During today’s NFL Network game coverage, Irvin recalled Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett’s blunder against the Miami Dolphins. It’s been 27 years since Lett’s costly mistake, but Irvin shared a different viewpoint on the incident.
First, a little background to the infamously botched play. It was an extremely cold and snowy day on Nov. 25, 1993. And as Irvin says, he thought there would be no way the teams would play the game that day. He assumed the weather conditions would force the league to cancel the game. However, the game went on as scheduled.
Although Irvin is a Hall of Fame wide receiver, he admitted to dropping four or five passes throughout the game. Likely because of the crazy weather conditions. It was a tough game playing in the snow, but one play changed the outcome of the matchup. Additionally, it has gone down in NFL history for all the wrong reasons.
The Cowboys basically had the game wrapped up as they blocked a late Dolphins’ field goal. In fact, Dallas owner Jerry Jones celebrated on the sideline, and quarterback Troy Aikman and Irvin hugged each other thinking the game was over. But, just seconds later, their excitement would fade quickly.
As the football landed on the field, most of the Cowboys players steered clear of it as they should have. Lett had other plans though. The defensive lineman ran towards the ball, slid on the ground between three Dolphins players and accidentally kicked the football while attempting to recover it, even though he didn’t need to.
As soon as he touched it, Miami jumped on the live ball, allowing their kicker another field goal attempt. As expected, he made the second attempt and the Dolphins prevailed 16-14.
Irvin Is Still Thankful for Lett’s Blunder
Irvin continued his story saying that Lett went to the locker room feeling awful about the play. In addition, he thought he may get cut and lose his job after the huge mistake.
The wide receiver said he saw Lett in the bathroom crying and assured him that their coach would not fire him. However, while consoling Lett, Irvin shared a few more thoughts with the lineman.
“I said, ‘I know it hurts right now. But, I’m gonna tell you this. Every Thanksgiving game from now on out, they gonna play that play. You will be famous, forever, from that play,'” Irvin amusingly said.
Later on in the evening, Irvin went out to dinner with Lett and some others. He had one more amusing thought to share with his teammate.
“I said, ‘Big Cat, I think I dropped four or five balls in that game. But, nobody will ever remember that thanks to you! You’re a good friend,'” Irvin jokingly said to Lett.
As Irvin continued, he said that all these years later football fans and analysts are still talking about the blunder. Yet, no one’s ever talked about his dropped passes. Irvin’s prediction 27 years ago was a solid one.