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Dexter Manley on making Danny White cry

(AP archives)

If you've ever heard Dexter Manley talk, you know that it can be a sometimes baffling yet thrilling experience. His answer to one question will quickly veer to something else entirely, then something else, then something else, then a plug for Certified Building Services, then a sharp dash of pathos, then an aside about Joe Gibbs, and then finally he'll be interrupted and asked something else after 15 minutes or so.

So trying to piece together two of Manley's radio interviews this week, both on ESPN 980, is a bit of a job. But let's get to some highlights anyhow. Like, here was when he was asked about knocking out Danny White during the 1982 NFC championship game at RFK, which remains one of the indelible images of this Dallas-Washington rivalry.

"I could tell as he was going down, he was whining like a baby, and I knew at that point in time this guy is done," Manley said on The Sports Fix. "He'd never play another down, and I knew that the Redskins' fan base was all excited and happy and we were on our way. But then we had to keep coming back, because they brought in a guy named Gary Hogeboom. I couldn't pronounce his name at the time. I was pronouncing his name sort of wrong, and then Joe Theismann kept telling me the correct name. You know, his name is Hogeboom. I didn't know how to pronounce the guy's name at first."

From making Danny White whine like a baby to being schooled on the pronunciation of Hogeboom; that's a Dexter Manley interview. If I can switch around here, Manley's teammate Darryl Grant was on the John Thompson Show later in the day, and he was asked about the defense during that game.

"Basically the scheme, to sum it up, was just attack," Grant said. "We ran some stunts, we ran some twists, but it was just penetration, get to the quarterback, put as much pressure, knock him around. And Dexter came through there on a twist and knocked him out. Cold. That's the kind of aggression we went into the game with. We felt they had no respect for us, they totally disrespected us, and we were focused when we went in there. It was all about beating the Cowboys, man. We weren't gonna be denied."

Anyhow, Kevin Sheehan also asked Manley about his pre-game locker room behavior before that game. Apparently he had gotten sort of excited.

"That was my second year in the league, and of course I think Tex Schramm had sort of built the Cowboys as America's football team: the star, the uniforms," Manley said. "And I was just sort of a young guy, straight out of Oklahoma State. I felt like I could compete. I always sort of disliked the Cowboys once I became a Redskin, because I understood that just goes with the territory. And so I was shooting my mouth off during the week, and so now it's time to back it up.

"And so now it's game day. You know, and so you can do all that stuff in the locker room, but also you've got to go perform on the field. And I was just so pumped. To be quite frank with you, I read a book about Thomas Hollywood Henderson, and I didn't know anything about it, but he said it sort of gets your adrenaline flowing. I took maybe five Sudafed tablets before the game. I took Sudafed tablets and I just sort of lost it in the locker room.

"I remember there was a big coffee maker machine there and I just went and picked it up and slammed it on the blackboard. It was, like, barbaric stuff. But you know, I knew that once you do that, you play a game in the locker room, and then you have to play a game on the field as well, and I sort of couldn't control it."

(What was it like to play next to Dexter? "It was awesome," Grant said, "because you knew Dexter was gonna bring that heat. He'd be woofing and hollering and being all excited and fired up every play, ready to go, and just would be mauling his man. Just maul him. I just watched him maul guys.")

Both of these players were asked about Dallas Week now, and both said it still matters, which is exactly what you want them to say.

"It is a big week; I think it's a big week for the current players and the non-active players," Manley said. "It's something still in my craw that I just dislike the Cowboys. I don't quite understand, you've got a fan base here, Washington people here, and most all these people, they be telling me they're rooting for the Cowboys. This is a great tradition here in their own backyard and they sort of neglect the Redskins....You of course are rooting for the guys to go out there and play well and play with a lot of heart and represent the Redskins and the guys who was there before them, and so I'm hoping that they'll do that on Sunday."

"What does this particular game mean? It's big," Grant said. "It's a lot of tradition, a lot of history. At one point this was the biggest rivalry in the NFL, possibly all of sports. Man, this is the week."

(Grant will turn 50 on Sunday; he said his birthday present is "gonna be a win against Dallas. That's all I'm asking for. It's simple.")

Manley was asked whether he could give a pre-game talk to this year's team, if necessary, and he said sure. Which I don't doubt. So long as he doesn't hand out cold medication.

