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Greatest 25: A New Comeback, 1981

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. 10 and a snippet from the Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine story:

10) A New Comeback, Jan. 4, 1981:

As a first-year starter, albeit a little older than most at 28, Danny White had been electrifying if not terrifying all at once, throwing a franchise record 28 touchdowns while also tying another team mark with 25 interceptions.

The Cowboys, who finished the regular season at 12-4, were trailing Atlanta, 27-24, with 1:48 in the fourth quarter of an NFC Divisional Playoff game. Having already driven 48 yards, Dallas had the ball at the Falcons' 23-yard line, second down, 49 seconds on the clock.

Drew Pearson went in motion, left-to-right, with Atlanta showing blitz and sure enough, bringing six strong. White frantically back-peddled, trying to buy an extra second or two, several defenders in pursuit, before launching a high-arcing rainbow off his back foot from the 31-yard line. The pass floated toward the end zone, wide receiver Drew Pearson racing to meet it and securing the ball tightly as two members of the Falcons secondary hit him, which was enough to spin him but not jar the ball loose.

The extra point was blocked, but no matter, the Cowboys prevailed in one of the more thrilling games in franchise history, 30-27. White threw for 239 of his then-career high 322 yards in the second half.

"This was the biggest game I've played and I was really nervous going into it," White said after the win. "But it's comforting to look around and see the kind of help I was getting from everyone. I felt I was throwing the ball well and never really thought we were out of the game."

Follow Jeff Sullivan: @SullyBaldHead.*

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