Poor Leon Lett, the guy was a phenomenal player for the Cowboys during the 90's dynasty. Lett was big, strong and quick as a cat, but he will forever be remembered for two plays that rank amongst the worst gaffes ever on the football field. The DMN ran an article yesterday outlining the biggest blunders in Dallas sports history. Of course Leon makes the list along with two others. Most people remember Jackie Smith's error, but I didn't recall the Danny White blunder.
Super Bowl XXVII, January 31, 1993; 1993 Thanksgiving game
What happened: Lett, the Cowboys' talented but troubled defensive lineman, could have his own top-10 list. In fact, on ESPN's 25 Biggest Sports Blunders, he occupies two of the top three spots. His premature celebration in Super Bowl XXVII is the gold standard. An oblivious Lett allowed Bills receiver Don Beebe to poke the ball out of his hands for a touchback as Lett rumbled toward the end zone. But what really sticks in the minds of Dallas sports fans is Lett's infamous Thanksgiving game performance the next year against the Miami Dolphins. With his teammates celebrating a blocked last-minute Miami field goal, Lett tried to recover the ball, ultimately fumbling it back and gift-wrapping a chip-shot winning field goal for the Dolphins.
During the Super Bowl game against the Bills when Don Beebe ran down Lett, he had 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Imagine his line if he had scored; 1 sack, 2 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD. Instead, everyone remembers just one thing, Beebe running him down as he celebrated too early.
Super Bowl XIII, January 21, 1979
What happened: The toughest inclusion on the list, Smith's simple drop may be the most painful. Smith, in the last season of a Hall of Fame career, hadn't caught a pass all season. But with the Cowboys trailing 21-14 in the third quarter against Pittsburgh, he broke wide open in the end zone. Roger Staubach's slightly underthrown pass bounced harmlessly off Smith's hands, and instead of a sure touchdown, the Cowboys were forced to settle for a field goal. The Steelers won, 35-31.
Danny White's audible
Dec. 11, 1983
What happened: Trailing 14-10 and facing a fourth and inches from his own 49-yard line in a crucial late-season showdown against the Redskins, quarterback Danny White talked Tom Landry into letting him try to draw the Redskins offside. But with one second on the play clock, White audibled for a Ron Springs run, which resulted in a 2-yard loss. The play shifted the momentum of the game, with Landry, famed for his calm and composed demeanor, losing it, berating White on national TV and screaming "No, no, no, Danny, no!" Dallas lost, 31-10.