58 797 13.7 3

1981 Redskins 56 894 16.0 6

1982 Redskins 35 447 12.8 1

1983 Redskins 47 746 15.9 5

1984 Redskins 106 1,372 12.9 7

1985 Redskins 91 1,226 13.5 2

1986 Redskins 73 1,068 14.6 4

1987 Redskins 38 483 12.7 6

1988 Redskins 72 946 13.1 5

1989 Redskins 86 1,186 13.8 8

1990 Redskins 68 770 11.3 5

1991 Redskins 71 1,049 14.8 8

1992 Redskins 46 644 14.0 3

1993 Redskins 41 398 9.7 2

1994 Jets 46 581 12.6 3

1995 Eagles 6 114 19.0 0

Totals 940 12,721 13.5 68

Art Monk's Most Memorable Game

NFC Championship Game; January 22, 1983; RFK Stadium; Washington D.C.

Dallas Cowboys 3 0 14 0--17

Washington Redskins 7 7 7 10--31

Scoring Cowboys Redskins

First Quarter

Dallas--Septien, 27-yard field goal 3 0

Washington--Brown, 19-yard pass from

Theismann (Moseley kick) 3 7

Second Quarter

Washington--Riggins, 1-yard run (Moseley

kick) 3 14

Third Quarter

Dallas--Pearson, 6-yard pass from

Hogeboom (Septien kick) 10 14

Washington--Riggins, 4-yard run (Moseley

kick) 10 21

Dallas--Johnson, 23-yard pass from

Hogeboom (Septien kick) 17 21

Fourth Quarter

Washington--Moseley, 29-yard field goal 17 24

Washington--Grant, 10-yard interception

return (Moseley kick) 17 31

Team statistics Cowboys Redskins

First downs 21 18

Net rushing yards 65 137

Passes (attempts-completions-

interceptions) 44-23-2 20-12-0

Punts-average 3-31.0 5-40.2

Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 3-15 3-25

Individual statistics


Cowboys: Dorsett 19 rushes for 57 yards, Springs 4-15, T. Hill

1-minus-6, Pearson 1-minus-1

Redskins: Riggins 36-140, Washington 2-2, Garrett 1-minus-2,

Theismann 1-minus-1.


Cowboys: White 9 completions, 15 attempts. 113 yards, 0 touchdowns,

0 interceptions;

Hogeboom 14-29-162-2-2.

Redskins: Theismann 12-20-150-1-0.


Cowboys: T. Hill 5 receptions for 58 yards, Dorsett 2-29, Pearson

5-55, Johnson 5-73, Newsome 3-24,

Cosbie 2-26, DuPree 1-9.

Redskins: Brown 3-54, Warren 2-24, Garrett 4-46, Washington 1-13,

Walker 1-9, Harmon 1-4.

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You know, I was having beers with a couple of my boys last week. Inevitably the conversation turned to football and my pals - one originally from Minnesota and one originally from Florida - literally didn't believe me when I told them #81 wasn't in the HOF. They're mostly college fans, so aren't as obsessive as those of us on ES. But they seriously went "come on, you're joking." Not even Skins fans (not haters either) but they were appalled. That said something to me, for sure.

Art Monk and Darrell Green: my all-time fave Skins.

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I still remember that game. I was 11 years old at the time. I remember it snowed at the end of the game. The thing about that game that stood out for me besides the win was Dexter Manley knocked Danny White out of the game.

Art Monk should definetly be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by now. I hope he gets there as soon as possible.

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