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Back To The Future. What Cowboys Plays Would You Alter If You Could Go Back In Time?

Wish you could change the outcome of some of the big moments in Cowboys history? If you had the chance, what would you like to see play out differently?

Rachel Murray/Getty Images

I was watching NFL Network and they had a segment in honor of the 30th anniversary of the movie "Back to the Future" and they proposed the question – if you could go back in time and change any one play, what would it be? That got me thinking about all those gut-wrenching moments that have caused me to unleash an unpleasant bellow that no innocent bystanders should have to witness. It sure would be nice if those heart breaking moments weren’t so heart breaking. If I could travel back in time, there are a few big plays I’d like to change.

Randy White Fumble

I was too young to remember the infamous Jackie Smith drop in Super Bowl XIII, however I have watched it repeatedly through old game replays. The Steelers were leading the Cowboys 21-14 with three minutes in the third quarter when Roger Staubach found Smith wide open in the end zone. The ball hit him right in the numbers. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal instead of tying the game and ultimately ended up losing by four points, 35-31.

As disappointing as that drop was, the play that really hurt was the Randy White fumble on the kick-off in the fourth quarter. Steelers’ kicker Roy Gerela accidentally slipped as he was kicking off the ball causing the ball to bounce to a defensive tackle that happened to be wearing a cast, which is not an ideal situation for a kickoff return. White’s costly fumble gave the Steelers the ball deep in Dallas territory where they immediately turned it into another seven points when Terry Bradshaw hit Lynn Swann for an 18 yard touchdown. I wish Randy White would have just fallen on the ball. I mean where did he think he was going, anyways?

Would Dallas have been able to emerge victorious if he didn’t fumble the ball? It’s possible. At the time the score was 28-17 with seven minutes left in the game. The game was still easily within reach, especially with the clutch Staubach behind center. And if they did it could have changed the whole perception of who was the team of the ‘70s. With both teams winning three Super Bowls in that decade, Dallas would have the edge by winning more regular season games and more playoff games than the Steelers during that span. Steelers fans will often boast about how dominant their team was in the ‘70s, but it was a lot closer than a lot of people think.

Eric Wright Tackle

If we did a poll for the play fans would want to change the most, the "The Catch" would emerge at the top of this list. That play was a dagger. But it was the very next play from scrimmage that I would change. With 47 seconds left in the game, Danny White dropped back and threw a strike over the middle to Drew Pearson for a 30 yard pass play into 49ers territory. Had it not been for the horse collar tackle from Eric Wright, Pearson would have been off to the races. I would change the play so that Wright whiffed on the tackle. Just think of how great that would have been. Danny White would go on to play in a Super Bowl. Nobody would even know who Dwight Clark is and his picture would slowly disappear from all those magazine covers. The world would be a better place.

R.W. McQuarters Interception

In the 2007 Divisional Playoff game, the Cowboys were trailing the Giants 21-17 with 16 seconds left. On fourth and 11 from Giants 23-yard line, Romo tried to hit Terry Glenn in the end zone for the game winning score, but R.W. McFlyQuarters had the receiver covered perfectly and picked off the pass. The Cowboys great 13-3 season would come to an abrupt end. What if McQuarters hadn’t been there and Glenn hauls in the game winning touchdown?

I’ve often wondered what the Tony Romo legacy would look like if the Cowboys beat the Giants in that game. The Giants went on to upset the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl that year. Could the Cowboys have done the same thing if they had beaten the Giants?

Those are some plays that I would change.  If you could get into the DeLorean and alter the course of Cowboys history, what would you change?

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