"It's like defending America," he said, summarizing his talking points. "You've got to take the fight to the enemy, and the Cowboys will be the enemy....I think that what's important is that those guys have to have the courage to go out there and persevere and sacrifice, not only for themselves but for this great generation that's here, this legacy that the Redskins have been here since 1932. So many things I could say that these guys can do. Can't be frustrated, just got to be determined."

Manley also appeared on the John Thompson Show, leading Doc Walker to tell stories of Dexter smashing up a locker room at Texas Stadium before a Cowboys game. Doc asked him whether that was his top pre-game psycho moment.

"I think so," Manley said. "No, I take that back, that's probably the second one. The first one, I'll never forget....We had just beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Metrodome and then some reporter asked me about Mike Ditka. It was on a Monday night in San Francisco, he threw bubble gum at a woman in San Francisco, you remember that? Okay so a reporter asked me about this, I said Mike Ditka's a bum, something like that. He came back and said Manley's got the IQ of a grapefruit. So I took that real personal. I didn't think a coach of his caliber, an NFL coach would sort of get into this tit for tat with a player.

"And that [had] a lot of validity. Not that I had the IQ of a grapefruit, but I had a learning disability, I was sort of living this secret life, and he sort of exposed me. People made fun of me. And I sort of made a commitment on that day. I remember, that's the first time Joe Gibbs came to my back for me, and he sort of stood up and said something and we had a team meeting. You should ask those guys. I threw chairs. Joe Gibbs was up talking in the meeting, and I just kind of lost it and then I went out and played a game against the Bears and I challenged Mike Ditka to come on the field."

Jeez, can you imagine the Web traffic that episode would have generated?

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 20, 2009; 7:14 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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I'm effing pumped!!!
eff the cowboys!!!
eff the bandwagon nad riding d-bag cowboys fans!!!
Hail to the Redskins!!!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | November 20, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Maul 'em!


Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Erm... yeah... so, ah, Dexter, maybe you should lay off the talking about the, um, stimulants... slippery slope and all that... we don't really want to know all the details of 'better footballing through chemistry,' do we?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | November 20, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Great pic! Olkewicz(57) and Coleman (51), I think.

Those were the days.

Go 'Skins!

Posted by: Bebunk | November 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

It's a great story, but how can he say he read a book by Hollywood Henderson when years later he admitted he couldn't read?

Posted by: LostinPotomac | November 20, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Man, I miss Redskins like these guys. If I remember correctly, Dexter said during the week before that game that he would knock White out-and he DID! And White, when asked later about his experiences at RFK, said he didn't like it, that it was a rude place that overwhelmingly smelled of beer. Remember how Dexter would always twirl his towel in the air while the opposing team broke huddle? Ah, those days bring tears of pride and joy--Gibbs Era I will be so hard to repeat/copy.

Posted by: brad40 | November 20, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm pumped like crazy. What a great piece this is. If only Dexter can get the current D to step up and get as pumped as he used to, it would be doomsday for the girls.

Maul'em! Maul'em! Maul'em

Beat The Girls

Posted by: BacktoGlory | November 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Five Sudafed tablets?!?! Good thing they weren't testing for over the counter medication 20 years ago. Manly was lit up like a Xmas tree!!

As incedulous as Manley's recollection of those days is, I still admire the old guys for actually having the passion and the drive to perform. Unfortunately these days, for whatever reason (free agency, diva syndrom, etc.) players do not buy into the whole history or tradition of an organization. These days all the players are just hired guns. They perform because they get paid, not because they truly believe in what they are doing or have passion for the rivalry.

The glory days are over. The only one left from the by-gone-era is Favre. People may hate him for waffling on retirement but no-one can criticize him for having passion for the game!

Beat the Cowgirls and FIRE VINNY!!!!

Posted by: skinfannomore | November 20, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Kick-off in 48 hours and 46 minutes.

Let's hope the Redskin's come out hitting like last week - it was great to see a return to smash mouth football.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 20, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

being in rfk w/ my dad that day against dallas was one of the highlights of my life. when dexter sacked hogeboom and darryl grant high stepped it into the end zone, the stadium almost imploded. it was a joy and a priveledge to go to games back then. i fear we will never ever see days like that again. sad.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 20, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

How you know when the local teams are sorry - this season? The media shift from what's going on today to back-in-the-day highlights, clips, articles, etc... like a 90 year old close to death recalling WWII.
Last week, I saw WRC play clips of Doug Williams glory day. What's next, 1937 and 1942 clips?

