January 4, 1986: Dickerson Runs Over The Cowboys And Into The Record Books
On January 4, 1986, in a divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys in Anaheim, Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson turned in the playoff performance of a lifetime when he rumbled for 248 yards on 34 carries in a 20-0 win. The victory pushed the Rams onto the NFC title game against the Chicago Bears. Dickerson's 248 yards is a still standing playoff record for rushing yards in a postseason game. The Rams held a 3-0 lead at the half and it looked like it could be anybody's ballgame. That was until Dickerson took his first handoff of the second half and bolted 55 yards to open the lead up to 10-0. The running back who had set the single season record in 1984 with 2,105 yards on the season would once again prove that he was one of the best in the game as he put the Rams offense on his back and would carry them to the next round. After Mike Lansford kicked his second field goal of the day in the third, Dickerson busted out a 40 yard run in the fourth that would seal the deal. While Dickerson was the story of the day the Rams defense should definitely be mentioned as well. The Cowboys offense threatened only once, midway through the fourth quarter they got as far as the Rams 20 before Danny White was sacked Gary Jeter who had three sacks on the day. When it was all said and done the Cowboys quarterback had been sacked 5 times and picked off three times. Their running back Tony Dorsett was held to just 58 yards which extended the Rams streak of not allowing a 100 yard rusher to 10 games. Unfortunately for that Rams team they encountered a team of destiny in the next round with the Bears who beat them 24-0 then went onto win Super Bowl XX. While the playoff run ended earlier than Dickerson and his teammates would have wished they would not forget that day that Dickerson ran like a man possessed against the Dallas Cowboys. Rams guard Dennis Harrah said that he would remember the 55 yard touchdown run when he was old and gray, the call was "45 man" which was a quick hitter to the running back and when Dickerson got the ball into his hands he cut right behind Harrah then found daylight and was off to the races. An ordinary back would have gotten a yard or two, Dickerson was no ordinary back. Dickerson himself said "It's been awhile since I hit a home run." It's safe to say he knocked it out of the park that day.