DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It is perhaps the most memorable moment in Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day history.
Clint Longley, a scatter-armed (and some say scatterbrained) rookie out of Abilene Christian University comes off of the bench against the hated Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day in 1974. The Cowboys were already knocked out of the playoff picture, and the Redskins added injury to insult when they knocked Roger Staubach out of the game with a concussion.
Enter Longley with the Cowboys trailing 16-3.
The rookie engineered a pair of scoring drives to help the Cowboys pull to 23-17 with 28 seconds left in the game. That is when Longley demonstrated how he earned the nickname the ‘The Mad Bomber.’
Longley unleashed a 50-yard bomb to Drew Pearson, who corralled the pass for a game-winning touchdown in an unlikely 24-23 heartstopping victory.
Cowboys offensive lineman Blaine Nye later described the win as “the triumph of the uncluttered mind.” Longley’s time with the Cowboys did not last long. He was traded away two years later after he sucker punched Roger Staubach at training camp.
But that 50-yard strike from ‘The Mad Bomber’ to Pearson ranks as the 18th greatest moment in Cowboys history.