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The 25: Broken, In Pain, But Dandy, 1967

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

16) Broken, In Pain, But Dandy, Oct. 8, 1967:

His ribs were fractured, this much he knew. As for the pain and misery which would follow in the next week or so, the fluid which would fill his lungs, the pneumonia, this wasn't known at the time, but truth be told, none of this would've mattered. Much like Tony Romo some 41 years later would explain with similar injuries, this was a Sunday during football season, and for those willing to endure the brutality and the unbearable pain, that meant playing football.

And perhaps no one in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, if not the National Football League, lived that mantra to the extreme quite like Don Meredith.

His nose alone was broken 26 times, concussions were routine, often not even diagnosed, his ribs were oftentimes used as a piñata by opposing defenses and there were many a postgame where he resembled Rocky Balboa after 15 rounds with Apollo Creed, just that in this instance, there was no makeup crew applying the bruises and scars.

Fourth down-and-four, 36 yards from the end zone against the rival Washington Redskins, no time outs remaining, the last play for the Cowboys barring a defensive penalty. Meredith took the snap, drifted back, wincing in pain, and lofted a pass to a wide-open Dan Reeves, who jogged easily into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

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