25 Greatest: More Than A Tackle, 1979

Fans of America's Team have seen some of the greatest plays in NFL history. Here we cover the franchise's 25 best, according to Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine. Today we continue with play No. 21.

In June 2011, Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine decided to count down the best of the best, the top 25 plays in franchise history. Obviously, this wasn't the easiest of tasks, but some 30,000-plus words later, we feel pretty good about the results. Now here in a 25-part summer series, we share our list for one and all. Without further ado, we continue with No. 21, and a snippet from the Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine story:

21) More Than a Tackle, Dec. 16, 1979:

A must-win game of the highest accord, the Cowboys trailed visiting Washington, 34-28, with two minutes left in the 1979 regular-season finale. The Redskins had the ball, third down-and-2, on their own 33-yard line. The play call was a handoff to All-Pro running back John Riggins.

Both teams were 10-5 and were tied atop the division standings along with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Riggins took the handoff from Joe Theismann, and shifted for the right sideline. At that same instance, as he changed his direction, veteran Cowboys defensive lineman Larry Cole exploded through the line and wrapped Riggins at the knees, dropping him for a 2-yard loss and forcing the Redskins to punt.

And of course, Roger Staubach being Roger Staubach, he led the team down the field on a game-winning touchdown drive and the 35-34 triumph. The Cowboys won the division, and the Redskins were going home, as in no invite to the tournament.

After the game, in what was the ultimate honor for any Cowboys player, the selected few anyhow, Landry told the media that Cole was a pro, a real pro.

It was, indeed, just a tackle. But oh, how Larry Cole's stop of John Riggins on Dec. 16, 1979 was so much more.

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