Lin Elliott – The One Year Wonder
The predominant memories of football fans for Lin Elliott are, unfortunately, not of the positive variety. Elliott will always be remembered for missing two kicks in a 13-10 Dallas loss to Buffalo in Week 2 of the 1993 season, and for missing three more in a playoff game as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1996. Seemingly forgotten is the fact that Elliott was a vital piece on the Dallas Cowboys’ 1992 Super Bowl championship squad.
Signed as a strong-legged rookie out of Texas Tech, Elliott joined a roster already loaded with superstar offensive talent and then commenced to lead the club in scoring, connecting on 24 of 35 field goals, including 3 of 4 from beyond 50 yards.
His finest day as a Cowboy came at the Silverdome in Detroit when he made all three of his field goal attempts, and set a franchise record with five touchbacks in Dallas’ 37-3 victory. That record stood for nineteen years until Dan Bailey booted six touchbacks in 2011 versus Buffalo.
In his one full season with Dallas, Elliott used his booming leg to help the league’s top-ranked defense by booting a Cowboys single-season record 27 touchbacks, a mark that held up till 2010. His 4-of-5 showing in the playoffs proved to be an afterthought, as the mighty Cowboys steamrolled through Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Buffalo for its first title in fifteen years.
But when a sophomore slump that began in preseason (7-of-13 in exhibition games) spilled over into the 1993 regular season, Elliott admittedly lost his confidence, leaving head coach Jimmy Johnson little choice but to release him.