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The Cowboys' "Fake Hamstring Injury" Trick Play Return Was Pure Genius

The Dallas Cowboys broke out all the trick plays in the book last season. Without quarterback Dak Prescott and having already ran out dudes like Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert under center, the offense struggled to score points against teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Head coach Mike McCarthy didn't resort to making running back Ezekiel Elliott throw touchdown passes, but against Pittsburgh he showed that he isn't afraid to let his staff think out of the box. Considering injuries plagued the team, it's hilariously ironic that the Cowboys faked an injury to pull off an epic trick play at AT&T Stadium.

Tell me if you've ever seen this one.

Cowboys Fake Injury Punt Trick Play

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With Dallas up 10-0 in the second quarter, Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel attempted to pad the lead by calling an awesome trick play on a punt return.

Everything looked normal when Cedric Wilson dropped back to return the punt. At the bottom of viewers' screens, however, cornerback and special teams player C.J. Goodwin limped down the field on the opposite side. Goodwin was very clearly faking a hamstring injury.

How do we know that? Because seconds later, Wilson heaved the ball across the field to Goodwin, who bobbled it a bit before ripping off an exciting return that placed the Cowboys just outside the 10-yard line.

CBS broadcaster Tony Romo broke the play down perfectly for fans. My only question: how in the world do you not score on that play? Goodwin was tripped up inside the red zone, but you have to fetch six points on this amazing call of a trick play.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys settled for a Greg Zuerlein field goal to go up 13-0. They wound up losing to Ben Roethlisberger's Steelers, who improved to 8-0. Dallas dropped to 2-7 but still remained in the NFL playoff hunt in the bizarre NFC East last season.

Still, this was one of the oddest and funniest trick plays I've ever seen.

This post was originally published on November 9, 2020.

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