January 31, 1993: Yes, on this day the Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVII and won their first Super Bowl in 15 years, while the Buffalo Bills lost their third consecutive. Yes, it was the first title of the Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irving Era. Yes, Dallas forced a Super Bowl record nine turnovers—four interceptions and five lost fumbles—en route to their 52-17 blowout of Buffalo. People may remember that Aikman was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating. But most people remember the game for one of the biggest blunders in Super Bowl history.
With game in hand in the 4th quarter, the Dallas defense forced one of those five fumbles, and Lett scooped it up near the Buffalo 45-yard line. It looked like there was no one in sight as he had a 10-yard head start on the nearest Bills player. But that Bills player was receiver Don Beebe and he never gave up on the play. When Lett decided to showboat by sticking the ball out as he was headed for the end zone, all of a sudden Beebe made his way into the play and stripped Lett right before he could score and forced a touchback.
The score would have given Dallas a Super Bowl record for points, eclipsing the 55 the San Francisco 49ers set against the Denver Broncos. Teammates could laugh about it because they hoisted the Lomardi Trophy.
But is it the biggest gaffe in Super Bowl history? Here are some of the others for you to decide.
Lett and his teammates, however, couldn't laugh about the blunder he made that same year on Thanksgiving Day when his bonehead play cost Dallas a win:
Leon Lett and Don Beebe gave us one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history 22 years ago from today. Here's to you guys in an otherwise boring Super Bowl.