The only words you will hear more than "Happy Thanksgiving" this Thursday are likely to be "Leon Lett." That's because the former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle committed the most boneheaded play in Thanksgiving game history 18 years ago when the Cowboys hosted the Miamid Dolphins. The Cowboys, up 14-13 with 12 seconds let in the game, had just blocked a field goal by the visiting Dolphins in the snow. As his teammates were backing away screaming to each other to not touch the ball, Lett came out of nowhere and dove at the ball, making it live. The Dolphins recovered the ball and kicked an 18-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.
The best part of watching the video (after the jump) is probably the celebration on the Cowboys sideline after they blocked the kick and "won the game." Jerry Jones has his arms raised in victory...then he sees something in the field...oh wait...what in hell? Troy Aikman is hugging Michael Irvin...then says something to him...then they both turn...what in hell?
Compounding it all is the fact that just months earlier in the Super Bowl, Lett showboated to a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills...except...wait, Don Beebe knocked the ball out of Lett's hands at the goal line and the Bills got the ball...what in hell? It was that boneheaded play in the Super Bowl that led color man Bob Trumpy to scream into his microphone on the Thanksgiving game, "It's Leon Lett! NO! Not Leon Lett!" Trumpy called both games on TV.
The game was over. Done. The Cowboys had won...if not for Lett and quite possibly the most boneheaded play in NFL history. Since that game the Dolphins have played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving more than any other team: This will be their third visit in the last 18 Thanksgivings.
The videos below are great. The first one is 10 minutes of the TV broadcast - the mayhem starts at about the 5-minute mark. The second is Jimmy Johnson, Emmitt Smith and some others talking about the play. The third video is Lett's boneheaded touchback 10 months earlier. Enjoy.