29 Years Ago Today...Tony Dorsett's 99-yd TD run

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    It was the 4th quarter of Monday Night Football. For the first time ever, the Dallas Cowboys had a regular season game played in January. The season was shortened to 9 games because of the first NFL Players strike. Divisions were done away with for the year.

    Dallas trailed the Vikings, 13 to 24 after John Turner returned a Danny White pass the other way for a score. Minnesota pinned the Cowboys inside the 1 yard line and things looked hopeless.

    My Mom was watching the game with me and said, "Well, what are your Cowboys going to do now?" At the time the longest rushing TD in the NFL had been a 97 yard score by Andy Uram of the Chicago Bears in 1939.

    I confidently replied, "No problem, Tony Dorsett is going to break the NFL record right here."

    Tony Dorsett was the single setback, because the FB forgot to enter the game. Dallas had only 10 men on the field. It must have helped that Tony didn't have to avoid his lead blocker. I still remember Frank Gifford's call, "huge opening for Tony Dorsett, look out he's got great speed." In the background Don Meredith was saying it by the time Tony hit the 30 yard line, "99 yards and a half."

    Then you could hear Howard Cosell, "99 yards. i think it's the longest run in the History of the league."

    I had a big bowl of popcorn in my lap, I jumped up and it went flying. I also raised by arms and hit a huge potted fern that my Mom loved and it went flying. I had huge chunks of fern draped over my head and popcorn and fern were all over the floor. I destroyed that fern. Did I mention my Mom loved it? It was really quite beautiful.

    I heard something and slowly turned my head to the right and saw my mother lying across the couch laughing her *** off. She was snorting and holding her ribs lying on her side. Tears running down her face. I was trying to apologize for destroying the plant, and she didn't care one bit. Sad it was the funniest thing she had ever seen.

    I told that story at her funeral in May and everyone was laughing.

    It is perhaps my favorite moment ever in a Cowboys loss. I am proud of the record Tony holds, but it also has the significance of that story for me which is a precious memory of a better time in my life. I was home from college for the Christmas break.

    I can still remember how cold the wet fern was on my head, and trying to see the carnage and the end of the touchdown through the shoots draped over my face and eyes. Still smell and taste the hot buttered popcorn that mom made in a pan on the stove the old fashioned way. Can still hear Frank, Don, and Howard praising Tony. I remember Drew Pearson was the first guy to congratulate him.

    I still remember the belief we were going to come back and win that game too. You see, Tony Dorsett rushing for 100 yards was a good omen for the Cowboys. Up to that point, only one time in his career had he hit 100+ yards and the Cowboys lost.

    That TD made it 20-24. Ron Springs later scored too for a 27-24 Cowboys lead, but the Vikings scored on a late TD pass, I think Tommy Kramer threw it. The Vikings won 27-31.

    43 times in his Cowboys career Tony Dorsett eclipsed the 100 yard mark in a football game. 39 times when that happened we won. Only 4 times did he reach that mark and the Cowboys fail to capitalize.

    It was 29 yars ago today, and it doesn't feel that long ago at all.
  2. 1fisher

    1fisher Well-Known Member

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    Great story, Hos.....

    How quickly time goes by. I remember that game quite well. My dad worked second shift and I was the only one watching MNF that night. I was jumping around like a kid at Christmas.

    I wish I felt as good about the Cowboys now as I did back then. :eek::
  3. DWhite Fan

    DWhite Fan It ain't over 'til it's over

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    Did Tony ever get that football back? I remember he tossed it away at the end of his run.
  4. ChopBlock

    ChopBlock Benched

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    Good question DWhite. I'm not sure but I do remember watching that game that night. It was at the very end of the season and the first year the Vikings played in what was then the brand new MetroDome.

    I remember having mixed feelings about the game because while I wanted us to win like always, winning also would mean we'd have to play the Vikings again the following week in the wildcard. But if we lost we would still host the wildcard but it'd be against Tampa Bay.

    But when Dorsett broke off that 99 yard run I didn't care if it meant a rematch with the Vikings, I just wanted us to win that game and in my excitement I jumped up and accidentally knocked over the ficus tree in our living room. Thankfully it didn't knock any limbs off, but boy was I redfaced.
  5. Star4Ever

    Star4Ever Well-Known Member

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    I remember that play very well, being 49 years old. I thought he was going to end up going out of bounds at some point, but he stayed in bounds the whole way. I guess one of my most memorable Cowboy plays was the Hail Mary in the playoffs against, you guessed it, the Vikings.
  6. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    :D I was 10
  7. DWhite Fan

    DWhite Fan It ain't over 'til it's over

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    LOL! You make me feel old. I was 15:eek:
  8. Dave_in-NC

    Dave_in-NC Well-Known Member

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    You yunggins.

    I used to remember that game
  9. SkinsandTerps

    SkinsandTerps Redskins Forever

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    Thanks for making me feel old Hos. Way to go. :mad:

    I remember that game as well. With similar emotions. The Cowboys are going to pull this one out. Except I was hoping they would lose.


    EDIT: One thing about that OP stuck out to me that you should just send me a PM about.
  10. windward

    windward NFL Historian

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    I was born 2 months later.
  11. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Active Member

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    Great story. I have a similar story about that play.

    My Dad liked the Cowboys but wasn't anywhere near as die hard as me. For some reason he was always very hard on Tony Dorsett and would really blast him for making mistakes. As we know, Tony was apt to put the ball on the ground.

    Well Dallas was struggling in that game so when we were backed up my Dad looked at me and in a derisive voice said, "Well I guess ole Dorsett is going to fumble it again!" I had enough of his criticism of Dorsett so I shot back, "Oh yeah? No I tell you what he's gonna do! He's about to take it 99 yards for a TD!"

    Well when Dorsett broke through that line and tip toed down the sidelines for the TD I just about burst an artery in my head I was screaming so loud! My Dad just sat there and laughed and laughed! I have never been more shocked in my life than I was at that moment. We still laugh about that moment even today. Great memory.

    Thanks Hos for sharing your story.
  12. DWhite Fan

    DWhite Fan It ain't over 'til it's over

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    15 yard unsportsmanlike-like penalty on you for piling on! I am old :laugh2:
  13. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    That story is awesome. Thank you.
  14. jesusdlg

    jesusdlg Member

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    I was 13 and I enjoyed that run like no other at that time.

    What a great memory and it was great to see it live (at least on TV) when it happened!!!
  15. Thick 'N Hearty

    Thick 'N Hearty Active Member

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    I was 9 at the time and wasn't into football then. It was all about parachute pants and the Thriller album. I'm glad I grew out of that.
  16. AmishCowboy

    AmishCowboy if you ain't first, you're last

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    I was in Basic Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio found out about it from the Drill Instructor the next morning.
  17. SMASHMOUTH9473

    SMASHMOUTH9473 Active Member

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    I was 8. Me and my dad was watching that game in our living room. Still live in the same house. Although Dad has went to the after life he is still watching the Cowboys from above. Now me and my kids enjoy watching the Cowboys play. My oldest has asked who was the better team. My answer will always be from my era. Today's Cowboys play for the money. Yesteryears Cowboys played with heart and were better coached.
  18. sbark

    sbark Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    I was at that game.....lucky once in my life i guess....
  19. BoysFanInAustin

    BoysFanInAustin Active Member

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    I was a year and a half old!
  20. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    Rick Danmeier was the Vikings placekicker that night, so it would have been a neat trick for him to take a Danny White pass back for a score.

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