Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Leon Lett Incidents
The Dallas Cowboys announced this week that former defensive lineman Leon Lett will join the staff as assistant defensive line coach. He previously helped the Cowboys during training camp in 2011.
Of course, none of us have forgotten about the Leon Lett stories of the 1990s. Although Lett was very important to the team’s success in 1995, his gaffes remain legendary.
As part of the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes series, here are three quotes about these gaffes.
“How could I hear someone that small and that fast. I was the one making all the noise.”
Lett about Don Beebe, who stripped Lett of the football in Super Bowl XXVII before Lett could score. Had Lett scored, the Cowboys would have won 59-17 and set a Super Bowl record for points scored.
Source: New York Times, Feb. 1, 1993
“After that play, I kind of felt if we didn’t make it [to the Super Bowl], it would’ve been my fault.”
Lett in his first meeting with the press after he cost the Cowboys a win over the Miami Dolphins by trying to recover the ball after Dallas blocked a game-winning field goal attempt at the end of the Thanksgiving Day game. Dolphin kicker Pete Stoyanovich got a second chance and kicked a 19-yard field goal to give Miami the win.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 26, 1994
“This is a time of concern for Leon Lett the person. Our thoughts are with him and his family and we will continue to offer our help and support in any way we can.”
Jerry Jones in a statement after the NFL suspended Lett for a year for testing positive for cocaine. Lett missed parts of the 1996 and 1997 seasons because of the suspension.
Did You Know?
Although Lett was a vital member of the Dallas defensive lines of the 1990s, his contributions did not show up in the stat columns. He never recorded more than four sacks or 36 tackles in a single season. Other defensive tackles of the era, including Jimmie Jones, Chad Hennings, and Hurvin McCormack (yes, that Hurvin McCormack) had better numbers on paper.
- Leon Lett joins Cowboys coaching staff (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- The Nearly Men: The Top 5 Almost-Touchdowns of All Time (Video) (bleacherreport.com)
- A Review of Breakthrough ‘Boys, A Good Book on Dallas Cowboys History (examiner.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Story of the 1971 Dallas Cowboys (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Team History in Quotes: Acquiring Cornerbacks (knowyourdallascowboys.com)