This is a highly underrated game in Redskins history. It featured two of the iconic moments of the Joe Gibbs' legendary run as Redskins' coach. The "We want Dallas" chant actually had started the week before during the second half of the Redskins' win over Detroit in the first round. But it came up full throat as this game progressed.
Then, as he was leaving the field after finishing off his 185-yard day, John Riggins acknowledged the raucous cheers of the crowd by removing his helmet and taking a deep bow to each side of the stadium.
From the pages of The Redskins Chronicle:
It was a daylong Riggo drill at RFK, with Riggins carrying 37 times for 185 yards as Washington ground the Vikings into submission to move to the NFC Championship game. The Redskins did all of their scoring early, putting up 21 points in just over 20 minutes before letting the defense stuff the Vikings and Riggins chew up the clock.
Riggins carried seven times for 34 yards in the Redskins’ first possession as the Redskins drove 66 yards for a touchdown. The payoff came on a three-yard, third down pass from Joe Theismann to Don Warren six minutes into the game.
Having already established Riggins as a threat, the Redskins were able to use the flea flicker two series later. Theismann handed to Riggins, who faked into the middle of the line, stopped, and tossed back to the quarterback, who found Alvin Garrett for 44 yards to the Minnesota 11. The Skins went for it on fourth and inches at the two, and Riggins ploughed over the goal line for the TD to make it 14-0.
A chant that had started mildly a week before began to pick up steam among the 54,593 Redskins faithful in attendance. Rumbles of “We want Dallas, we want Dallas!” started to roll through the stands, expressing a desire for the Redskins to be given an opportunity to avenge their only loss of the season, a home 24-10 loss to the Cowboys in game number five. As the game wore on and it became apparent the Skins would win, the chant grew in volume and intensity.
Minnesota temporarily halted the momentum in the second quarter, scoring on Ted Brown’s 18-yard run two minutes into the second quarter, capping a seven-play, 77-yard drive. But the Redskins came right back, moving 70 yards in eight plays and scoring on a 14-yard pass from Theismann to Garrett. The score came with just under 10 minutes left in the half, and it would prove to be the last one of the game for either side.
Both teams would threaten in the second half. Mark Moseley missed two field goal attempts and the Vikings drove into Redskins territory three times. Midway through the third quarter, cornerback Joe Lavender knocked down a fourth-down pass in the end zone to kill one threat and in the fourth period, end Tony McGee sacked Tommy Kramer on fourth and seven at the Washington 15. In between those plays, the Vikings stopped themselves when receiver Sammy White was wide open in the end zone and flat dropped Tommy Kramer’s pass.
Enough of this, the Redskins said. In between rousing chants of “We want Dallas,” Riggins carried 11 more times to wear down the Vikings and roll down the clock. When he left the game with about a minute left, he acknowledged the emotional cheers of the crowd by stopping around the hash marks, removing his helmet and taking a couple of deep bows, giving the adoring fans a wave. The Redskins and the crowd got Dallas the next day when the Cowboys defeated Green Bay to advance to the NFC title game.