Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Leon Lett Incidents

Leon Lett
Leon Lett gave the Dolphins second life in 1993 by trying to recover the ball after a blocked field goal attempt.

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.

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Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Cowboys vs. Giants

Herschel Walker
The New York Giants had no interest in trading for Herschel Walker in 1989.

In light of the NFL’s announcement that the Cowboys will face the New York Giants to open the 2012 season, here is a Dallas Cowboys history in quotes entry focusing on the Cowboys and Giants.

“The understatement of the year would be that Dallas just has a pretty good defense. It’s the best defense I’ve ever seen them play.”

Giant QB Fran Tarkenton after the Cowboys routed the Giants 25-3 on October 27, 1969. The Giants only managed 166 yards in the loss.

Source: Associated Press, October 28, 1969

“When you play like this and win, it makes everybody feel good. It’s nothing to jump up and down about though, because we’re still in second place and we’ve got to go play the division leader next week.”

Dallas RB Tony Dorsett after the Cowboys beat the Giants 28-7 on December 3, 1979. Dallas beat the Eagles a week later to set up a season finale for all the marbles against the Redskins.

Source: Associated Press, Dec. 4, 1979

“We’re always appreciative of anyone who feels that way, but our focus is on our team.”

Giants general manager George Young, who said his team had no interest in acquiring Herschel Walker in 1989 after Walker expressed interest in playing for New York. The Giants eventually signed Walker in 1995. Dallas traded Walker to the Minnesota Vikings just one day later.

Source: New York Times, Oct. 12, 1989

“All you have to do to stop Emmitt is keep going to the ball. Keep him from cutting back.”

Giant LB Mike Croel before the Cowboys faced the Giants on Monday Night Football to open the 1995 season. Emmitt Smith rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-0 Dallas win.

 

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