It’s not March, but that doesn’t mean the madness isn’t still going on as we keep things rolling with the BTB 64-play tournament. Today’s plays include a nice sideline catch in the Pacific Northwest, a game-cinching playoff pick, a game-cinching catch, and a speedster linebacker returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
TWilly toe tap
When the Cowboys got off to a 4-1 start in 2014, fans were feeling pretty good about their football team. But then came a contest with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks at one of the toughest road stadiums to play in - Century Link Field, which at one point was in the Guinness World Record books for being the loudest stadium in the world. So when the Seahawks blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown to put the Cowboys in a 10-0 hole, things were not looking good.
The Cowboys kept fighting, and in the end, they pulled off an impressive 30-23 road win. But none of that would’ve been possible had it not been for a clutch 3rd-and-20 play late in the fourth quarter. Tony Romo escaped pressure and launched the ball towards the sideline, only to find Terrance Williams toe-tapping his way for the completion. Three DeMarco Murray runs later, and the Cowboys were in the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Bates seals the deal
After five straight years of missing the playoffs, it appeared that third-year head coach Jimmy Johnson was turning things around for the Cowboys. In 1991, they got off to a slow start, but won the last five of their regular season games. Unfortunately, Troy Aikman went down with an injury and the team relied on Steve Beuerlein to lead the offense. But thanks to a good defense and a strong running game led by Emmitt Smith (who won his first ever rushing title), they were able to finish the year with an 11-5 record. That was good enough to earn them a Wild Card road game against the Chicago Bears.
Although Aikman was supposedly healthy enough to return, Johnson rode the hot hand and stuck with Beuerlein. In a low scoring affair in Soldier Field, the Cowboys came out on top 17-13 when an unlikely hero sealed the victory. Bill Bates, a 1983 undrafted free agent who was one of the few carryovers from the Landry era, picked off a Jim Harbaugh pass in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
In 2018, the Cowboys and Eagles were in a two-team race for the NFC East when they faced off in a pivotal Week 14 battle at AT&T Stadium. A Cowboys victory would give them a two-game lead, plus holding the tie-breaker by virtue of sweeping the season series. Things started out slow as the Cowboys only kicked field goals for the first three quarters, including a 62-yarder by Brett Maher as the first half expired. But things started picking up in the fourth quarter as Amari Cooper went off.
The Cowboys made a midseason trade with the Oakland Raiders to acquire Cooper, and he picked the right moment to have his best game of his NFL career. Cooper hauled in 10 catches for 217 and three touchdowns, all of them coming after the third quarter. The last one put a dagger in the Eagles’ season.
Hollywood’s kickoff return
Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson has lived quite the eventful life. From winning the Super Bowl to winning the Texas lottery, Henderson has done a little of everything, including a battle with drugs that ended his football career. But before his time ended, he made some big splashes. He was part of the Dirty Dozen, a group that featured 12 rookies from the 1975 draft class that all made the team, including Hall of Famer Randy White and All-Pro Bob Breunig.
A former track and field star, Henderson was an exceptional athlete. And special teams coach Mike Ditka found ways to utilize his speed. In Week 2 of his rookie season, Henderson took a reverse on a kickoff return 97 yards for a touchdown against the St. Louis Cardinals. You just don’t see designed plays like that for linebackers.
Which play do you think is the best?
This poll is closed
TWilly toe tap
Bill Bates interception
Hollywood’s big return
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...