Record 112,376 See Oilers Bog Down Cowboys : Pro football: Mexico City crowd becomes largest ever to see an NFL game as Houston wins, 6-0.
The Dallas Cowboys won the crowd. The Houston Oilers won the game.
The Oilers outscored the Super Bowl champions, 6-0, Monday night in Azteca Stadium, more historic for its soccer, concerts and last year a boxing match featuring national hero Julio Cesar Chavez.
The soccer field was converted to American football for one night of fan celebration with an NFL-record crowd of 112,376 cheering almost everything, even the pregame warm-ups.
Chavez, who won a fight in the stadium in 1993, participated in the pregame coin toss.
Houston’s Darryl Lewis, whose interception halted a Cowboy threat in the first half, said it was “great to play in front of a crowd this big. I think some of them started off the game as Cowboy fans, but I think we are turning some of them to our side.
“The Mexican people have made us feel very welcome. I feel like Michael Jackson with all their attention.”
The Oilers, who have beaten the Cowboys in 11 of the last 12 meetings--including two in the regular season--used field goals of 37 and 26 yards by Al Del Greco for a 6-0 halftime lead.
Cody Carlson guided the Oilers to the Cowboy 20, highlighted by a 19-yard pass to Pat Coleman, before Del Greco’s 37-yarder.
The Oiler defense, second in the NFL in forced turnovers last season, set up the second field goal after a diving interception by Lewis at the Houston 17. The Oilers drove to the Dallas nine, from which Del Greco made his second kick.
There was little excitement in the second half until the closing minutes, when Dallas’ Shelby Hill took a pass to the Oiler two before fumbling when hit by Houston’s Emanuel Martin. Tony Brown recovered for the Oilers.
Heavy rain before the game didn’t dampen the crowd’s excitement but did keep Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s three-time rushing leader, from playing.
Smith was scheduled for his first exhibition action, but the soggy field kept him on the sidelines.
“I talked to Coach (Barry) Switzer after warm-ups and we both felt that the footing wasn’t going to be good enough,” Smith said.
“I’m really disappointed because I was really looking forward to playing some.”
Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman left after one drive in the second quarter and was replaced by Rodney Peete, who drove the Cowboys to a missed 21-yard field goal attempt by Richie Cunningham in the final seconds of the half.
Aikman was three of seven for 12 yards with one interception. Carlson played the first half and was 11 of 16 for 120 yards and was sacked twice.
David Ibarra, 30, an architect, attended the game with a Cowboys star painted on his face and wearing a Cowboys headband.
“When I hear NAFTA, I wish that is stood for North American Football Trade Agreement,” he said. “We’ve been waiting years for this.”