I guess when they're 3-6, have no shot of reaching this years playoffs, haven't been to a Super Bowk in 17 years, have only won Lombardi trophies with 2 in strike-shortened seasons, a lame duck coach, an embattled owner, VP/Operations and QB, with an 80 year old bingo calling play caller, what else is there.

Funny, they never show the 1940 highlights.
Bears 73 Redskins 0.
Why not show that since they like back in the day memorable games. Now that was memorable.

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I love Manley. Just love him. Sitting in RFK watching the Redskins beat the hated Cowboys was the epitome of my Redskins fandom. Oh to have those days back.

Posted by: chitownskinsfan1 | November 20, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

While the old days were great, some of the recent battles have been just as good. The 2005 game in Dallas when Santana caught two long ones for a come from behind win? The 2007 playoff clinching 27-6 win? in 2006, Troy Vincent blocking that FG and Sean Taylor returning it 30 yards to set up the game winning FG? Not sure about you guys, but those rank up there with any other Skins/Dallas non-playoff games that you can mention.

Let's not pretend it has been all doom and gloom these past few years.

Posted by: fushezzi | November 20, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Miss ya Dex...this current team needs a leader like you!!! You listening Synderato? I thought not.

Anyhoo, that Redskins-Cowpies game is still in my top 3 Redskins games ever...I still get chills when I see Hogeboom drop back to throw the screen and Dex deflects the ball and Darryl catches it and rumbles into the endzone...and the way RFK went absolutely insanely nuts!!!! Those were the days!!!

***for the younger viewers who don't remember the play... make sure you have the sound on!!!!!

Posted by: regis429 | November 20, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The overall so-called rivalry is.......
Dallas 57 Redskins 39

If that score were football or basketball, it would be called a blowout.

Lombardi trophies?
Dallas 5 Redskins 3 (2 in strike years), thus with an * in Wikipedia

Playoff matchups
Redskins 2 Dallas 0
That resulted in only 1 Super Bowl win, as the Skins lost the 1973 Super Bowl to Miami. Since America only remembers winners (elections, Super Bowls, World Series), who cares. After the BIG 1973 RFK win, the Over the Hill Gang endedtheir careers with how many Lombardi trophies?

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I was with him until he mentioned, ahem, reading a book about Hollywood Henderson.

Love ya anyway #72 !!!

Posted by: jksesq1 | November 20, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

re: kedavis

I'm baffled why a Dallas fan would be interested in a Washington paper. It's almost as if he doesn't live in Dallas. Strange...

Posted by: Tom703 | November 20, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey KEDavis,

Let's talk recent history, nobody cares about the Roger Staubach era. In the last 12 years, the Cowgirls have the same number of playoff wins as the Browns, Lions, Chiefs and Bills. ZERO!!! Your quarterback is a complete choker but your mummified excuse for an owner loves him for some incomprehensible reason, so he will be given at least another 4 or 5 years behind center. After that, it will be rebuilding time. Frankly I think you guys are looking at least another decade before you can realistically expect to make it past the Wild Card round.

Posted by: jksesq1 | November 20, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Ah Dallas Week. The only time Cowboy fans can walk around the streets of DC in silver and blue without looking like they have a serious personality disorder. I couldn't believe how many Dallas fans showed up to last week's non-conference game at FedEx. Then when they get booed for wearing that awful jersey they stand up and talk a bunch of ish. There's a word for these people. Check the commentor's description of Sean Avery on Stein's Matt Bradley bit.

Posted by: Tom703 | November 20, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Bebunk -- I think Rich Milot was #57. Olky was 52.

Those were the days . . .

Dexter is the greatest.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | November 20, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Worst sports franchises in the world:

2) Duke Blue Devils Men's Basketball
3) New York Yankees
4) LA Lakers
5) Pittsburgh Penguins'
6) Manchester United

I hate all of these teams, but I hate the Cowboys just as much as I hate Osama bin Laden

Posted by: RedskinAddict | November 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"I stretched out Brent Jones, and if you want to stretch out your dollar you'll call United Construction Services today at....."

Dexters interview today on 106.7 was some of the most entertaining radio I've heard in years. He should be a regular guest!

Posted by: yampaco | November 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the plug, what a salesman! I'm so sorry I missed the interview, but I suppose there's a podcast out there. Last time I heard ol' Dex on the radio he was on Elliot talkin about the "rumor mir".

