Barry Switzer’s ‘Dumb & Dumber’ Moment Leaves Cowboys Out In The Cold In Philly
On a day filled with snowballs, sunshine, and high winds, Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer made a gamble for the ages which backfired ominously in the City of Brotherly Love. The New York Post would dub it “Dumb and Dumber,” as would Mike Ditka. Another newspaper would refer to Barry as “Bozo.”
With the 1995 Cowboys facing a fourth-and-1 from their own 29-yard line in the final minutes of their Week 15 showdown in Philly, Switzer decided to keep his offense out onto the field with the score knotted at 17-all. To Switzer, the logic was simple: with the best offensive line in pro football and the best running back in Emmitt Smith on his side, taking a chance on gaining a yard and keeping possession of the football sounded a whole lot better than sending John Jett out to punt into a stiff wind.
So out came Emmitt, Nate Newton, Larry Allen and the rest of the gang. But when quarterback Troy Aikman executed a flawless hand-off, a strange thing happened. Instead of gaining ground, Smith was met in the backfield by a host of Philadelphia Eagle defenders, giving the ball back to the home team in excellent scoring position.
The celebration proved short-lived however when the officiating crew determined that the two-minute warning had come just an instant before the previous play began. Faced with the same decision as a moment before, Switzer remained steadfast in his decision.
As the tale of the tape proves, the Eagles defense was just as steadfast, driving Smith back yet again on another run up the middle by the Dallas running back.
Philadelphia’s field goal four plays later provided the finishing touches to the 20-17 final, and handed Switzer’s team its second consecutive defeat to open the month of December.