Alvin Harper: The Doubt Eraser For The 1992 Dallas Cowboys
On a team loaded with superstars and future Hall of Famers, Alvin Harper’s contributions for the 1992 Dallas Cowboys championship team could very easily be overlooked. And if you’re a late-comer who glances at regular season statistics only, then you may have been guilty of doing just that.
Cowboy fans remember Harper for his amazing leaping ability and his ability to catch the ball in a crowd. They also remember two plays from the 1992 postseason which removed all doubt as to the Cowboys’ NFL supremacy.
The first play came late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game at muddy Candlestick Park. Leading San Francisco 24-20, Dallas took over possession needing a couple of first downs to eat up the remainder of the clock. But instead of a hand-off to running back Emmitt Smith, quarterback Troy Aikman fired a perfect pass to Harper who was cutting in just off the left hash. After a San Francisco defender missed a tackle, Harper was off and running, and didn’t stop till he reached the 49ers 9-yard line. Aikman’s scoring pass to Kelvin Martin just moments later sealed the Dallas victory.
Two weeks later in Super Bowl XXVII the Cowboys were enjoying a two touchdown lead over the high-powered Buffalo Bills, thanks in large part to the opportunistic play of their defense. But with nearly a full quarter left to play, offensive coordinator Norv Turner was in no mood to be conservative. Foregoing a Smith hand-off yet again, Aikman dropped back and, after nearly falling to the turf on his own, spotted Harper open for the decisive 45-yard touchdown.