Cowboy Flashback: Three Longest Runs in Cowboys History


Jul 21, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; General view of a Dallas Cowboys helmet at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I was reading an article about Tony Dorsett recently and how he has fallen on hard times with this health.  It reminded me of some of the best runs in Cowboys history so I found one of my older articles and wanted to re-share that story.  Dorsett has been diagnosed with CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) due to concussions taken during his career.  Dorsett vows to fight it and try to live a normal as live as possible.  These days, he has memory lapses and dementia-like symptoms. 

From June 6, 2012

I was watching Sportscenter on ESPN this morning and they did a story on the longest plays in history.  Of course, Tony Dorsett’s 99 yard run was in the list of plays that made the list.  I remember that play as the next day my third grade teacher asked me if the Cowboys knew how to count.  It got me to think about the top 3 longest runs in Cowboys history.  Dorsett’s run tops the list because of the historical significance, DeMarco Murray’s run last season against the St. Louis Rams, and Duane Thomas’s touchdown against the New England Patriots in 1970. 

The Cowboys were playing on Monday night football against the Minnesota Vikings and they were on their own 1 yard line.  As I was watching the huddle, I saw Dorsett waving Ron Springs out of the huddle but Dorsett unknowingly waved out the eleventh player on the field.  Dorsett in the backfield took the handoff up the middle, broke to the right heading towards Drew Pearson’s side of the field.  Dorsett continued to run along the sidelines, running all the way down the field with little opposition from the Vikings.  Dorsett ran his way into the record books as it is a record that only can be matched, not broken.  Fittingly, it was a Cowboy player to set the record.  Unfortunately that night, the Vikings won 31-27 but it was a great moment in NFL history.

Dorsett’s run was a great run, but watching DeMarco Murray run 91 yards against the St. Louis Rams was just as memorable.  Murray took a delayed handoff up the middle, then cut downfield to the left side of the sidelines and he was off to the races.  I was able to watch it from a fan’s perspective later in the day as this fan was in the stands and recorded it with his cell phone then posted it to youTube.  I watched it happened, but I didn’t get chills until watching from the perspective of the fan at the game.  It was another great moment in Dallas Cowboys history.

This last run will probably be not seen by many of our generation as there was no youTube to post onto or camera’s in full use like today.  This run has a lot of significance because it not only broke in a new stadium, but it contributed to Dallas’ first run at a Super Bowl.  Duane Thomas scored the first ever touchdown in the Cowboys’ new home back in 1971.  Getting that first touchdown in Texas Stadium was bittersweet, I am sure but it also helped the Cowboys as Thomas scored 11 touchdowns in that same season.  Those touchdowns aided the Cowboys in their first Super Bowl trip against the Miami Dolphins.  Thomas scored the only rushing touchdown in that game as well, as the Cowboys initiated the first route in a Super Bowl winning 24-3.

The Cowboys hope to continue the fine tradition of adding more memorable rushing moments, DeMarco Murray is going to be the guy for this season and if there are any indications of his talent, he should hopefully be mentioned in the same breath as many of our Cowboy greats like Dorsett and Thomas.

Murray still is the guy for the Cowboys with new players such as Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, and Phillip Tanner in place so let’s hope to see Murray continue to grow as a player and perhaps still be named in the same breath as Dorsett and Thomas.  With rushing for 1,124 yards in 14 games despite the Cowboys’ coaching staff continued to forget to utilize him, he managed to get his first 1,000 yard season and play up to the potential all of us as fans have hoped. 

Our thoughts go out to Dorsett and hope that he can get a handle on his life as it was or close to it.  He was a remarkable player to watch and would hope the NFL will help all of those players that have suffered from concussions to bring us a game that we all love.