Posted by: Tom703 | November 20, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Just got done listening to LaVar Arrington on a Dallas radio show while at lunch.
He is definitely a homer for you guys, and I can't fault that. But even he said Dallas would win even if your freak NT was going to play, (which he will probably not), and without him, no chance. I'd like to say that the 'Skins have no chance, as on paper they do not. But we all know how fierce and whacky this rivalry has been over the years, so rarely do these games turn out as expected. Yeah, I hate that NFC title game as much as you guys loved it, just as I still savor our only win in the 1-15 season of 1989 being at your house. That's just how Cowboys/Skins games go, and that is probably why our rivalry is so much more intense than with the Iggles/Jints. Or maybe the rivalry is what makes the games so unpredictable. Either way, it ought to be a good one. Enjoy it, folks, whether you are a Cowboy or an Indian... God Bless America!! Go Cowboys!!

Posted by: LoneStarJim | November 20, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ah the days of the REAL Redskins. The current team can't even come close to the Redskins of Joe Gibbs 1.


Posted by: memyselfI1 | November 20, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BlaketheMegalomaniac | November 20, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Imagine these geezers duking it out at the old folks home...Bill Bates elbowing Timmy Smith while trying to remember who he is, Pat Fischer forearming Golden Richards for the last fruit's a SHOW

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"It's a great story, but how can he say he read a book by Hollywood Henderson when years later he admitted he couldn't read?"

Good question Lost! Maybe he just FORGOT how to read. These guys do get pretty banged up.


Posted by: Tom703 | November 20, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Also in the picture (though mostly screened by Rich Milot #57...probably the only time THAT's ever happened....#65, Big Dave Butz...those were the days. That play that everyone talks about...the deflection and resultant TD....almost gave me a concussion. I was watching the game in the basement with my dad, sitting in a chair under a section of ceiling that is only about 6 1/2 feet high. I'm 6'1" when I jumped out of my chair.....I think I saw more stars than Danny White did that day....but I didn't care, either :)

Posted by: RPrecupjr | November 20, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

In the last 17 years, the Redskins have the same amount of Super Bowl wins as the Bengals, Falcons, Browns, Saints, Cardinals, Panthers, Jets, ...


Dallas has in this time period you call "lately". And FIVE - that's (5) Lombardi trophies overall.

no one outside of DC cares about, or remembers, the 1-2 playoff wins. Heck the Over the hill gang won playoff games, but who cares or remembers except them. Cause THEY FAILED TO WIN THE LOMBARDI TROPHY.

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Two of my favorite Cowboys-Redskins memories were the last game of the 1979 season and the season opener in Washington in 1983. Cowboys come back from a 34-21 deficit to knock off the Skins on Roger Staubach's pass to Tony Hill. And in '83, Manley couldn't make Danny White cry. The Boys came from down 23-3 to win. How about 1989 at Washington. Cowboys only won one game that year--and that was it! By the way, I am a diehard Cowboys fan. Eff the Redskins! Go, Cowboys!!!!

Posted by: fchenoweth | November 20, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I give up - why would anyone listen to an idiot that can not read or write. His comments were apparently written by someone other than Dexter. Duh!

Posted by: mchief | November 20, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Now if only Manley can explain why he makes waitresses cry. Somebody teach him how to calculate 15%. A one dollar tip on a twenty dollar dinner is NOT a sign of respect. He walks into the restaurants, plays the great hero, stiffs the waiter, and walks out again.

Great player. Lousy tipper.

Posted by: getkind | November 20, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot to mention the best part of that '79 game was Harvey Martin throwing a funeral wreath into the Washington locker room after the game. A cowboys fan had sent it to him--to get him pumped for the game. Go, Cowboys!

Posted by: fchenoweth | November 20, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It's almost Thanksgiving Day.
Where's Clint Longley - 35 years later.

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Do ANY Dallas fans live in Texas?
Go 'Skins!
Beat those CowPies black and blue!
(and tarnished-grey-silver)

Posted by: evpoison | November 20, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

NO ONE got me fired up at games at RFK like Dexter did. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

Posted by: Monkman63 | November 20, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Lots of past tense talk by the author and all.

Guess that beats discussing a team that's now a weekly homecoming opponent, national punchline, and whose season effectively ended after week 6.

They ARE 3-6. We're all just wondering which 55 year old has-been with Dan sign next summer? We've seen old men Deion, Bruce, Jason Taylor, Haynesworth, Carrier, Alvin Harper (that's really funny), James Washington, Galbreath, Sean Gilbert, the D lineman from SF - all like 55 upon arrival.

Summer 2010, will it be Marvin Harrison or T.O., or Vick or Ronde Barber or Culpepper?

