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Top 10 Moments in Texas Stadium History

By SportsTicker

Texas Stadium, home to “America’s Team,” will host its 291st and final regular-season game this Saturday when the Dallas Cowboys face the Baltimore Ravens.

Barring an unforeseen home playoff game, it will be the final contest at one of the NFL’s great landmarks. The Cowboys are set to open their $1.3 billion stadium in Arlington next season.

Numerous Hall of Famers have roamed the stadium with a hole in the roof that former linebacker D.D. Lewis once famously said was there, “So God could watch his favorite team play.”

Lewis claims he isn’t the first one to say it, though. It’s kind of like folklore – no one knows where the saying originated. But that’s beside the point.

The point is, one of the most recognizable venues in all of sports will be imploded in less than a year’s time. With that in mind, here are my top-10 moments in the history of Texas Stadium in inverse order:

10) Randy Moss feasts on Dallas D on Thanksgiving:

In his rookie year, Moss – a childhood Cowboys’ fan – made the team pay by passing on him in the 1998 draft by hauling in three catches for 163 yards and three TDs in a 46-36 win for the Minnesota Vikings.

It was a coming out party for Moss, who pranced around Texas Stadium like he owned the joint while burning the mediocre Cowboys’ defense.

(ed. note) The Cowboys were one of many teams that passed on Moss due to character issues – which have turned out to be just as legit as his talent.

9) A star is born : Romo lights up Buccaneers on Thanksgiving

In his fifth career start, undrafted free agent Tony Romo tied a franchise record with five touchdown passes in a 38-10 win over Tampa Bay in 2006.

“I thought it was (Troy) Aikman out there,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said that day.

One problem, Aikman needed overtime to toss his five touchdowns. Fellow Hall of Famer Roger Staubach never threw five in a game.

8) Santana Moss spoils special night for “Triplets”

On a night when Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin were all inducted to the Ring of Honor prior to the Monday night game against the archrival Washington Redskins, the defense proved to be a traitorous.

Dallas held a 13-0 lead with less than five minutes to play before Santana Moss caught two touchdowns – including a 70-yarder – in the final two minutes to give the Redskins a 14-13 win.

7) Clint Longley’s miracle comeback

With Staubach ailing, the little-known Longley rallied the Cowboys from a 16-3 halftime deficit, capped by a 50-yard TD pass to Drew Pearson with 35 seconds left in a 24-23 win on Thanksgiving Day 1974.

It was the lone highlight of Longley’s career as a Cowboy – he was traded to San Diego after sucker punching Staubach in locker-room fight less than two years later.

6) “We will win the ballgame,” – head coach Jimmy Johnson on 1993 NFC Championship Game

Prior to the rematch of the ‘92 NFC title game rematch with San Francisco, the flamboyant head coach heard callers on a local radio station arguing over who would win.

Johnson called in and said, “We will win the ballgame, and you can put that in three-inch bold headlines.”

Johnson was right, Dallas rolled to its second straight title game win over the 49ers, 38-21, even after Aikman left with a concussion. The Cowboys went on to win their second straight Super Bowl.

(ed. note) Johnson never got along with owner Jerry Jones, though, and was forced out of town two months later.

5) T.O. defaces the Star; Teague decks him

Who could have predicted enigmatic wide receiver Terrell Owens would be beloved in Dallas based on his actions in 2000.

As a member of the 49ers, Owens infamously caught a TD pass and ran out to midfield, stood on the star and with arms outstretched, and gazed toward the open hole in the roof.

Smith responded by mocking Owens following a TD run, but Owens went back for more. Following his second TD catch, Owens ran to the star and was blindsided by streaking safety George Teague, who drilled Owens and nearly started a full-blown brawl.

Teague is still revered in Dallas for defending the star to this day.

4) Leon Lett “it be”

A wacky Thanksgiving Day game in 1993 began with snow in Dallas, and ended with Lett committing another blunder.

Lett, who was stripped at the 1-yard line on a fumble return in the previous year’s Super Bowl, gave the Miami Dolphins new life when he slid into what would have been a dead ball after the Cowboys blocked a potential game-winning field goal.

Lett touched the ball, the Dolphins recovered, and converted the second chance field goal for a 16-14 win.

3) Jason Garrett outduels Brett Favre

With Aikman and Rodney Peete out, third-string quarterback Jason Garrett led the Cowboys to a franchise record 36-second half points in wild 42-31 win over Favre’s Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day 1994.

Garrett – the Cowboys’ current offensive coordinator – finished 15-of-26 for 311 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He helped Dallas overcome four TD passes from Favre to Sterling Sharpe.

2) Staubach’s last regular-season home game

In what turned out to be his final regular-season home game, “Captain Comeback,” rallied the Cowboys from a 34-21 deficit with less than seven minutes to play in a crucial win over the Washington Redskins.

The Hall of Famer capped the comeback with a 7-yard TD pass to Pearson, lifting Dallas to the NFC East title and sending the Redskins home for the playoffs.

1a) Smith passes “Sweetness”

In an otherwise downtrodden season, Smith provided a highlight when he set the all-time rushing mark on his 11-yard run vs. Seattle in 2002. The only player to win a rushing title and Super Bowl MVP in the same season, Smith passed Walter Payton – his boyhood idol.

The mark sits at 18,335 rushing yards.

1b) Tom Landry Appreciation Day (1989)

Two months after he was unceremoniously fired by Jones, the Cowboys honored the man that transformed the team into a powerhouse in the 70’s with a parade that started downtown and ended in Texas Stadium.

Approximately 100,000 people showed up – 100,000 more than Landry expected.

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