The Eagles and Cowboys were facing off in South Philly in 1995.
The Cowboys were feeling confident; the Eagles were feeling upset.

Playing on the frigid and freezing December turf of Veterans Stadium, the Eagles and the Cowboys were both heading to the playoffs in 1995. In week 15, both teams would meet in South Philadelphia.

With less than three minutes left in the 4th quarter and a 17-17 tie, the Cowboys had a 3rd and 9 deep in their own territory. A completion to Dallas wide receiver Corey Fleming and it was 4th and 1 from the Cowboys’ own 29-yard line. The Cowboys punt team prepared to take the field. But Coach Barry Switzer had other ideas. He called for the Dallas offense to stay out on the field.

Dawning their blue uniforms, Dallas lined up in formation. All of Veteran’s stadium thought that Aikman was trying to draw the Eagles offsides and to extend the Dallas possession. Even more inexplicably, Aikman snapped the ball, handing it to running back Emmitt Smith, who leaped right into the Eagles defensive line and linebackers and ended up on the frigid turf for no gain.

The Vet erupted in celebration.

On the far sideline, Ed Hochuli’s officiating crew was in a conference. They ruled that the two-minute warning had proceeded the play. Roars of adulation turned to screams of anger. A series of boos reigned down from the stands that even eclipsed the not-so-fond welcome for Santa Claus in 1968.

On the Cowboys sideline, December drifting snowflakes did not deter Cowboys coach Barry Switzer. His offense was on the field, and Dallas was going for it.


Dallas had called the same play and witnessed the same result. This time Aikman handed the ball to Smith, who ran into a cinder-block wall of Eagle defenders. Smith didn’t get another inch.

John Madden went crazy in the booth next to Pat Summerall, flailing his arms and bellowing, “This is unbelievable! What in the heck is going on? The score is tied; you’re on the road!” he screamed. “They don’t deserve to win this game.”

After a Morton Andersen field goal put the Eagles up 20–17, the Cowboys got the ball back with 1:20 remaining and no timeouts. After a William Fuller sack to end the game, Troy Aikman jumped up, slammed the ball, and screamed at Cowboys offensive lineman Erik Williams for missing a block.

Further cementing the legend of 4th and 1.

When asked about whether or not Eagles Coach Ray Rhodes would have made the same call on offense, he shook his head and proclaimed to the world:

“I don’t think that my gonads are that big.”

Thanks for letting us know, Ray.

Photo: Philadelphia Eagles

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