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March Madness tournament: Cowboys top 64 plays of all time, Round 1, Group 9

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We got four new plays for you!

Rams at Cowboys Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

With the first 32 plays in the books, the BTB 64-play tournament kicks off its second half as we keep plugging through the top plays in Dallas Cowboys history. Today’s plays include a Super Bowl hero, a new comeback quarterback, and some huge runs by a couple rookie running backs. Let’s do this!

Larry Brown picks O’Donnell

The 1995 season was a big year as the Cowboys became the only team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years. After a huge shake up at head coach had the team going from Jimmy Johnson to Barry Switzer, fans were a little unsettled about the course of the organization. But even without Jimmy, the Cowboys managed to return to the top again with a 27-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.

Most people remember the big deal made out of acquiring Deion Sanders that year in free agency, but as talented as he was, he missed seven games that year due to injury. What really helped the Cowboys defense was their depth in the secondary as they had a young Pro Bowl safety in Darren Woodson and cornerback Larry Brown, who led the team with six interceptions in the regular season, two of which he returned for touchdowns.

Brown’s heroics showed up big on the big stage as he was in the right place at the right time as two errant throws from Neil O’Donnell went right into his arms. Brown became the first cornerback to ever be named Super Bowl MVP.

The new comeback quarterback

The 1980 season marked the first time in over a decade that legendary quarterback Roger Staubach was not on the Cowboys as the keys to the offense had been handed over to Danny White. The Cowboys finished 12-4 that season, but things were looking bleak in a tough divisional playoff road game when the Atlanta Falcons led 27-17 with just over six minutes left in the game.

But then, White picked up where Staubach left off, orchestrating his own late-game comeback. The team drove 62 yards all on passing plays, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown to Drew Pearson that cut the lead to 27-24. The Cowboys defense forced Atlanta to punt and once again White had a chance as Dallas had the ball on their own 30-yard line with just under two minutes left. Again, he drove the offense down the field and finished things off with a 23-yard touchdown pass, once again to Pearson.

The DeMarcable run

After Emmitt Smith retired, the Cowboys had a tough time finding a good replacement at the running back position. The team used a carousel of options such as Troy Hambrick, Eddie George, Julius Jones, Marion Barber, and Felix Jones. But in 2011, they might have stumbled onto something good as a third-round rookie from Oklahoma got his chance to shine.

Felix Jones and Tashard Choice were atop the depth chart at running back, but a high ankle sprain opened the door for extra touches for DeMarco Murray. Despite Choice getting the start, Murray went off in a Week 7 game against the St. Louis Rams. Murray ran the ball 25 times for 253 yards, breaking the Cowboys single game record for rushing yards, previously held by Emmitt. Murray had several nice runs in that game, but none were more spectacular than when he broke loose for this 91-yard touchdown.

Zeke’s big screen play against the Steelers

When it comes to exciting Cowboys games, it’s hard to find one that had such a swing of emotion more than their 2016 road battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys won 11 straight games that season en route to a 13-3 year, but their streak was in jeopardy in Week 10 in a back and forth, adrenaline-filled game.

The Steelers got off to a 12-3 lead as the Cowboys offense was sputtering early, but late in the first quarter, the team got a spark thanks to another rookie running back. With a clever designed screen play and a convoy of blockers, Ezekiel Elliott raced down the sidelines for an 83-yard touchdown that got the Cowboys back in the game.

Poll

Which play do you think is the best?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Larry Brown interception
    (282 votes)
  • 26%
    Danny White to Drew Pearson
    (324 votes)
  • 12%
    DeMarco Murray’s big run
    (160 votes)
  • 38%
    Ezekiel Elliott’s screen play
    (475 votes)
1241 votes total Vote Now

If you have yet to cast your vote for the previous seven groups, it’s not too late as you can find them right here...

Group 1: Witten helmetless, Lilly sack, Romo scramble, Dorsett 75-yard TD

Group 2: Butch Super Bowl TD, Romo over-head snap, Puntisher, Jeffcoat pick-six

Group 3: Sanders punt return, Prescott in Seattle, White TD catch, Irvin Cardinals

Group 4: Larry Allen tackle, Walker’s walk-off, Austin’s leap, Dez on Thanksgiving

Group 5: Washington’s fumble recovery, Longley’s comeback, Folk’s FG, Murray 4th down

Group 6: Walker 84-yard run, Romo to TWilly, Staubach to Sellers, Dak to Beasley

Group 7: Newhouse pass in SB, Emmitt screen, Romo spin on Watt, Ware sack on Brees

Group 8: Miles OT in KC, Heath’s game saver, Barber’s 2-yard run, TO drama on the star