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Greatest 25: Hopping Into History, 2002

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

12) Hopping Into History, Dec. 8, 2002:

There has never have been a kickoff return in the 52-year history of the Cowboys franchise in terms of spectacular, mind-numbing, did-you-just-see-that, in the zip code of Woody Dantzler's fourth-quarter effort against the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 8, 2002 at Texas Stadium.

He raced to his own 29-yard line untouched, before a diving leg tackle halted his progress, not to mention another 49ers player stood before him. At this point, he bounced backward, literally off one of his own teammates, and changed fields, sprinting toward the opposite hash mark on the 28-yard line. About halfway, a wave of 49ers pounced upon him, kind of playing a game of human pinball, Dantzler twisting, turning but somehow never falling to the turf. He finally broke loose from another would-be leg tackler and spun around, 360 degrees, before regaining his footing and balance.

At this juncture, Dantzler raced for the right sideline at an angle, stiff-arming the attempted tackle of kicker Jeff Chandler along the way. However, his momentum was more or less taking him to and beyond the sideline. Realizing this, he, for lack of a better term, slammed on the breaks, but even that would not allow for him to stay in-bounds. His last-ditch idea, out of sheer desperation, was hopping one-footed, not once, but twice with his right foot, before shifting his weight, and hopping on his left foot, and somehow pushing off away from the white paint and sprinting untouched another 60 yards to the end zone.

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