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The best part about that game was Dexter mixing metaphors like a champ beforehand when he said of Danny White: "I'm gonna ring his clock." He did, too.

Posted by: EdTheRed | November 20, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

LeVar Arrington said Dallas wins this week?
He should know. He sure lost alot to them.

Little Known Fact
Which Skins coach had a winning record against Dallas (as Skins coach)?

Gibbs, Lombardi, Allen, Pardee, Spurrier, Marty, Norv, Zorn?

Answer: Not one, but - get this - Zorn is the ONLY one that's at least .500% and he's 1-1. WOW. Rivalry?

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

kedavis, seems to me the skins have 5 nfl championships to date.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 20, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@kedavis ... if you lived in Dallas you could know what kinds of things of past-tense things they talk about there.

Posted by: evpoison | November 20, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I sure wish these guys would give the pregame speach to this team and get them going to beat the hell out of the cowboys! BTW FIRE Vinny and Dallas sucks!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | November 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

you guys are making me friggin cry!! Seriously. So many great memories. I love the skins!!!!

Posted by: mcgintyman | November 20, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Skins have 5 championships.
Yep, and (only) THREE Lombardi trophies.

They won 2 titles (1937 and 1942) in the all white males club league then-the NFL with like 4 teams.

Since the Super Bowl era we all relate to, or real modern football with Vince' name on the trophy, (only) 3 titles with 2 coming in strike-shortened seasons.

I guess with your logic, the Browns and Cardinals have titles too. Somehow I doubt their fans relate to those 1930's titles.

Posted by: kedavis | November 20, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

G*^%$%^%^t I love that M!@#$@@!#r!!!!! Brought chills down my spine!

Thanks Dexter-for bringing reminding why I love this team....and also why I despise that miserable little f!@#$r for running it into the dirt.

Hail to Dexter Manley!

Posted by: troyyeske1 | November 21, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

This is a terrrrrible "I Hate Dallas" story.

So, I didn't live in the best neighborhood/apartments in Alexandria, VA...

One night, I hear the familiar shuffling of feet, grunting, sound of faces being punched... right outside my window.

It was like your basic Five on One beat down... and the One was getting rocked pretty badly.

He had a Dallas jacket on. I went right back to watching TV. I figured he had it coming.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 21, 2009 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey NateinthePDX: To elude to Dexter juicing is ridiculous. His problem was cocaine. The man was ahead or Reggie White in sacks at the time he was banned. He would have been the greatest and one of the Top 5 Redskins in History if not for the white powder. He had the sack record by a mile. It was a hazy period of limited media prior to the internet but the facts I mention are straight. There may be other leaks of BS out there, but thank this man for his contribution to our sorry team.

Posted by: robjway1 | November 21, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter whether those years were strike shortened or not. As a matter of fact, in 1987, with the replacement players Gibbs was smarter than enyone else and put together a halfway decent bunch of guys and practiced hard and they won every game, INCLUDING one against Dallas with some of their real players in the game! And you are getting your info from Wikipedia? Typical Cowboys fan. Look at the NFL website buddy, there are no asteriks and it lists the Redskins at 5 NFL Championships not 3 or 3+2*. Same as the Cowgirls. And Thinker i saw a similar event at the final game at RFK a win over Dallas. A Cowgirls fan had knocked a hat off of a young Redskins fan's head and he paid for it. You were correct in assuming he had it coming, they all do! HAIL!

Posted by: Joshington | November 21, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad for guys like LoneStarJim, he seems like a good guy and his post was gracious.

You're in a minority LSJ. A decent, fair-minded C*wgirls fan...

Posted by: stevebeagrie | November 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

FAO kedavis;

Bottom Line; what's the biggest game the 'Skins and D*ll*s can play in?

The NFC Championship game.

What's the head-to-head record in those games?

Case closed.

Posted by: stevebeagrie | November 21, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Real Redskins.....those were the days.
Glory Days. If they can beat the Gurls tomorrow,people will start getting pumped again.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I was at that game. When Dexter knocked Cry-Baby Danny out, the place went nuts. RFK was actually shaking with the pulse of the frenzied 53,000+...Danny-boy KO'd...Cowpokes getting stomped...NFC Championship...
Somebody needs to show the current SKINZ team this highlight film. They need some sense of the history of this rivalry and the passion that the Redskins used to bring on gameday. It's missing out there. It's just a job to the players today.

Posted by: SKINZR1 | November 21, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

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