In today's Bulletin Board Bowl at Riverfront Stadium the aggrieved Bengals make the proud Cowboys swallow their words in a stunning 50-24 dismantling that turns Dallas head coach Tom Landry's first trip to Cincinnati into an embarrassing dead end. No one had ever put up 570 yards on the Cowboys in their 26 seasons until the Bengals microwave Dallas to death today with second-year head coach Sam Wyche's burgeoning no huddle offense that yields a club-record 274 yards rushing and 265 yards and three touchdowns passing from quarterback Boomer Esiason for their third highest point total in history. "The difference was emotion," says Cowboys quarterback Danny White. "Coach Landry tried to tell us this team and this city were preparing for this game like it was the Super Bowl. But a lot of it apparently went in one ear and out the other."
The Bengals have spent the week calling the Cowboys "arrogant," and "immensely overrated." Dallas, still riding the '70s coronation as America's Team, is on its way to a 10-6 NFC East title and won't win any humility contests along the way. When Cowboys center John Rafferty is asked to name the Bengals nose tackle, the best he can come up with for Tim Krumrie is "Crummy." Needless to say, Krumrie, the powder keg of the Bengals defense who plays with a short fuse, lights it up. His coaches feel that in his third season he's one of the most underrated nose tackles in the NFL and today he shows it beating up Rafferty with seven of his 11 tackles coming in first half the Bengals jump to a 22-0 lead in the first eight minutes. "It motivated me because I think I'm having a pretty good year and it motivated my teammates because I think they think I've been playing well, too." Wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, who goes for 123 yards, is a believer. "Tim's a pretty tough guy. Especially when he's mad. After hearing about that, I think most of us were scared of him more than we were scared of the Cowboys." On the first three plays of the game, the Bengals push Dallas backwards, ending in defensive end Ross Browner's sack of White for a safety. "I knew we were in a hornet's nest then," White says. Maybe Landry isn't kidding when he's asked to identify the game's turning point: "The kickoff." The great Tony Dorsett is held to 64 yards on 17 carries in his Cincy debut.
The no huddle confounds the Cowboys. This is the first evidence for the national media Wyche has something brewing. "When they went into the nickel (defense) on first down, we were celebrating on the sidelines. We like running against the smaller defensive backs," Wyche says. While James Brooks runs for 109 yards and Larry Kinnebrew pounds for 71 more, Esiason throws TD bombs to Collinsworth and Eddie Brown and the big, bad NFC East must be wondering what the heck is happening in the little AFC Central. "They made it sound like Randy White not only jumped into his pants two legs at a time, but he did it jumping out of the 10th story. I think the Cowboys were looking past us," Esiason says. White, the Cowboys All-Pro defensive tackle, finds himself in a tussle with young guard Brian Blados as the Bengals' emerging offensive line paves the way for its fourth 200--yard rushing game of the season. But this game is all emotion and has nothing to do with Xs and Os. "We didn't finesse Dallas," says 10-year linebacker Reggie Williams. "We beat them with good physical football and I can assure you that a few of their players are going to be sitting sideways in their seats on their flight home. They may not know our names, but I think they'll remember the final score."