There aren’t enough good things to say about former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett. The man absolutely dominated at every single level of football. His Hall of Fame resume is impeccable and no play showcased his greatness quite like the run that made NFL history.
In 1982, Dorsett was in his prime. A strike-shortened season was unfortunate for his stats, but it wasn’t going to stop him from punishing defenses. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings.
On January 3, 1993, with the entire country watching America’s Team on Monday Night Football, Dorsett made history with a 99-yard touchdown run. What’s crazy is it happened with just 10 Cowboys on the field.
Tony Dorsett’s 99-Yard Touchdown Run
Trailing 24-13 in the fourth quarter, the Dallas Cowboys needed a spark to get back in the NFC game. They were pinned down on the 1-yard line so getting some breathing room was the first order of business for head coach Tom Landry. Tony Dorsett had other plans in mind.
There was some miscommunication, though. Cowboys fullback Ron Springs misunderstood the play call, according to ESPN, and ran off to the sideline. Dorsett was without his lead blocker and Dallas only had 10 men on the field. Dorsett clearly didn’t care.
Dorsett took the handoff from quarterback Danny White, ran up the gut like he was shot out of a cannon, broke a couple of tackles and took off down the sideline. He nearly stepped out of bounds, too, but stayed in and used a big-time stiff-arm on Willie Teal before finding the end zone.
It was the longest run from scrimmage in league history. Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry tied the NFL record against the Jacksonville Jaguars in December 2018. Dorsett congratulated Henry with a tweet.
Dorsett finished the 1982 campaign with 745 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. That run was undoubtedly his best.
A Pennsylvania native, Dorsett accomplished so much during his career. He was a three-time All-American in college, won the 1976 Heisman Trophy and led the Pittsburgh Panthers to win the national championship. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound running back then made four Pro Bowls, earned First-Team All-Pro honors and helped the Cowboys to a Super Bowl XII victory over the Denver Broncos as a rookie.
Whether it was in training camp, the regular season or during the playoffs, Dorsett always got it done. He is one of the greatest Cowboys players ever and was rightfully inducted into both the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fames.
That 99-yard TD run is simply the icing on the cake of his legacy, and it never gets old watching.
This post was originally published on August 26, 2020.