If you were a fan of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s and 1990s, January 10 probably brought you bad memories. For newer Cowboys fans, there’s a little history lesson.
Monday was probably the anniversary of one of the most historic catches in NFL playoff history. If not, it’s at least the most important catch in the old playoff rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas.
On Monday, 40 years have passed since Dwight Clark jumped out of the end zone of Candlestick Park and caught a pass from Joe Montana on the edge of his fingers. As a result, San Francisco won the match 28-27 after being scored by PAT. “The Catch” ended the Cowboys’ chance at the Super Bowl and spurred the beginning of a dynasty led by Joe Montana in San Francisco.
As you can see in the video below, potential Hall of Fame quarterback was not originally looking for Clark. He called the Spring Right Option with the intention of moving to Freddie Solomon – the game that led to the touchdown earlier in the game. Montana improvised and waited for the Cowboys’ defenders to come down after trying to block the pass and send the toss to Clark.
Ironically, this playoff match was also broadcast on CBS, which is the same network that will broadcast the wild card match on Sunday. The game was called by the legendary announcer Vin Scully.
Is the Cowboys’ match against the 49ers in the same week of the 40th anniversary of ‘The Catch’ a bad omen?
Maybe it wasn’t as bad as The Curse of the Bambino, but “The Catch” did signifying the fall of the Dallas dynasty for some time. After this point, they would not advance to the next Super Bowl for 11 years. Since then, the Cowboys have met the 49ers in three more NFC Conference Championship games, with Dallas winning two of the three competitions.
Could “bad juju” emerge over Dallas this week from that heartbreaking moment 40 years ago? I think it depends on how superstitious you are a sports fan. He certainly adheres to the Cowboys legend Everson Walls. Many, including him, believe that the walls that allow this catch are the reason why cowboys are not yet in the ring of honor.
Yes, “The Catch” was a game everyone remembers, but Walls (in his rookie season) also had two captures and a groping recovery. This led to a team record of 11 wiretaps as a rookie.
Does this statistic sound familiar to you? That’s because it remained intact for 40 years until the second year of cornerback Trevon Diggs equaled it this season. Maybe Diggs can do it this time New history and catch the winning hit in the end zone rather than the touchdown 49ers at the last minute.
Is it time to snatch the sages? Whatever it costs, right? We can only hope that the excellent Sunday performance of the Cowboys can erase the memory of this heartbreaking moment in the history of Dallas.