We have entered the final quadrant of the first round for BTB’s 64-play tournament. Over the next four days, we’ll have the last remaining groups for you to cast your vote to see which one makes it to the Sweet 16. Today’s group consists of a couple special yards after-the-catch passing plays as well as couple heads up special teams plays. Let’s get to it!
A dynasty is born
It’s hard to describe the pain and anguish that came along with the Cowboys loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 1981 NFC Championship game. Tom Landry’s team went through a stretch where they made the playoffs in 17 out of 18 seasons, but in 1981 - little did we know that things were soon coming to an end. When Dwight Clark made “The Catch” it symbolized a changing of the guard of NFC supremacy.
So, when Jimmy Johnson’s team in the ‘90s was on the rise, their 1992 NFC Championship matchup was a time for redemption as they strolled back onto that same Candlestick Park grass. It was a good battle, and the Cowboys looked to be pulling away, but late in the fourth quarter, the 49ers cut the Cowboys lead to 24-20 in hopes of getting the ball back one more time to complete another comeback and once again crush the spirits of Cowboys fans everywhere. Thankfully, Dallas had other plans and rather than burning clock, Troy Aikman attacked through the air and hit Alvin Harper on a deep slant. Harper took off for a 70-yard gain that set up another Cowboys touchdown, putting the game on ice and punching their ticket to a Super Bowl return.
The Cowboys drafted Arizona State quarterback Danny White in the third round of the 1974 NFL Draft to be the team’s punter. With Roger Staubach firmly established as the team’s quarterback and White wanting to play quarterback himself, White opted to go play in the World Football league for the Memphis Southmen. Two years later after the World Football league folded, White joined the Cowboys as a backup quarterback.
When Staubach retired after the 1979 season, White took over the starting quarterback duties. In his first three seasons as the team’s new quarterback, the Cowboys went to three straight NFC Championship games, but unfortunately lost each time. White still served as the team’s punter until 1985, and his athleticism was on display whenever the he pulled of a little trickery with a fake punt. His 48-yard scamper against the Green Bay Packers back in 1980 was pretty impressive and showed what White’s versatility added to the team.
The silver & blue bullet
Zone defense. Quick-screen. Bump and run. There was a time when these things didn’t exist in the NFL, but that all changed when “Bullet” Bob Hayes entered the league. Hayes was a seventh-round draft pick back in 1964 as the Cowboys took a gamble that this Olympic sprinter turned wide receiver would be an asset for them. And he was.
Hayes played 11 seasons in the league, with 10 of them for Dallas. In 2009, he entered Canton, joining Jim Thorpe as only the second Olympic gold medalist to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hayes was revered as one of the games fastest it’s ever seen, and in Week 10 of 1966 against the Washington Redskins, he used that speed to take a Don Meredith pass 95 yards for a touchdown.
Catch me if you McCann
In 2010, there wasn’t a lot to cheer about as the Cowboys finished the season 6-10; however, Bryan McCann had a two-game stretch where he did something amazing. McCann was an undrafted free agent and only played in 11 total games with the Cowboys. He ended up getting cut when injuries to the wide receiver position forced the team to sign Laurent Robinson.
While McCann’s time was short-lived, he had a flash of greatness his rookie season. First, against the New York Giants, he picked off Eli Manning and ran it back 101 yards for a touchdown. It was, and still remains the Cowboys longest interception return in franchise history.
Then, the following week against the Detroit Lions, McCann made a heads-up play and caught a batted ball the Lions special teams was trying to keep from going into the end zone, and ran it 97 yards for a touchdown.
Which play do you like best?
This poll is closed
Aikman to Harper 49ers
White’s fake punt
Bullet Bob’s 95-yarder
McCann’s head’s up return
If you have yet to cast your vote for the previous 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
Group 9: Brown’s SB int, Danny Whites comeback, DeMarco’s big run, Zeke’s screen play
Group 10: TWilly toe tap, Bates’ interception, Amari’s walk-off, Hollywood TD return
Group 11: Harper’s SB touchdown, Emmitt’s record run, Romo to Holley, Pearson vs. Rams
Group 12: Witten’s Y-Option. Dorsett vs. Colts, Aikman to Rocket in OT, Ware picks Vick