BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs inspires 2012 Dallas Cowboys (Bonus: Throwback photos)
PHOTO: Jan. 22, 1983 – Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, center, is in the crush with members of his team after they beat the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC Championship at RFK Stadium
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – With their season hovering on the brink, the Dallas Cowboys turned to inspiration from former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said coach Jason Garrett invited the team’s former rival coach to speak to his players for the chapel service at the team hotel Saturday night in Charlotte before their game against the Carolina Panthers.
It must have helped because the Cowboys won 19-14 on Sunday.
Gibbs lives in Charlotte and owns a stock car racing team, Joe Gibbs Racing located just north of the city in Huntersville, N.C.
“He was saying to us that when they called him and asked him to speak he was like, `Are you crazy?’ knowing what that rivalry was like,” Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor said with a laugh.
Connor said Gibbs talked about “battling through adversity,” something the Cowboys (3-3) needed to do on Sunday against Carolina.
Dallas overcame a 14-13 deficit in the fourth quarter to break a two-game losing streak.
“He was talking about different situations he’s been in and how he fought through them,” Connor said. “He said when you’re in a situation you think it’s the worst thing ever, but when you have to have faith in God and push through it. That was the message. He was unbelievable.”
Jones said he and his players have “immense respect” for Gibbs, who won three Super Bowls with the Redskins. Jones said he even consulted with Gibbs when he was looking to hire a coach to replace Barry Switzer.
Gibbs’s message came after Garrett was criticized for poor clock management last week in Dallas’ 31-29 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“He came into chapel, and talked about some of his low times,” Jones said. “He spoke about some of the coaching errors. He wasn’t directing it to the team at all, relative to our criticism this week of our sideline coaching decisions, but he talked a little about a couple that bit him.
“The players told me that when they hear Joe Gibbs talk about a few bad decisions, they know anybody can make them.”
Nov. 28, 1974 – Cowboys rookie QB Clint Longley leaves Texas Stadium with game ball after bomb to wide receiver Drew Pearson in final seconds of game with Redskins.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins throwback game – Superman closing in.
Nov. 16, 1969 – President Richard Nixon watching Washington Redskins play Dallas Cowboys RFK. Charles Bud Wilkinson, presidential assistant and former coach, at left.
Oct. 2, 1978 – President Jimmy Carter waves as he watches Redskins and Cowboys in Washington. Seated beside his wife Rosalynn and Redskins owner Edward Bennett Williams
Dec. 16, 1979 – Fullback John Riggins is slowed down near the Dallas goal line by Cowboys cornerback Benny Barnes, left, and linebacker Bob Breunig